Prac­tice makes per­fect

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - Front Page - By ANITA McPHERSON

PRAC­TISE and ded­i­ca­tion to her craft will see Thoona res­i­dent Emma Amery take to the stage at the Mel­bourne Recital Cen­tre this month to play vi­o­lin in a per­for­mance of Ho­mages with the Mel­bourne Youth Orches­tra.

The 18 year old who lives on the fam­ily farm and makes a 500 kilo­me­tre round trip each week to re­hearse with the orches­tra, holds the po­si­tion of “as­so­ciate con­cert­mas­ter,” which could best be de­scribed as “sec­ond fid­dle” to the lead vi­o­lin sit­ting clos­est to the con­duc­tor.

“If the con­cert­mas­ter is away or sick I have to step up (to that role) and I also help with or­gan­is­ing and as­sist­ing the sec­tion,” she said.

Emma has come a long way since she be­gan play­ing 12 years ago, start­ing when she was only six, al­though she can’t re­mem­ber ex­actly why vi­o­lin was her in­stru­ment of choice.

“My Mum plays vi­o­lin as well so I think I was kind of drawn to it,” she said.

“I’ve al­ways loved it and al­ways been the weird one who liked to prac­tise - and I love play­ing with other peo­ple.”

Cur­rently com­plet­ing year 12 through dis­tance ed­u­ca­tion, Emma com­mu­ni­cates with her teach­ers on­line, hav­ing been home schooled from an early age.

Af­ter a suc­cess­ful au­di­tion in 2014 she joined with the Percy Grainger Youth Orches­tra pro­gram, re­hears­ing each Satur­day and grad­u­ally hon­ing her tech­nique and per­for­mance skills.

Pre­par­ing for the per­for­mance of Ho­mages - which pays trib­ute to great Ger­man com­posers in­clud­ing Richard Strauss and Jo­hannes Brahms - re­quired or­ches­tral re­hearsals along with prepa­ra­tion of her own part at home.

De­scrib­ing her­self as a clas­si­cal mu­sic “geek”, Emma is look­ing for­ward to play­ing with vir­tu­oso mu­si­cians as part of the concert on Septem­ber 17.

“I love the re­hearsals, work­ing through it with the con­duc­tors and the dif­fer­ent tu­tors we get to work with,” she said.

“We’ve got a solo vi­o­lin­ist com­ing in (Michael Brooks Reid) to play Brahms’ Vi­o­lin Con­certo in D ma­jor who we haven’t re­hearsed with yet, but I can’t wait to hear him and how all that fits to­gether – it will be re­ally ex­cit­ing.”

Emma says her plan is to get into uni­ver­sity in Mel­bourne where she hopes to study vi­o­lin and ul­ti­mately be­come a pro­fes­sional vi­o­lin­ist, un­will­ing to let dis­tance get in the way of her ca­reer. “That is the dream,” she said. “It’s def­i­nitely harder do­ing all the travel, but I guess if you love it enough and are will­ing to work at it, it’s def­i­nitely worth it in the end.

“I pre­fer or­ches­tral over solo per­for­mance, so prac­tis­ing at home and then get­ting to­gether with other peo­ple – that’s when it’s re­ally fun.”

Emma finds in­spi­ra­tion among the many great vi­o­lin­ists and other young mu­si­cians who have come from ru­ral ar­eas who have gone on to forge suc­cess­ful mu­si­cal ca­reers.

She said be­ing part of the Mel­bourne Youth Orches­tra has pro­vided her with both ex­pe­ri­ence and links to pro­fes­sion­als in the field.

But she still holds fond af­fec­tion for the farm where her fam­ily raises sheep and crops and where she of­ten lends a hand, whether that be in the shear­ing shed or out in the field.

Emma says while her fo­cus is on uni­ver­sity and a ca­reer, she would love to come back to the farm even­tu­ally.

Mel­bourne Youth Orches­tras will present Ho­mages and the Vir­tu­os­ity Grand Fi­nal con­certo soloist com­pe­ti­tion on Sun­day, Septem­ber 17 at the Mel­bourne Recital Cen­tre in South­bank with Ho­mages to start at 2.30pm.

PHOTO: Carolyne Amery

ON THE FARM: Re­gional liv­ing is no bar­rier to achiev­ing your dreams, ac­cord­ing to Thoona vi­o­lin­ist Emma Amery.

PHOTO: El­iz­a­beth Davie

MAK­ING MU­SIC: Emma Amery is proud to take her place as as­so­ciate con­cert­mas­ter with the Mel­bourne Youth Orches­tra.

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