Students take centre stage

JCS and Berridale violin students (Hannah, Jessica, Neeve, Odessa, Aja, Ruby, Ayumi, Ella and Mackenzie ahead of their performance at the Sydney Opera House.

JCS and Berridale violin students (Hannah, Jessica, Neeve, Odessa, Aja, Ruby, Ayumi, Ella and Mackenzie ahead of their performance at the Sydney Opera House.

Jindabyne Central School (JCS) students have starred in the grand finale of an epic performance featuring almost 1,000 school children which concluded the Festival of Instrumental Music at the Sydney Opera House.

Eight JCS violinists, ranging in age from eight to 10 years, took centre stage at the Mimosa Concert on Thursday night to play three entertaining pieces as part of a NSW combined public schools ensemble.

The first performance was a spy-genre piece of music titled Secret Agent 440 and the second was a lively jig named The Sailor's Romp.

The eight JCS students were joined by one student from Berridale Public School and 188 other violinists from public primary schools across the state.

The Mimosa Concert was the final in a series of four concerts which make up the annual Festival of Instrumental Music.

The final piece of the almost three-hour long concert was the world premiere of Prince Ivan and the Grey Wolf composed by Tracy and Paul Burjan and conducted by Jennifer MacQueen.

The JCS violinists joined the string musicians to take the lead in the musical adaptation of the Russian folk tale as 700 recorder players - including 20 JCS Year Four students - joined the huge ensemble.

The sound of almost 1,000 primary school children playing in unison in the Concert Hall at the Sydney Opera House was a delight to the audience of 2,000 people.

The JCS recorder ensemble also played three pieces during the night's performance.

They opened the concert with Can Can by Jacques Offenbach, joined by a percussion ensemble, and later played Gulaga Dreaming by Alex Cronin with a harp, percussion and guitar ensemble before closing with Prince Ivan and the Grey Wolf.

It was the conclusion of six months of hard work for the students, who have spent all year perfecting the challenging repertoire.

"This has been my eighth year taking JCS violinists up to play on the awesome Opera House stage and the performance never ceases to amaze and impress me," violin teacher and Snowy Strings director Mary-Anne Simpson said.

"I am so proud of the children."

The Festival of Instrumental Music is an annual concert series coordinated by the NSW Department of Education and Communities' Arts Unit.

It provides the opportunity for students and their teachers to join together and enhance their music education by accessing high quality repertoire, structured professional learning and the experience of performing in the Sydney Opera House.

The students spent the day of the concert rehearsing and workshopping on stage at the Opera House with acclaimed conductors from across NSW.

"It was great fun," said eight-year-old Jessica Dawson, the youngest of the JCS students performing at the concert.

"I had butterflies during the day but it all turned out to be an awesome experience."

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