Milkwood Steiner School’s Senior Ensemble is comprised of all students from Class 5 to 7. Rehearsing weekly, these musicians bring the instrumental skills developed in private lessons to the class to develop skills and experience in ensemble playing. In ensemble playing, there is an emphasis on listening as much as creating sound. We strive to ‘lose’ our voices in the group through sensitive peripheral awareness, skills in musical blending, following a conductor and taking positions of leadership (string section principals, soloists, body language of music and breath work). The Milkwood Ensemble ensemble works with music from the Steiner Curriculum, bringing the repertoire, modes and aesthetics of different eras into our practice. In 2019, the ensemble worked with sacred texts from Christian, Buddhist and Islamic traditions, and with music from Indigenous cultures.
In 2019, the Milkwood ensemble has been busy!
Highlights have included a 2-week music camp and public performance at Charles Darwin University, a baroque masterclass by viola da gamba specialist Jenny Erikson, and workshop by Miriam Lieberman, African kora player. David Bridgeman introduced us to violin making. Ali Mills taught us to sing in Kriol, and shared stories of her life as a musician in Darwin. Stevie Kyriacou (Stevie Jean) ran a songwriting workshop. Our musicians performed at school festivals and many went busking to raise money for organizations which align with the ensemble’s ‘values’. We performed A Midsummer night’s Dream with the Darwin Symphony Orchestra Kids’ Classics in Darwin and Bachelor and attended the DSO in Space concert at the Darwin Convention Centre. Our singers performed at the Darwin Entertainment Centre with the Arafura Music Collective and the Djari Project, singing in Yolngu’matha and learning songs stories from Galpu and other Indigenous traditions. We express our thanks to the string teachers at Milkwood: Rebecca, Wan Ling, Dan, Rhiannon and Netanela, who support this ensemble with their caring attention to each child, and to all the other teachers who sing, play and learn with us through the year.
For more information about Milkwood Steiner School, please visit our website milkwood.nt.edu.au.