Rotary club sponsors stringed instrument scholarship

Central Coast Youth OrchestraCentral Coast Youth Orchestra

A plan by Woy Woy Rotary Club to sponsor up to 20 local children, aged 7 to 8, in a selective string instrument scholarship program has been welcomed by the Central Coast Conservatorium.

“We are looking for children interested in learning to play a stringed instrument such as the violin or cello, who may be participating in music programs or even just love to sing”, said Conservatorium chief Mr Patrick Brennan. The Targeted String Scholarship Program, worth $5000 per student, will support the families of the children over a five-year period. Over the long term, it is expected to significantly bolster the number of children playing violin and cello on the Central Coast, according to Mr Brennan. “These young instrumentalists will, in time, form the backbone of the Central Coast Youth Orchestra,” Mr Brennan said. “The Coast has a rich tradition of string instrument playing but there are currently lower numbers of students taking up these instruments.

“Over the last five years, the Conservatorium has seen numbers double in education programs for woodwind, brass and percussions, probably due to students playing in bands in primary schools. “It’s time to see more students taking up string instruments to help balance the orchestral instrument equation. “This will allow greater diversity in performance/educational opportunities and experiences for our youth.” Rotary Club of Woy Woy past president Mr Russell Grove said: “Well educated, interested and empowered young people will make Australia and the world a better plant in the future. “The Central Coast Conservatorium of Music is a vital part of the cultural environment of our community. “If the Rotary Club of Woy Woy can assist with String Scholarships for talented and enthusiastic musicians from the Coast our whole community is enriched,” he said.

The partnership between the Rotary Club of Woy Woy and the Conservatorium has enabled this scholarship program with the club pledging to donate $8000 per annum towards the scholarships over the next five years. “I would encourage other Rotary Clubs on the Central Coast to take up a similar challenge,” said Mr Grove. Co-funded by Woy Woy Rotary and the Conservatorium, the program will see close to $100,000 of resources applied over the next five years in delivering a truly comprehensive music education.

The multifaceted music program is designed to generate core excellence similar to an elite sports program delivered by an institute of sport with spectacular outcomes for students involved in the musician program. These students will become musical leaders in our community and as suggested by current research will more than likely become leaders in a broader sense, said Mr Brennan. The program is set to start in Term 4 (October) this year. The Conservatorium is seeking applications from families with an interest in a musical education for their children. More detail is available on the Conservatorium website at au/string-musician-program

Applications close Wednesday, September 24 at 5 pm. Try-out for the scholarship is on Saturday, September 29, the first Saturday of the school holidays.

SOURCE: Media release, 6 Sep 2018 Patrick Brennan, Central Coast Conservatorium