THE Goulburn Regional Conservatorium opened its doors on Wednesday night and invited the community to come in and see what it is they really do.
People were free to wander the corridors and observe as teachers taught open door, bands, choirs and ensembles rehearsed and some of the talented students freely expressed themselves in the hallways. Con director Paul Scott- Williams said the point of the open day was to “demystify” the institution and show the community that it is really just a place of musical education, training and creation.
“It was really just a chance for the community to come in and understand that and to see what we do,” he said.
“There seems to be this strange, unnecessary aura of mystery about what we do at the Conservatorium - partly because it’s a fairly imposing building, perhaps, and partly because the name Conservatorium sounds mysterious - but there’s really no mystery at all. It is a place of creativity and music and musical education and training. It is really a vibrant place and exciting place and an exciting for kids to come to.”
Mr Scott-Williams said it was a chance for parent to engage in their children’s musical education.
“A lot of the parents who have children enrolled here never really have the opportunity to see what goes on behind closed doors. So it is a great opportunity for them to see what their kids are doing and what other kids are doing and what ensembles are rehearsing,” he said.
The open day gave the community a chance to see some of the recent renovations, including the recently completed concert hall and “Rock Con”, which is still under construction. When it is completed, Rock Con will transform the old conservatorium into a state of the art recording facility.
“It has been very cleverly designed,” Mr Scott Williams explained.
“You have a central control room, where the hardware will be and where kids will be able to come in and do courses in sound engineering, studio technology, that kind of thing, and … there are two recording studios, one which is a specific type of recording studio where you could record, say a classical piano or a small ensemble or something like that, and then there is a large recording room where you can get bands and orchestras and choirs in and record them.
“In that large room you will also be able to record yourself performing to DVD. You can have a look back at your performance and decide whether you like the way you look when you perform, which I think for a young band is an invaluable opportunity because you very rarely get that type of rehearsal feedback when you are developing your performance style… so it’s an opportunity for kids to come and record themselves in rehearsal and then reflect on their creative processing and reflect on their performing skills.”
He also said Rock Con would help serve as an oral history of the facility. “I think it is really important in an institution like this to start to develop a library of work that is being created and performed,” he said.
“I think the saddest thing for me is when a kid gets up and gives a great performance and there is no lasting record of that. So the aim has always been to begin to create a library an oral history of this place, marking from this point on into the future, so that we can track the kinds of things that happen and you never know, we might end up recording a kid in their earliest performance who goes onto become an international star, who knows, and we will have that recording of them when they were five playing three blind mice in their concert,” he laughed.
The open day also featured an exhibition by local photographer Richard Manning and concluded with a student concert.