Five students embark on West of the Divide tour

Ellena Hicks.

Ellena Hicks.

FIVE Orange students are about to get an international lesson in music.

GIFTED AND TALENTED: Orange High School students Olivia Maksymczuk and Eric and Aaron Driver will fly to Europe on Sunday. PHOTO: JUDE KEOGH 0922jkmusic1

GIFTED AND TALENTED: Orange High School students Olivia Maksymczuk and Eric and Aaron Driver will fly to Europe on Sunday. PHOTO: JUDE KEOGH 0922jkmusic1

Olivia Maksymczuk, brothers Aaron and Eric Driver, Ellena Hicks and Grace Corby (who was unavailable to talk to the Central Western Daily), were among 88 students from rural and remote Australia selected to take part in the West of the Divide Tour in Europe.

Orange High School student Olivia Maksymczuk said this was her first taste of European culture.

“I’m looking forward to the cultural experience and the chance to play music in some really cool places,” Olivia said.

“We’ll be learning new techniques and other stuff to improve our playing. It’s a chance to express ourselves in a form of music is really nice.”

Orange High School brothers Aaron and Eric will experience the tour together.

“It’s a chance to meet new friends and learn about the culture. I’m excited and happy to be a part of it,” Eric said.

Aaron said he looked forward to learning everything he could on the trip. “It’ll be a great experience, not only for music but for education,” Aaron said. “It’ll be a good insight into other parts of the world.”

Canobolas Rural Technology High School and Orange Regional Conservatorium student Ellena Hicks said looked forward to the trip with her father.

“My parents were so excited when they found out,” Ellena said. “It’s going to be amazing to sing in the cathedrals and halls.”

The students will undertake workshops and masterclasses and perform in renowned venues in some of the music capitals in Europe.

This will include Salzburg’s Mozarteum, Vienna’s Wiener Konzerthaus and the Budapest Operetta and Musical Theatre. They will also experience the acoustics of Matthias Church in Budapest, the 14th century Church of St Havel, on Prague’s famous River Vltava and the Benedictine Abbey Church in Melk.

In addition to this, the group will watch La Traviatta at the Prague National Theatre and visit where The Sound of Music was filmed.

The students earned their places through outstanding performances at choral and concert band programs earlier this year. The aim of the tour is to enrich the talents of the outstanding musicians and singers and provide experience at an international level.

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