BORDER MUSIC CAMP: Blissful week for students of note

STUDENTS are facing the music this week at the 40th Border Band Camp at The Scots School, Albury.

About 240 musicians, with instruments ranging from the cello to the drums, are spending the week learning from some of the Border’s best tutors.

The cello has been the most popular instrument this year with 18 beginners crammed into a small room.

“They can barely fit in there — luckily they are small people,” Border Band Camp director Alastair McKean said.

The students are aged from eight to 80.

They have travelled from as far away as Townsville.

“There’s so much enthusiasm,” Mr McKean said.

“They aren’t just trying to cram a band rehearsal in between science and PE classes.

“This is a year of music practice crammed into a week.”

Mr McKean said the camp had been designed to boost musical opportunities.

“Forty years ago, they were quite deprived but now it’s just about giving them a taste of the musical world,” he said.

Thurgoona’s Issy Kelly, 10, who has been playing the cello for more than two years, signed on for her second camp this year.

“I want to become a better player and it helped me do that last time,” she said.

“I want to improve my extensions — how my fingers move to make a higher or lower sound.”

Mr McKean said that for the 40th anniversary, organisers would dive into the archives and revive songs written by composers in residence at previous camps.

Students will perform on Friday and Saturday nights at 7.30pm at The Scots School.

Tickets at $18 an adult, $10 concession or $55 for a family of five and can be bought at the door or by calling 0412 711 819.