Are We There Yet?

Janine Hanrahan

I thought it was a good time to reflect on the first half of our 2016-17 Season.  But, it’s over I hear you say?  No, actually, we’re only half-way through.  But I can understand the assumption that we have concluded our current season projects.

Our season starts in May each year and concludes in April-May the following year.  Odd? Perhaps, but there is a reason why we do this.  In Australia, the coming of Spring heralds the Spring Racing Carnival, the ALF Football Final series (like the American championship division finals and World Series), Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, The Melbourne Festival and the list goes on and on….

As a daring, highly-innovative and niche orchestra enterprise, we don’t want during this time to compete with all this noise – and, in reality, we can’t – so we don’t. Then, the long Australian Summer is upon us which takes us through to early February, followed by the mad scramble of people gearing up once more for School or work.  Suddenly, it’s April and wouldn’t you know it, we’re gearing up to start another ADO season.  But, wait, there’s more.  Like the eponymous free steak-knife bonus, the ADO has been busily planning during the Spring-Summer hiatus the second-half its previous calendar year season of projects.  Oh, what are they? Read on.


In the second half of this season we are partnering with the Independent Schools Victoria International Arts Learning Festival (3-7 May 2017).  For this terrific initiative, we are forming a special version of the ADO open to all teachers who work in independent schools in Victoria – even if they don’t teach instrumental music.  The audition requirements (orchestral excerpts) are identical to joining the ADO proper.  Details about how to audition will be available jointly on our and the ISV website sometime in the next several weeks.  On-line applications will be submitted through the ADO website.

Given that this is not the ADO in its usual form; presenting live-streamed Internet concert events with extensive online audience engagement opportunities, and without the inclusion of many of our permanent ensemble roster (they’re not eligible if they don’t work in a Victorian Independent School) we are calling this orchestra the Australian Discovery Orchestra (Teacher Edition).

Then – in a very special initiative – in fact one that will crossover into our 2017-18 Season –  is a world-first combined recording project and international vocal competition, open to all singers over the age of 16 years, whose passion is the American Musical Theatre.  This project is so secret right now, I can’t tell you more, suffice to mention that the ADO will be recording 16 new songs (almost all of them previously never recorded) from the 16 best and brightest new composers and lyricists of Broadway shows.

And whilst all that is happening we do kick-off our 2017-18 Season – and it’s amazing.

Take care and go the Bulldogs for the AFL Grand Final!