Changing Lives One Performance at a Time

How your donation is inspiring a new generation of musicians

Fourteen years ago Alice Chance attended a Musica Viva In Schools concert at Meadowbank Public School. It was an experience which would irrevocably change her life.

The performance by the period ensemble, Sounds Baroque, captivated the then 5 year old Alice, who was particularly smitten by the viola di gamba, a 15th century instrument played by Sounds Baroque member, Jennifer Eriksson. Inspired by what she had seen and heard, Alice rushed home to her parents and insisted that she wanted to learn the ‘volupitty gumpa’.

Jennifer Eriksson was duly contacted, but she advised Alice’s parents to start the budding musician on a simpler instrument such as the violin (which would be more accommodating to a 5 year old’s little fingers) and to get back to her once Alice was ready to make the transition to the more difficult period instrument. Alice’s wish was fulfilled nine years later when she began to study with Jennifer Eriksson and finally had the opportunity to learn the instrument which had left such an indelible impression nearly a decade earlier.

In 2011 the arc of Alice’s musical journey from enchanted audience member to senior music student saw her become the first HSC student in 25 years to perform on the viola di gamba. The young music lover’s persistence and hard work was duly rewarded when her HSC results revealed she had earned a Band 6 (the highest score possible) for music. The honours continued when her duet for viola da gamba, O Pastor Animarum, which Alice composed and performed for the HSC, was selected for inclusion in the Annual HSC “Encore” concert. “Encore” performers represent those students judged by HSC examiners to be the best in New South Wales.

Accompanied by her teacher, Jennifer Eriksson, Alice performed the duet at the Sydney Opera House in March of this year before two packed halls of 3,000 young people. To our knowledge, this is the first time the viola da gamba has featured at this event.

As a fitting end to this wonderful story, Alice received a scholarship to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2012 and is presently studying composition.

Through your support over 300,000 children every year – children just like Alice - are being transported on a musical journey, by 30 professional Musica Viva In Schools ensembles who specialise in musical styles as diverse as, African, Indonesian, Latin American, jazz, a capella, Irish Folk and classical . For every child like Alice who is inspired by these concerts to learn an instrument or even become a professional musician, there are thousands more for whom the experience will engender a life-long passion for music.

As a Musica Viva donor you can take pride in the fact that your support is not only helping to foster our future musicians and composers, it is also cultivating future concert goers and music devotees, each of whom, in their own way, will help to maintain Australia’s artistic vibrancy.


Alice Chance with teacher Jennifer Eriksson