(Above: WAAPA Graduate, Sophie Foster, on stage with PSO Big Band and Strings and The Dance Collective at Music @ Murdoch 2016)
Perth Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is delighted to welcome WAAPA as a Performance Partner of the orchestra. The announcement follows the signing of an MOU with the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at ECU, marking the start of a strategic partnership that promises to bring significant benefits to both organisations.
In the five years since Perth Symphony Orchestra’s inception, numerous alumni from WAAPA have been engaged by PSO and their talent showcased to a wider audience. PSO’s Executive Director, Bourby Webster, and Chief Conductor, Jessica Gethin, are both currently engaged by WAAPA as teaching staff, offering courses in Business Skills for Musicians and Conducting respectively. Jessica is also a graduate of WAAPA.
“We have a core value of showcasing outstanding WA talent, and many of our orchestra members are WAAPA alumni,” said Webster. “We engage a range of talent from across all genres and WAAPA has a track record of producing leading musicians across classical, jazz and contemporary music streams. Closer collaboration with WAAPA aligns perfectly with our desire to deliver outstanding orchestral concerts that are exciting, diverse and draw on emerging talent as well as WA’s leading professional musicians.”
As well as working with both alumni and current teaching staff, PSO is keen to offer students unique opportunities such as performing orchestral works by student composers or inviting students to perform as a soloist with PSO.
The MOU, which commenced on the 1st December 2016, is initially for a three-year term. The agreement outlines a commitment by both organisations to explore collaborations across all activities; offer outstanding current students opportunities to perform at a professional level; championing each other as leading performance organisations in WA; sharing each other’s events and productions; and exploring ways to innovate, create and promote excellence in music.
Director of WAAPA, Professor Julie Warn, welcomes this new partnership.
“This memorandum of understanding is very exciting for us – it opens up further performance opportunities to our music students as well as exposing them to some of WA’s best professional players.”