Latrobe Orchestra on lookout for more musicians

The Latrobe Orchestra are on a desperate hunt to find new players. Photo: Contributed

The Latrobe Orchestra are on a desperate hunt to find new players.

The Traralgon-based ensemble is encouraging musicians of any age and experience to join their rehearsals in preparation for future concerts and performances.

Committee member and clarinet player Alison Teychenne said that the Latrobe Orchestra has members from “all walks of life.”

“We’ve got schoolchildren, we’ve got young professionals, we have people with caring responsibilities… and we have retirees who are just looking for ways to stay engaged with the community,” Ms Teychenne said.

Latrobe Orchestra musical director Colin Iversen also talked up the benefits for older players.

“There are endless studies talking about the importance of music in the way children develop, but in fact (for) older people … it becomes a really powerful part of maintaining connections with other people and with the community,” Mr Iversen said.

The Orchestra boasts players from across the Gippsland region, including Sale, Stratford and Maffra, with a strong connection to the latter.

“We perform with the Maffra Municipal Band each year, so we share lots of players with them as well,” Ms Teychenne said.

“And lots of our players are involved with (Maffra’s) strings program and their concert band program too.”

The Orchestra performs a mix of traditional and contemporary classical orchestral music, ranging from Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet to the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack, so as to appease everybody involved – those who listen, and those who perform in the ensemble.

“I try (to) find stuff that … I enjoy conducting, but also that the Orchestra will enjoy playing, and so far I’ve been pretty good at doing that,” Mr Iversen said.

Rehearsals take place during school term on Thursday evenings in the Kath Teychenne Centre, Traralgon – named after Ms Teychenne’s grandmother, a founding member of the Orchestra.

The younger Ms Teychenne believes that it is important to carry on her Grandma’s legacy because the things she valued and saw important to Gippslanders are still relevant today.

“She saw the important place music has in people’s lives, how making music together breaks down all sorts of social barriers, how regional areas often miss high-quality musical exposure and opportunities for purely geographical reasons, and how good for the soul sharing music-making with others is,” Ms Teychenne said.

Violinists, trombonists and percussionists who are fully vaccinated against COVID are particularly being urged to join.

Those seeking more information about the Latrobe Orchestra are welcome to send an e-mail to info@latrobeorchestra.org.au