The ACO Inspire Quartet are responsible for a delivering a significant part of the ACO’s National Education program. The ensemble traverse the country throughout the year, facilitating a wide range of education initiatives for thousands of Australian school students and young children.
Will Clark, violist with the Inspire Quartet, discusses his work with the ensemble, and what the ACO's National Education Program means to him:
When the Australian Chamber Orchestra first asked me to be a part of a string quartet of ACO Emerging Artist alumni to facilitate workshops and schools concerts around Australia, I had no idea what I was in for.
I'd been accepted as an Emerging Artist based on my viola playing alone, and even though I had done some work in education before, it was nowhere near this scale. But after a series of invaluable development sessions with some of the most innovative educators in the country and overseas, the ACO Inspire Quartet was born.
Fast forward just a few years and the ACO Inspire Quartet have delivered hundreds of education sessions in all shapes and sizes. From presenting a schools concert to over 200 Indigenous Australian children in a giant shed in Cairns, to performing classical children's songs in the wards at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, or even broadcasting live to students educated remotely with 'School of the Air', the variety of situations we find ourselves in has forced us to develop flexibility and creativity in structuring our workshops and concerts. Sometimes we have little idea of what to expect until we arrive, but it’s always clear just how much impact the music is having once we're there.
Music is something that all of us in the Inspire Quartet grew up with. To us it seems like a normal part of everyday life, but our contact with such a broad spectrum of children from refugee, disabled, and rural backgrounds is a refreshing reminder of how inaccessible it can be for so many. A concert hall can be a daunting place, so to perform to and work with students in an environment that lets them feel safe and able to express themselves freely is one of the most worthwhile and memorable things I can do.
The ACO Inspire Quartet, and our National Education Program, are only made possible through the generous support of our patrons. To learn more, or to make a donation, follow the link below.