Australian Youth Orchestra goes digital with Accenture

AYO has worked closely with Principal Sponsor Accenture to deliver a number of cutting edge digital web technologies.
Australian Youth Orchestra goes digital with Accenture

William Barton facilitates a 2013 interactive school workshop, performing with an AYO String Quartet.

The AYO continues to build its reputation as a leading classical music organisation with an innovative and cutting edge digital technology roll out.

The Digital Connection Initiative, developed in partnership with AYO’s Principal Sponsor Accenture is breaking new ground in connecting music students and educators from all corners of the country.


Accenture Asia Pacific representative Scott Dinsdale said that current trials have seen a range of technological developments increase access and establish opportunities for community outreach across the country.

‘The Digital Connection Initiative is focused on connecting rural communities to AYO for auditions and really building that access in some other way than kids having to fly in, or adjudicators having to fly out,’ he said.

Traditionally, AYO applicants have been required to travel to a major city to audition, yet the rollout of new audio visual recording technology means that any budding musicians will be able to take advantage of online auditions electronically via the Internet.

Since AYO digital trials commenced last year, highlights have included remote auditions during June and October between a panel in Melbourne or Canberra and musicians in Armidale regional NSW, and the live streaming of rehearsals, including Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring with AYO Associate Conductor Fabian Russell at the ABC studios Sydney.

This open rehearsal was streamed live to schools in regional NSW and regional QLD, alongside live global AYO concert webcasts from AYO Chamber Players and the Australian Youth Orchestra performing in the Sydney Opera House.

Last year, indigenous artist William Barton also facilitated a didgeridoo workshop where he performed with an AYO String Quartet and interacted with Australian primary schools via videoconference.

During December, musicians Emma Sholl (Principal Flute, SSO) and David Griffiths (Clarinet, Ensemble Liaison) led online masterclasses for selected instrumentalists nationwide, where students used online chat to discuss the challenges of their instrument and seek advice on audition preparation and performances.

‘We capture the performance itself, and now you have something that you can go back to,’ said Dinsdale.

With such exciting possibilities, Dinsdale said he looks forward to meeting with AYO in several weeks to plan the next phase of the roll out - which for now is under wraps.

‘We’re always going to look at ways to keep pushing the envelope, and seeing what we can do to take technology to help drive music out, in and across Australia.’

Applications to AYO are open from the 26 May until 13 June, with auditions scheduled for Australian regional and capital cities during August and September. 

To be eligible to apply for AYO’s programs – including the Australian Youth Orchestra, AYO National Music Camp, AYO Young Symphonists, AYO Chamber Players and AYO Orchestral Career Development programs - musicians must be between 12 and 30 years of age.

For more information visit the Australian Youth Orchestra website.

Troy Nankervis

Thursday 22 May, 2014

About the author

Troy Nankervis is an ArtsHub journalist from Melbourne. Follow him on twitter @troynankervis