THE high of performing at New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall was only trumped by the honour of bringing home a silver medal for members from the Perth Hills and Wheatbelt Band.
Musical director and band founder Peter Hind said the New York International Musical Festival joined a list of performance location highlights including the Sydney Opera House, the Shanghai World Expo and Gallipoli.
“The playing standard was terrific, it’s the best we’ve ever played,” he said.
“Carnegie Hall, you walk in and you know you’re in the realms of history’s best musicians, some of the most well-known pieces in the 1800’s and 1900’s were performed there.”
The band was adjudicated by a panel of international music academics and later awarded a silver medal for their performance.
For Darlington 15-year-old bassoon player Annalise Stevens, it was the trip of a lifetime.
“At first I couldn’t really believe it, we really did it,” she said.
“We were just so happy and so proud of ourselves.”
Annalise started playing the bassoon in Year 7 and soon joined the Perth Hills and Wheatbelt Band.
“My music teacher brought it (his bassoon) into class and played it for us and I thought, oh that looks weird,” she said.
“I was already playing the classical guitar…both of my parents can play a little bit of guitar so music was always a little bit of my life.”
The United States trip included visits and performances at high schools and a workshop at Disneyland where the group played and recorded music from the soundtracks of well-known Disney productions.
Unsurprisingly the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall was the highlight of her trip.
The Shire of Mundaring recognised Annalise’s achievement with a youth grant to assist with the cost of attending the event.
The youth grant program is open all year and assists locals aged eight to 18 who have been chosen to attend state, national or international events, representing their institution, club or organisation.