Tango at Orange Regional Conservatorium – February 2015

Last Saturday, February 28th 2015, I arrived in Orange to conduct a one day tango workshop at Orange Regional Conservatorium in central west NSW.

My host, Music Director Donna Riles and her staff welcomed me and had prepared a program of rehearsals and a concert with Conservatorium students and members of the Orange Youth Orchestra (OYO). I was happily surprised by the level of preparation and the keen interest of the students to learn a music form with which they were unfamiliar. During the day we prepared two well known orchestral tangos, including featured solos, to open the evening concert well attended by family members and music lovers. The confidence with which the students played was outstanding and I hope this will be a genre many of them pursue in the future

In addition I was fortunate to work with a wonderful quintet of professional musicians from the region to rehearse and perform four tangos in the concert.

Orange Con quintet

A highlight of my visit was meeting Max Fricke, a 93 year old Orange local and bandoneon player. He was well known for his trio performances of popular classics and had never met a fellow bandoneoniste in Australia despite arriving in December 1952. We spent a happy morning playing some pieces and comparing instruments. Max will be my special guest at an open rehearsal of SYO TangoOz to take place at Sydney Conservatorium in the Choral Assembly Hall on March 16th at 6.15pm.

Max Fricke

OYO student orchestra

It is very rewarding to be able to introduce tango music to regional students. Hopefully there will be further opportunities to work with the wonderful staff and students at Orange Regional Conservatorium.