Riverina Summer School for Strings to ‘bridge’ distance for regional students

MAKING IT SING: Wagga violin teacher Rhiannon Xeros will be back as one of the tutors at the school for her third year. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly
MAKING IT SING: Wagga violin teacher Rhiannon Xeros will be back as one of the tutors at the school for her third year. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

From seven to 70 years old, string players from all over the state and beyond are tuning up ahead of a huge week of music. 

Riverina Summer School for Strings will host its 31st camp in Wagga from Saturday, bringing regional musicians together to form ensembles and soak up the skill of some maestros, including Wagga’s Rhiannon Xeros. 

Ms Xeros also attended the school when she was a student, before undertaking a Bachelor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium. 

“There weren’t a lot of violinists my age in Wagga at the time so it was great to get to socialise and be inspired by people a lot more advanced,” she said. 

“Playing as part of the bigger ensembles was an invaluable experience for me.” 

Committee president Jeff Donovan said numbers are up on last year, with regional NSW students making up over half of the 109 enrollments so far. 

There are 37 new students and 72 returning from previous years with the school’s accomplished tutors directed by Susan Collins, head of strings at the University of Tasmania. 

“It’s one of the few camps like this outside of the metropolitan areas, we really want to cater for regional students,” he said. 

The camp runs for a week from Saturday, January 6 with free lunchtime student concerts held Sunday to Friday.

In the evenings, the tutors (some of Australia’s finest string musicians) will take the stage for the Sounds of Summer concert series. 

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