Blue Mountains musician tour Europe with Sydney Youth Orchestra

Exciting experience: Matthew Carter, James Pensini, Owen Morris and Tyler Wilkinson in Haydn Hall, Esterhazy Palace.
Exciting experience: Matthew Carter, James Pensini, Owen Morris and Tyler Wilkinson in Haydn Hall, Esterhazy Palace.

Four musicians who were all once students of Blaxland East Public School, have been soaking up the musical highlights of Europe on a tour in April with the Sydney Youth Orchestra.

The orchestra’s senior conductor James Pensini, and trumpeters Matthew Carter, Tyler Wilkinson and Owen Morris share that common primary school bond, though they all attended the school over varying years.

The tour visited the musically and culturally significant cities of Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Salzburg and Berlin, performing in standalone concerts as well as in a combined concert with the Berlin Youth Orchestra.

Mr Morris, who is now based in Adelaide playing principal trumpet with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, played Haydn’s Concert Concerto in the European concerts.

During the 15-20minute trumpet solo he focused on having fun and making good music.

He enjoyed performing in Haydn Hall in Esterhazy Palace in Vienna the most. This was where Haydn was employed as a composer in residence at the palace.

“It was the absolute highlight of my career to do the Haydn concerto in Haydn Hall,” Mr Morris said.

“It was really amazing.”

Sydney Youth Orchestra members also had masterclasses and workshops with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra, and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Sydney Youth Orchestra now has an orchestra based in Parramatta, which makes it more accessible for musicians in western Sydney. 

Meanwhile Mr Morris is enjoying his Adelaide Symphony Orchestra role.

“I’m really happy there. I’m having a great time. I’m enjoying myself and taking every opportunity that comes,” he said.

Mr Morris has also been part of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, the Australian Youth Orchestras, the NSW Department of Education Ensembles, and he was a member of the Mountains Youth Band until he finished year 12 at Penrith High.