Reflection on Youth Orchestra

It was Bono, lead singer of the famed Irish Band U2, who commented that “Music can change the world because it can change people.” Living proof of this was on display at the Fr Moran Performing Arts Centre at Thomas Carr College, Tarneit on Tuesday June 11 as a full and excited house was treated to a concert delight performed by the combined talents of the Jose De Piro Youth Orchestra from Bataan in the Philippines and the Thomas Carr College Concert Band with vocal support from the College choir.

All in the audience harmonised in a special way with the heart-warming story of how our young performers from challenging and often impoverished backgrounds in Bataan had with the visionary support of Paulist missionary Fr Joe Cremona mssp risen above this background to reach a level of musical excellence. We heard their story so eloquently explained by College staff member Geralyn McCarthy who visited Bataan in an immersion experience in 2018. However, to quote noted actor Johnny Depp whose ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ music was one of the performance highlights of the night – “Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can’t”. It was the quality of their music and the joyful spirit in which it was performed that spoke most powerfully.

Special mention must be made of how quickly both groups of performers gelled with just a day of practice together and for this their teachers deserve congratulations for ensuring their students were well readied for this experience. The Thomas Carr Concert Band lost nothing in comparison to our visitors in terms of the excellence of their performing. All in all a most enjoyable and successful evening.

Tony O’Byrne Principal Consultant Catholic Education Melbourne


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