Applications to be part of Ensemble Offspring's Hatched Academy 2017 close this Friday, so we had a quick chat with Artistic Director Claire Edwardes to get you the lowdown.
The Hatched Academy has been running since 2014 and has seen some incredible musicians pass through the program. What was the catalyst for you to set up the Academy in the first place?
It was really just reflecting on the huge amount of joint expertise myself and all of our musicians have built up over the years with highly specialised musical and interpretative skills, as well as the fact that there are very few post-uni study opportunities for emerging artists who want to go down a more adventurous musical road.
Skills like project development and marketing aren't often taught in music at university but form a large part of the work you do as an instrumentalist and composer. Can you tell me more about the practical skills offered through Hatched Academy?
We have just returned from a week down in Bundanon working with our Hatched Academy students (we like to refer to them as ‘hatchlings'), work-shopping the composer’s new works and playing with and giving lessons to the performers. On the practical front of making it in the music industry, the four participants had daily sessions with me themed around programming, marketing or funding, and we just chatted and they shot lots of questions at me. I also set them some ‘homework’ for the week, which was to budget out and write blurbs and press releases for a program or performance that they would want to put on in the future. So in a way, this really turned into a critique on a mock funding application, the point being that hopefully with this increased nous and insight they will have more success with finding funds to put on their own shows into the future.
What can successful applicants expect to get out of a year in the Hatched Academy? What is the balance between practical components (performance outcomes etc.) and business skills?
Because each year we accept different instrumentalists (this year we had two cellists for example) and they tend to come from differing backgrounds (for example Mar Rapp is from a more jazz improvised music background, and David Moran, more classical), every year it is a matter of developing a program that really gives the most to each individual. We try to cater to their needs and stay lithe so that they can really benefit from our huge range of experience and expertise.
Has the development and ongoing success of Ensemble Offspring influenced the program?
Yes, very much so! I think now we have the confidence to give advice in a way that we probably wouldn’t have 10 years ago. 20 years in the industry is a long time in Australia - ensembles come and go but we have stuck in there, and you do tend to learn a great deal from just sticking in there and always striving for the best.
What does it take to be a Hatched Academy participant?
We are looking for artists under 30 who show vision, innovation and excellence in their chosen field: people who think big and dream big, but have the substance behind them to really make it in this challenging musical climate.
APPLY TODAY - CLICK HERE.