Cowper Public pupil Joselyn O’Malley will perform solo at the Sydney Opera House concert hall next Tuesday.
Cowper Public pupil Joselyn O’Malley will perform solo at the Sydney Opera House concert hall next Tuesday.

Singing solo at Opera House

WHEN Cowper Public School pupil Joselyn O’Malley first set eyes on Sydney’s majestic Opera House last year, she never thought she would ever go inside.

Next Tuesday, the doors of the world-famous Australian icon will open wide to welcome the 12-year-old when she sings solo onstage as part of the NSW Department of Education’s Festival of Instrumental Music.

Joselyn, who went to Sydney on holiday in April last year, remembered taking in the spectacular sight offered by the Opera House.

“I thought to myself, ‘I’m never going to go in there’,” she said.

Joselyn said she had mixed emotions about her upcoming performance, which involves no fewer than 700 recorders and 300 strings backing her in a mass ensemble.

“It’s very exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time,” she said.

Within the 700 recorder players will be all 14 of Cowper Public’s Year 3 to 6 students, who have been practising the song Home and the Heartland under the direction of music teacher Melissa Philip.

Mrs Philip said the ensemble would also play two other songs specially arranged for the performance – one entitled Red Boots and the other Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring by Bach.

The latter will be accompanied by the Opera House organ. “It’s going to be amazing,” Mrs Philip said.

This is the third consecutive year Cowper Public pupils have attended the annual festival, which Mrs Philip said provided an experience like no other for kids from a country school.

“They perform at a venue that is regarded as one of the best in the world, and with musicians from all over the state,” she said. “I always like them to go out and see the bigger picture.”

Mrs Philip said Joselyn had been singing for just a year, making this achievement a credit to the Year 6 student’s talent.

“She was chosen out of hundreds of auditions,” she said. “She’s developing the most beautiful voice.”

To help raise funds towards flying the pupils to Sydney, Cowper Public School is holding a concert, starring all of the Opera House performers, at the Grafton Salvation Army corps, 91-93 Oliver Street, tonight at 7pm. Tickets are $5. Phone 6647 6339.



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