It was a chance for young Highlands flutist Samantha Roberts to hone her craft and learn from a range of successful musicians.
Young Mannheim Symphonists held a National Online Winter Academy earlier this month with participants from across the country.
Samantha, who has played the flute for the past several years, took part in the open auditions.
She secured a spot at the online academy and will now be involved with the Young Mannheim Symphonists.
The directors Rachael Beesley and Nicole van Bruggen presented a unique online academy which explored a fresh, new historically-informed perspective to music performance and applied musicology.
The online course for people aged 11-21 attracted participants from across the country, including Samantha Roberts from Moss Vale.
Over two intense days, they attended online seminars presenting various aspects of historically-informed performance of 18th and 19th century orchestral repertoire along with discussions around performance psychology and career development.
The seminars were presented by internationally respected experts who zoomed in.
The topics included a guide to The Classical Symphony and Comparing and Discussing Interpretations: Beethoven Symphony No.1 by Dr Mario Dobernig, Positive Performance Skills by Anthea Cottee and 19th Century Performance Practice by Prof Neal Peres da Costa.
There were Q & A sessions with the co-artistic directors and guest speakers and there was individual online tuition from principal musicians from the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra.
"It was a really amazing experience. It was great to talk to other musicians who have been really successful and hear how they practice and play," Samantha said.
She said she found the online element "a bit strange and a bit more difficult" at times, particularly in the individual tutorial.
Her one-on-one lesson with flutist Sally Walker was her favourite session over the two days.
She also enjoyed a session with Dr Mario Dobernig where they looked at how to analyse a symphony and how each individual fit into it.
Historical instrument demonstrations videos were especially made by the Young Mannheim Symphonists faculty.
Several fascinating resources were discussed and shared during the course including links to the Archives of The New York Philharmonic, Beethoven-Haus Bonn, the letters of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and various Positive Performance Resources.
Now part of the Young Mannheim Symphonists, Samantha said next year they would hopefully be able to meet up and play together as well as work with the tutors.
Along with private flute lessons, Samantha has also performed with the Southern Highlands Concert Band and been a part of several different workshops.
Hoping to have a career in music, she said she wanted to continue to "work with amazing tutors and keep improving".
"It's always lovely to have access to really [great] tutors. And it's amazing to be around other musicians and cool to see them play."
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