Welcome to our ‘where are they now’ segement. We love hearing about the different musical and creative pathways our awesome alumni have taken. To kick us off, we caught up with the very talented Rosie Stephen.

When did you play with the BYO?

I think I was in year 5 or 6 when I started, and continued on til the end of my gap year in Bello in 2020 … so eight years!

What instruments do you play?

Trombone, viola, violin, guitar and voice … if that counts as an instrument!

Where could we find you now?

Melbourne! Right now, I’m studying an Arts degree at the University of Melbourne, specialising in gender studies and human geography. I started off at Monash Uni for jazz but these days I just gig on the side as much as I can! Although I didn’t finish my music degree, I gained lifelong friends and contacts from my time there.

What was your favourite memorable moment with the orchestra?

Definitely when we played ‘Avinu Malkeinu’ from Nigel Westlake’s ‘Compassion’. Earlier this year I saw the entire concert performed live with Lior and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, which was such a surreal experience. That album has been an extremely influential part of my listening over the last few years. It’s pure magic.

What is on your playlist this week?

Last week two of my favourite Brazilian jazz guitarists, Pedro Martins and Daniel Santiago, released their second duo album together called ‘Movement’. I listened to their first album ‘Simbiose’ religiously over Covid, and this new record does not disappoint!

What was the best thing you took away from the BYO?

When I play as part of a string section, something bigger than myself, the feeling is so incredibly emotional and rewarding. I know I’ll never stop playing and listening to music because I could never give up that feeling.

We have lots of new players every year … do you have any advice for our young players?

Absolutely! Practice is so important, because it gives you the tools to express yourself on your instrument. But I think it’s vital to always keep in mind what it’s all for. That looks different for every person. For me, music is a joyous communal experience.

It’s a long road, maybe even lifelong, so do whatever you need to hold on to that joy. If that means stepping away from the practice room sometimes, that’s more than okay. Make time to play what you love, with the people you love. And listen! So much of our learning happens while we’re listening.

What essential creative experience should we be adding to our ‘to do’ list this year?

Having the opportunity to see professionals of all genres in concert is so inspiring. Jazz, folk, classical, pop… guided by the interests of BYO players!

If you could travel to one place in 2024 … where would it be?

Easy. Brazil. And I think I will!

Thanks Rosie. We can’t wait to follow your journey!!! 

More than just an orchestra
More than just music

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