Doctors’ orchestras tune up for charity
MUSIC has been described as the medicine of the mind, and if this is so, hundreds of doctors across the country will soon be heavily self-medicating.
Doctors’ orchestras around Australia are preparing for their annual concerts, at which they will not only regale audiences with their musical proficiencies but also raise thousands of dollars for charities.
The Australian Doctors Orchestra (ADO) is the biggest with more than 120 members, and this year the musicians will be mastering the works of legendary composers Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Humperdinck.
“The standard of the orchestra is quite high, which means we are able to tackle some very difficult pieces,” says Dr Michael Eaton, Perth GP and ADO manager and president.
“The size of the orchestra also gives us the ability to tackle works which can’t be performed by smaller groups.”
Shortly, ADO members will receive the scores for the three chosen pieces, and over one weekend in September they will converge on Melbourne, where they will hold just two rehearsals before their final performance.
Mastering such works takes a great deal of practice and time, which members are more than willing to find, despite their hectic work schedules.
However, according to Dr Eaton, the reward is the personal satisfaction and camaraderie with like-minded doctors.
“The music is the real discussion point here; there is very little talk of work. Here your medical craft group is far less important than your instrumental group.”
As the ADO meets only once a year, doctors in Victoria, NSW and WA have formed their own state-based orchestras similar to the ADO model.
“Playing with an orchestra is such a creative outlet,” says GP Dr Cathy Fraser, coordinator of the NSW Doctors Orchestra.
“When I play, I’m able to totally forget about work. It is so enjoyable. When you play with the orchestra, you’re not a doctor, you’re a musician.”
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