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Classical surprise for Curtin students

News story

It was a sunny day on campus on 6 November when students suddenly heard a few notes from a strangely familiar melody and wandered over to the Atkinson Forum on Curtin’s Bentley Campus to find out what was happening.

Perth Symphony Orchestra during their Flash Mob performance of Beethoven's Ode to Joy on Curtin's Bentley campus.
Perth Symphony Orchestra during their Flash Mob performance of Beethoven's Ode to Joy on Curtin's Bentley campus.

They found people, who had lined up for free fairy floss near Building 103, watching cellist Sophie Curtis play a selection of melodies by Bach, presumably either busking or rehearsing.

As people lounged on the grass all around her, she finished Bach and dove into the first bar of the Ode to Joy section of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Thirty seconds later, a parade of basses and cellos came out of the Hayman Theatre’s side entrance, the space surrounding Sophie filling up with chairs, orchestra members and music stands.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iziCqxU165U[/youtube]

This was the Perth Symphony Orchestra in a flash mob planned with Annette Hasluck of Place Match and Hillary Lambert who coordinates and manages Curtin’s Place Activation Plan including initiatives like the Park’d line up of food trucks and performers.

“It was part of the overall set of initiatives under the Park’d banner for Place Activation at Curtin University,” said Ms. Hasluck. “A way of engaging the students and bringing life to the campus.”

A photograph of an object covered with a black cloth had been circulated early on in the morning on all of Curtin’s social media channels to create hype for the event with students and staff offering their best guesses as to what it was. Partway through the flash mob, the cloth was removed to reveal the Orchestra’s set of timpani drums.

One of the cellos used in the flash mob performance.One of the cellos used in the flash mob performance.

Over forty people participated in the Orchestra’s flash mob with the horns and flutes being dragged out of the backpacks and bags they had been hidden in and members of the choir pausing in their conversations with others to start the singing. Each addition of an orchestra section or part of the choir was an additional surprise for the large audience of students and staff.

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