Audrey Ormella (Age 16), Dulwich Hill NSW

Composition: The Colour of Potential

Listen to Audrey’s original fanfare.

Australian Youth Orchestra recording of The Colour of Potential.

My name is Audrey Ormella and I am a year 11 student at Dulwich High School of Visual Arts and Design. I have a deep connection to music, which has always been an integral part of my life. I started actively engaging in school music ensembles when I was in year 3, continuing into high school where I have been able to enhance my skills in tuned percussion, recorder, vocals and piano, the latter of which I am playing at a grade 7 level. I have also been a member of the Arts Unit NSW State Public School Choirs since year 4, singing in the Junior Singers in years 4-7 before transitioning to the Senior Singers in year 8. With these amazing choirs, I have had the opportunity to sing a wide range of repertoire, enhancing my understanding of complex harmony, intonation and vocal techniques. Since 2015, I have been taking composition lessons with Sydney-based composer Sally Whitwell, who has played a vital role in helping me to musically express my thoughts as compositions, acting as a mentor. In 2018 I joined the Toy Choir, organised by The House That Dan Built, focussing on songwriting with the ukulele. Through this experience, in 2019 I was invited to compose a choral composition for SALT; an immersive visual installation and aural experience from composer, choral master and contemporary performance maker Danielle O’Keefe in collaboration with her cross-age ensemble of female artists, which was performed at the Bondi Pavillion.

Composition Inspiration 

My composition The Colour of Potential was inspired by the bells at the Sydney Opera House, which are used to call the audience into the performances. I use the bells in my piece and build my composition around them, providing the audience with a sense of familiarity before other instruments join in and surprise them. The bells, played in my piece by the glockenspiel, stay generally constant in pitch and rhythm, whilst the orchestra join in a flourish of textures, tonalities and colours representing possibility, all building to a sudden finish with a high open note, causing the audience to wish for more. The unfinished nature of my piece allows for the audience to wonder what will come next, whilst creating the potential for something amazing to come in the performance they are about to see.