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550 Child Prodigies Take Over Sydney's Streets For Australia's Biggest Ever Busk


Musical geniuses as young as six years old from some of Australia's leading youth orchestras will treat 600,000 Sydneysiders to a rare spectacle as they swap Beethoven for Beyoncé on October 9 for the inaugural Big Busk - and all it will cost you is a gold coin donation.

Forget expensive venues for the rich and famous, these talented kids are bringing music to the people as the 550 members the elite Sydney Youth Orchestras bring the city's iconic locations to life with 12-hours of live musical performances.

Classical music lovers needn't despair, but they can expect the unexpected - maybe a mash-up of Tchaikovsky and Cardi B?

Sydney Youth Orchestras is often described as the AIS of orchestral training, a breeding ground for the musical Olympians of tomorrow. While its members join at the tender age of just 6, many of these students have already been training on their musical weapon of choice since they were three or four years old. Since its inception in 1973, the SYO has already transformed thousands of students into professionals, and boasts a who's who alumni that have joined the ensemble casts of the world's leading orchestras. How good are these gifted kids? The SYO is the only youth orchestra in Australia to have successfully taken on one of music's most challenging pieces - the 89-minute long Bruckner Symphony No. 8, a challenge many adult maestros find difficult to accomplish.

The Big Busk aims to raise both awareness and funds for Sydney Youth Orchestras, so it can continue its great work supporting, nurturing, and training our young musicians of the future. "The SYO is for every kid, so long as they have the passion and drive to succeed," says SYO Spokesperson, Mia Patoulios. "There's a misconception that all our kids herald from Sydney's wealthiest suburbs, but that couldn't be further from the truth. We source kids far and wide - 300 different schools and from 200 different communities. We even have kids from as far away as Parkes, Taree and Nowra who commit to the gruelling 40 weeks per year obligation.

"To give you an understanding of their commitment, a six-year-old typically trains every day for at least an hour, and this will increase to a minimum of four hours each day when they hit their teens. They do this because they love music and hope to one day join one of the world's leading orchestras. Furthermore, they do this with little government funding. We are a not-for-profit and rely heavily of the community's help."

Everything from a single gold coin donation, right up to a significant corporate donation will go a long way. Every organisation that donates $15,000 or more will receive a complementary orchestral performance at a venue and time of their choice as well as a 30-minute string quartet descending on their business on the Big Busk day!

The SYO is expected to perform to a record crowd of 600,000 Sydneysiders starting at 7.30am on Tuesday October 9, so be sure to head to Sydney's Martin Place, Circular Quay, Pitt Street Mall and Central Station, as well as other pop-up locations that will be revealed on the day via social media. And if you can't attend, follow their busking adventure on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube by following #thebigbusk.

Online donations can be made via

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