My daughter may, or may not, be visible in this picture. OK, she is. This is how I'm spending my Saturday mornings this year, taking her to orchestra practice.
It's pretty interesting, actually, watching a strings orchestra learning new pieces in (what seems to me, a musical ignoramus) remarkably little time.
This takes place in the Old Queensland Museum, a charming building of decorative brickwork that barely survived the Bjelke-Petersen era of historic building destruction. Now used by Queensland Youth Orchestra, and some other music or dance groups, it's a really good venue for them, although parts of the building are still in a state of decay. I think the State government maintains it to the minimum they can get away with.
I don't usually stay for the whole practice, and so I am becoming quite familiar with how the area around the Brisbane showgrounds and parts of the Valley are developing.
The Royal National Association, which owns the freehold of this large slab of close to inner city real estate, has embarked on a huge development project of the precinct, the first residential part of which will be finished later this year. The apartment blocks are in their final stages, and I am a bit surprised at how many there are. They look a bit crammed together, to be honest, with some apartments looking to have not so fantastic views into the next block. But who knows, it may look a lot better when fully finished and landscaped. It is being built by Lend Lease, who I think have a good record.
I dropped into the on site sales office today and was told they are all sold (bar 2 which the buyers handed back), and two new large blocks which are not yet started are fully sold as well, at significantly higher price than the first bunch. I think he said 400 units will be in the new blocks; there must be at least that number, probably more, in the blocks that are nearly finished. It seems clear that buyers are expecting this new precinct is going to be a success.
In fact, looking at the huge number of number of future apartment blocks the RNA thinks it can build around the showgrounds, it's hard to believe there will be enough showgrounds left for a decent Exhibition. It's also hard to believe the RNA won't end up incredibly wealthy from the development process. They'll probably be able to h byave the first agricultural show on the Moon.
But back to young teens and kids playing music. When I work out the best way to upload it, I'll link to a track from the first evening concert my daughter was in a couple of weeks ago. They're pretty good, to my untrained ear, at least.