These mid year concerts were started with seed funding from the Myer Foundation to offer professional solo opportunities to leading young Australian string players. These opportunities are now offered to alumni, including international alumni.
A notable feature of MSE is that members have the opportunity to perform a concerto with the ensemble. This is a great way young performers to build confidence and enhance their skills. Traditionally, these concerts are held in December.
To start the year all members are grouped into smaller ensembles for experience playing in unconducted duets, trios, quartets, quintets, sextets and even octets.
The MSE tours overseas, usually each two to three years. Touring is a magical time when music is performed, lasting friendships made and an insight into other cultures is gained.
The typical tour format is:
- 14-16 days in duration
- Visit at least 3 cities
- Rehearse and perform with leading youth orchestras
- Attend Masterclasses with noted, leading players and teachers
- Where possible, billeted with local musical families to experience another culture and sightseeing
Generally, an MSE tour involves secondary and tertiary students, as well as parents who wish to accompany the tour.
Recent tours have taken MSE to Singapore/ Kuala Lumpur/Hong Kong in 2000, Germany 2003, New Zealand 2004, Germany 2005 (Berlin, Munich and Stuttgart), Darwin 2006, Scandinavia 2007, Spain and Portugal 2010, Slovenia, Croatia and Italy 2013 and Germany in 2015. The 2018 tour will visit Zurich, Stuttgart, Munich, Salzberg & Vienna.