Musician on a Mission: A charming and insightful documentary

by Fernella Kernabone

In Bob Connolly and Sophie Raymond's documentary a private girls school prepares for thier biennial musical concert at Sydney's Opera House. The teachers are passionate and exacting while the student's enthusiasm ranges from the super keen to the downright disinterested. This is MRS CAREY'S CONCERT- and it's an absolute beauty of a documentary.

Filmed over 18 months it is really the story of Music Director Mrs Carey, who works tirelessly on the concert, organising rehearsals, encouraging young musicians to stay focused and, more importantly to practice. With so many conflicting influences, ranging from other subjects to boys, all she wants is for her students to put music first. She has so much energy for the project that she is a pleasure to watch.

It's surprising the level of access and trust that Connolly and Raymond have managed to build up over the 18 months they filmed at the school. After a while they must have simply blended in. The result is a warm and at times hilarious observation of the lives of these mostly priviledged school girls. Through clever editing, they found a fantastic story in an unexpected place- the prepartion for a classical music concert- and fortunately the music is great.

by Fernella Kernabone