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a2. orchestra team member Charlotte Greenway, sat down with percussionist Cara Daily, who will be performing at our next concert “The American”. They spoke about Cara’s interests as well as her beginnings as a percussionist, what playing chamber music is like for a percussionist, and about Cara’s future ambitions.


Cara is a percussionist originally from Brisbane, now living in Perth. She has played with ensembles such as the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Fremantle Chamber Orchestra, The Queensland Ballet, and Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra. She is currently serving as Musica Viva’s Music Residency Artist, and when not immersed in the world of music, she finds enjoyment in spending time with her beloved greyhound, Skippy.

The first thing Charlotte asked Cara about, was how she first became interested in playing percussion and Cara said, “I started playing percussion in high school after learning piano for many years. My high school needed more percussion players for band so I thought I would give it a go, and never looked back!”

Charlotte followed up by asking Cara what she enjoys about playing percussion and Cara replied, “I love percussion because I can play different things all the time. Annoyingly, my attention span can be quite shocking a lot of the time, so being able to switch things up with a lot with different instruments and techniques allows me to stay focused and develop as a musician. I also just love the amount of cool instruments I get to play and how awesome percussion sounds when it is added to any piece of music”.

Cara Daily performing Timpani with a2. orchestra at the sold-out concert, "Triumph & Tragedy" in 2023
Photo by James Trimble

Seeing as Cara will be performing with us in an upcoming chamber music concert, Charlotte asked Cara how playing in a small chamber ensemble is different to playing in a large orchestra, to which she replied, “I think playing in a chamber ensemble is different to playing in a large orchestra for me, because it gives me the opportunity to work more closely with string players. When playing in an orchestra, percussion is right up the back and we often don’t get the chance to converse with other players during rehearsals. When playing in chamber ensembles, it’s a lot easier to talk about musical ideas, and to also network with new people”.

After this, Charlotte was curious to know about any pre-performance rituals or habits that Cara has before she goes on stage to perform and Cara replied that, “the main thing for me is just ensuring I have a few hours of downtime before performing. Whether it is walking my dog, listening to some non-classical music, or getting a coffee with a friend, I need to have a few hours before performing where I am not thinking about it. I think this is because I work best with a clear mind and it helps with any performance anxieties I might have.”

Lastly, Charlotte asked Cara about what her future plans as a musician are, to which Cara responded saying, “since completing my Masters degree in Orchestral Percussion from the University of Western Australia, I have enjoyed taking a bit of a break from the very busy student life, and I have focused on freelancing and teaching. I perform a bit with WASO and FCO as a casual percussionist and I work with Musica Viva in their residency program as a primary school music classroom teacher. I am thoroughly enjoying teaching the fundamentals of music to younger students and I am starting to maybe even consider a career in primary school education!”

We are absolutely delighted to have Cara perform with us as part of our upcoming concert “The American.” Tickets are selling fast so be sure to book your tickets now to catch Cara on stage.

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