Erica Rasmussen

Community Arts & Cultural Development

Crashendo! Bass Project

The Crashendo! Bass Project will boost our lower strings program providing the right sized cellos and double basses to our youngest students. Strengthening our bass section is vital to the future growth of our orchestra.

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Crashendo! is an El Sistema-inspired music education program at Laverton College, Victoria, offering tuition in string and woodwind instruments. The Crashendo! Bass Project will build the quality and sustainability of the lower strings program and provide the foundation needed to realise the long term goal of establishing a full Crashendo! orchestra. The Project will increase the number of places available, increase the ensemble size and allow students to perform more challenging repertoire.

It will also increase opportunities for engagement with community collaborators in workshops and masterclasses. It will raise the Crashendo! profile as a music program in Melbourne’s western suburbs which offers students the unique opportunity to play in an orchestra.

Crashendo! has been identified by Victoria Police as a ‘protective factor’ in the lives of participants and their families. Protective factors offset social, behavioural and health problems while promoting social development, wellbeing and resilience. Crashendo! works to create social and community connectedness through regular group rehearsals and music performances shared with families and the community. Young people in a connected community are less likely to be involved in unlawful activities.

The Bass Project will allow a larger group of students to experience the current benefits of Crashendo! in learning to be creative and informed musicians and members of society. Social bonds, connectedness and a sense of identity are developed through making music together. Children develop a broad appreciation of music and skills in teamwork, commitment, concentration and coordination. Participants show improved attendance at school, increased attention in class and more positive interactions.

The Bass Project will include the purchase of –

4 x quarter-sized cellos
1 x one-tenth-sized double basses
1 x one-eighth-sized double basses

Plus bows, sheet music and accessories.

For more information, please visit:

We would love your support!

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Erica completed a Master of Music Performance in Percussion and Bachelor of Music (Honours) at the University of Melbourne with Timothy Hook and Robert Cossom. While there, she was awarded the J.S Bach prize and received a scholarship to study with Montreal Symphony Orchestra timpanist Andrei Malashenko at McGill University (Canada). In 2009, Erica received a grant from the Cybec Foundation to participate in a Winter Music Creative Residency at the Banff Centre, Canada.

Erica has managed and directed of number of professional and community projects since 2009. She has been successful in receiving a number of grants to help fund the projects, including Moonee Valley Foundation, ArtPlay and City of Melbourne. The projects include ‘Falling Colours of Autumn’, a community art and music project at the Incinerator Arts Complex in Moonee Ponds, ‘Paint What You Hear’, a series of workshops where children respond to live music using paint, and most recently a multi-disciplinary project, ‘Silhouettes, Inside Outside’ at fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne.

Erica is a regular teaching artist and workshop director at ArtPlay and with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

She is also Director of ‘Crashendo!’, an El Sistema-inspired music program at Laverton P-12 College and instrumental percussion teacher at various primary and secondary schools.

Erica is an avid performer, enjoys playing various gigs around Melbourne and is co-founder of Tungsten Duo and the award-winning percussion trio, BED Percussion.


Australian String Teachers Association Victoria


Belinda Young-Healy


Marcia Lewis


Graeme Croft


Edward Harris


Kiera Dingle


Veronica Ryan


Nat Grant


Gary Kirby