Review: Children’s Choirs & Pop-up Chamber Orchestra

June 23, 2016

Friday 3rd and Sunday 5th June 2016

Solstice soirée series begins

News: Solstice Soirée and Concerto Competition 2016 kick off mid-year concerts at Music For Canberra

The weather was cold and wintry, but three concerts by Music for Canberra students warmed the hearts of their audiences on Friday 3rd and Sunday 5th June.

Kicking off our annual ‘Solstice Soirée Series’ (a series of intimate performances by private and group students who aren’t part of our larger ensemble groups, giving them the opportunity for public performance to build their musical skills) were the adult (and some older youth) woodwind students, at 6pm on Friday 3rd June at the Ainslie Arts Centre.

Performers warmed the mood and the room (and it did get quite warm!) with a beautiful program of flute and recorder music – with some brave adults performing for the first time! As anyone who has played in front of an audience can attest to, no matter how seasoned a performer, there are always those pre-concert nerves – so well done to all students for overcoming their nerves and achieving new personal confidence goals as performers.

At 3pm on Sunday 5th June the Little Woodwinds Soirée continued our series in the Main Hall of the Ainslie Arts Centre, with a lovely concert showcasing their efforts so far this year. Conductor Barbara Jerjen and her recorder students played for friends and family with a wide selection of repertoire including Twinkle Twinkle, Russian folk songs and Greensleeves.

To conclude the concert, an engaging piece performed by the Shcnabelflotes Youth Recorder Ensemble, called Triple Fipple involved melody passing, tongue clicking, foot stamping and some wonderful jazz harmonies and chromatic movement. A fun relaxed concert that showcased the versatility of the recorder in all its sizes!

Next up in the Solstice Soirée Series will be Sempre Strings performing with Kaleidoscope, two of MFC’s adult performance ensembles, on Wednesday 29th June. We look forward to welcoming you along to this concert, and to any of our many other concerts on at this time of year – check our events page to stay across other performances you may wish to attend, to see MFC students in action!

The annual Concerto Competition:

The Wesley Music Centre was the venue at 5pm on Sunday 5th June, for Music For Canberra’s 2016 Concerto Competition. Eight finalists performed one movement each of a concerto of their choice, accompanied by pianist Anthony Smith.

Adjudicators Vernon Hill, Barbara Jane Gilby and Leonard Weiss were highly impressed with the standard. The winner, announced within the next week, will receive an invitation to perform the entire concerto with the Canberra Youth Orchestra at their next Llewellyn Hall concert, as well as a prize package to kick-start their professional music career.

The standard overall was exceptional, as was the surprising element that not all students presented playing their orchestral instrument! Jonathan Lee, CYO Cellist, astounded with his performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concert No 2, and for what we believe may be the first time in the concerto competition’s history, CYO members Elliot Murphy and Charlie Barnes presented a duet: Vivaldi’s Concerto for 2 Trumpets, on piccolo trumpets.

Congratulations to all our performers this weekend across all performances. They were all wonderful examples of the range of instruments, activities and accomplishments at Music for Canberra, and confirmation that music belongs to all of us.

Kathleen Grant
CEO | Artistic Director

For more pictures of the performances, please see our photo album on Facebook – parents, we encourage you to post your own photos to our Facebook page, or email them to so that we can add them to this photo album! We are missing photos particularly of the Concerto Competition on Sunday.