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Community & Business

21 May, 2021

Locals take the stage at Warren

The inaugural Warren Chamber Music Festival was a great success.

By Lucie Peart

The three-day event held over the weekend was a series of four concerts, featuring some of Australia’s and the world’s most talented chamber musicians.

A highlight for local music lovers, was Saturday’s performance at the Window on the Wetlands centre stage, showcasing the talents of Gilgandra and Warren students of the Macquarie Conservatorium of Music, taught by local music teacher Nick Evans.

The young musicians performed supported by Saturday’s main band, Pacific Brass, in a number composed by fellow festival performer Fiona Loader. “Itchy Feet” was composed by Ms Loader with the younger skill set in mind.

“I was honoured to be commissioned by the Warren Chamber Music Festival to write a piece to be performed by Pacific Brass in combination with woodwind and brass students of the region. This was an immense challenge to combine the professional players in Pacific Brass with the less experienced but highly enthusiastic music students of the area,” said Ms Loader.

The piece’s title ‘Itchy Feet’ is symbolic of the past year’s COVID-19 restrictions.

“This piece symbolises the coming together of professionals with students, urban with rural, all made possible with this wonderful festival. It is a chance for us in the city to travel to see new environments and meet new communities and hospitable people ‐ for young and old any everyone in between to be united through music.”

Pacific Brass conductor Benjamin Crocker also gave the young students a big thrill, inviting a few to the stage to guest conduct the band. Pacific Brass performed a number of other pieces such as works by Gershwin, Peter Allen “I still call Australia Home”, Pharrell Williams “Happy” and Mark Taylor “Los Hermanos De Bop”. They even suprised one young musician by correctly guessing his favourite song as the theme to Star Wars, and played a snippet for him.

Pacific Brass consists of musicans at the top of their profession, many are national or state champions and internationally renowned perfomers. They are based in Sydney and were formed in 2000. The day concert was a great mix of premier musical talent and an expression of the vitallity and joy that musical education can bring to young people.

The students finished the concert thoroughly inspired, vowing to practise more at home to become more accomplished like the members of Pacific Brass.

Other events held for the music festival included performances at the Collie Country Women’s Association Hall and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Catholic Church, Warren. Performers also included Sonia Anfiloff dramatic soprano, Marieanne Noonan mezzo soprano, Kiran Phatak flute, Nick Evans clarinet, Greg Taylor bassoon, Jessica Oddie, Frances Evans, Peter Clark and Natalia Harvey all violin, Katie Yap and Charlotte Fetherston viola, Thomas Rann and Alexandra Partridge cello and Daniel Dean double bass. The performers tackled everything from Strauss, Bach and Vivaldi to the more modern tunes performed by Pacific Brass.

Organiser Frances Evans said she was pleased with the ethanisum and attendance at the inaugural event, which sold over 450 tickets to the three main performances, with Saturday’s youth concert a free event.

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