The Con connects with musicians out west

Professor Neal Peres Da Costa (centre) with the Early Music Ensemble in Bathurst in October 2016

After the success of last year’s regional tour, the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music Early Music Ensemble and Chamber Choir returns for a weekend of music making in the Blue Mountains and Bathurst in November.

Up to 40 tertiary musicians will head west on a three-day road tour to bring the choral music of Iceland and Italy, and ensemble music of Georg Philipp Telemann, Claudio Monteverdi and Thomas Arne, the man who composed Rule Britannia, to regional New South Wales.

Leading the tour is Early Music Ensemble director Professor Neal Peres Da Costa and Associate Professor Neil McEwan, director of choirs at the Sydney Conservatorium. The two alumni of the University of Sydney and are looking forward to sharing their love of music and historical performance.

“This is the perfect opportunity to showcase the talents of our students as they work collaboratively in ensembles. We spend precious time together on the road, and when we are not in concerts and workshops, we have important discussions about life, careers, opportunities and, generally, have fun building musical friendships,” said Professor Peres Da Costa.

“We learn so much from these collaborative ventures and it’s a great opportunity to offer advice about studying music at a tertiary level at the Con and University. I am looking forward to meeting new musical friends and making music together,” said Associate Professor McEwan.

Head of School and Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Professor Anna Reid, will join the tour to play the cello with the Early Music Ensemble and is looking forward to strengthening music connections between Sydney and regional NSW.

“Many of the students going on tour came from regional areas and are an inspiration for future musicians. I am also looking forward to meeting our alumni at the concerts,” said Professor Reid.

Associate Professor McEwan is looking forward to catching up with an old colleague he toured with almost 40 years ago. “Gavin Tipping, the organist at All Saints Cathedral, and I met in 1978, when we were both appointed organists of St Mary’s Cathedral Choir, for a Sydney to Germany tour. Music brings us together again after all this time,” he said.

The Bathurst concert coincides with the Feast of All Saints. The Conservatorium Chamber Choir will sing in the Sunday morning mass at All Saints Cathedral. The concert in St Michael & St John Cathedral will help raise funds for the Cathedral’s restoration. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Regional tour dates

Friday 3 November
St Columba’s High School, Springwood
11.15am and 1.30pm concerts (invited schools only)

Saturday 4 November
St Michael & St John Cathedral, Corner of Keppel and William Streets, Bathurst
2pm concert – $10 tickets on the door

Sunday 5 November
All Saints Anglican Cathedral, 3 Church Street Bathurst
9am – Choral Mass to celebrate All Saints Day (free)
11am – SCM Chamber Choir and Early Music Ensemble concert (free)

Media enquiries: Jacqui Smith 0422 418 735.