Blue Mountains Theatre & Community Hub

About Us

The Blue Mountains Concert Society is an incorporated association that is run on a not-for-profit basis by a committee of volunteers from the Blue Mountains Community.  The society presents a series of concerts annually running from February to November and has as its main objective the presentation of musical concerts of a high standard.  All the artists who perform in the annual series are professional musicians of a calibre that makes them at home in the concert halls of the world.  Many of the concerts presented are run-out concerts of the same or similar programs as presented in the major Sydney concert venues or are performed by visiting artists from overseas.

The Blue Mountains Concert Society holds its Annual General Meeting in mid-December, typically on the second or third Thursday.  The committee members are elected at the AGM for the next year.  All financial members are entitled and encouraged to attend.  The committee for the 2015 is as follows:

Phillip Huthnance – President
Alan Barrett – Secretary, Publicity Officer
Kendyll Jordaan –Treasurer
John Donohue - Concert Manager
Georgina Brazier
John Brazier
Gabrielle Donovan
Phyllis Huthnance
Allen Larkin
Racheal Larkin

History

The Blue Mountains Concert Society was founded in 1966 by Fred Astle and Duncan McPhee-Smith.  It presented its first concert on the 24th of August of that year with the Suk Trio from Prague.

The society presented a series of 5 concerts annually up to 2006, and the concerts were mostly attended by subscribers who either took a full subscription or a “take three” subscription, with a few door sales each concert.  The concerts programs and artists were mostly selected from the Musica Viva catalogue.  The offering was mainly classical chamber music, jazz and contemporary artists, including a division of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the King’s Singers, Swingle II, the Stuttgart Chamber Choir and the Tasmania Symphony Orchestra. 

From 2007, the series was expanded to include other groups as well as independent artists, starting with a recital by Rem Urasin in April 2007 in collaboration with the Sydney International Piano Competition and with the Brandenburg Ensemble later that year.  There followed the first known performance of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the Blue Mountains in February 2008 and the Sydney International piano Competition Winner and People’s Choice, Konstantin Shamray and  Tatiana Koloseva respectively.  2009 saw the return of members of the Sydney Symphony in a presentation “Discovering Prokofiev” with Richard Gill.

2010 featured a concert with the Sydney Youth Orchestra, with a piano concerto played by Konstantin Shamray and composed by Sydney composer Daniel Rojas.  2010 was also the first year that we presented a choral concert in St Finbar’s Catholic Church in Glenbrook with the Sydney Chamber Choir.  We enjoy an ongoing relationship with all these and many other artist groups that allows us to plan an annual series that is packed with amazing music and superb delivery.

The number of concerts per annum went to a peak of 12 concerts in 2010.  The number of concerts is more dependent upon our being able to secure suitable dates for the concerts in the mountains than on the availability of artists.  However, it is also dependent upon having sufficient committee members and helpers to assist with the work to make these music evenings a success.  So if you like having this music available in the mountains, please volunteer your help by visiting our Support page.

Venue

The Society's home venue is the magnificent newly built "Blue Mountains Theatre & Community Hub" (formerly Springwood Civic Centre). The grand opening was on 14 March 2015. The concerts organised by the Blue Mountains Concert Society will be held in the new hall in this elegant complex, which can seat 450 to 500 people in comfort and style!

Membership

The core support for the Society comes from our members.  They are a group of people who have a common love of hearing live presentation of a variety of music genres at a high standard.  The Society owes its wide membership base to the relatively high proportion of music lovers that live in the Blue Mountains and surrounds. 

Adult members pay an annual membership fee of $30 that entitles them to ticket prices that are substantially discounted from the non-member prices.  Youth members (full-time student status and of age 25 or under) pay $80, which entitles them to attend any or all of the concerts in the series.

Many of our members subscribe to all concerts, a package known as “the works”, for which the ticket pricing is the most advantageous.  It is the intention to attract members to attend the full series.  When the new annual series is opened for booking, brochures are posted out to current members and to those who have registered their details with us (see Join our Mailing List).  There is an early bird discount on ticket prices for members if they purchase their tickets before the deadline which is usually in late November or early December.

However, many people choose to attend a selection of concerts as non-members, and we welcome them to our wonderful evenings of music.  Tickets can be pre-booked or purchased at the box office on the night of the concerts depending on availability (see Ticket Sales for details).

The Concerts

Many of our concerts commence with a curtain raiser performance by a young artist from the Blue Mountains or the Sydney region.  Details of this young performer program can be found on Young Artist.  Our principal artists then present their program which generally consists of two sets of music of 45 to 50 minute duration, separated by a 20 minute interval. All in all, the concert evenings are a wonderful experience which includes hearing wonderful music in a congenial atmosphere as well the opportunity to chat to artists and friends.

The Musical Mix in the concert series

We believe that it is important to provide our members with a wide variety of music.  There may be some items that you don’t care for at all, but be assured: some members of the audience will appreciate them.  At least give them a hearing, as some unfamiliar works will be unexpectedly enjoyable, and they will be balanced by other items more to your taste.

The mainstay of our members are classical chamber music lovers, and our annual concert series always has a fair content of this genre.  We ask our artists to include some popular classical content in their program, as well as pieces that are composed in the 20th or 21st century.  We also encourage the performance of pieces by Australian composers.  While often the latter two are regarded by many as an atonal aural attack, we find that artists generally choose modern music that is quite accessible.  We also include concerts that are Jazz or of contemporary world music flavour, sometimes interspersed with classical items.  These concerts usually have larger audiences as they have a wider musical appeal.

We try to include concerts that are unusual in terms of program or instruments, such as early music ensembles and brass groups.  Other examples are concerts including the Russian balalaika, the didgeridoo or the theorbo.

Patron

Simon Tedeschi is the Patron of our society, which is a very fitting association.  Simon is a magnificent pianist who has performed regularly in our series in recent years.  He is a great supporter and ambassador of the Society and has provided many good ideas for our concert series, bringing many of his artist friends to perform for us and enhance our musical offering.

 

Springwood Civic Centre becomes the Blue Mountains Theatre & Community Hub

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