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Three reasons not to miss 50 Years of the ANU School of Music

Emily Allen

This weekend celebrates 50 years of the School of Music.

Established in 1965 in Manuka under the name of Canberra school of Music, the move to the School’s current location at the Australian National University took place in 1976 to become the first purpose-built music facility in Australia.



The School now plays a leading role in the cultural life of Canberra, delivers world-class music education as well as the heritage listed building being home to the 1,400 capacity premier concert venue – Llewellyn Hall.

Beginning Friday evening and running through to Sunday afternoon, the calendar of celebrations is sure to cater to all with lectures, exhibitions, masterclasses, plus national and international ensemble and soloist performances.

The rich history of the School is made up of people; why not take part in celebrating the half-century milestone by popping in and being part of what the next 50 years has in store?

Here are three things not to miss:

#1 Joe Chindamo and Zoe Black

On Friday evening the School of Music and guests will be treated to Zoe Black and Joe Chindamo performing their music from the album The Goldberg Inventions – J.S. Bach’s original and complete Goldberg variations with a newly composed counterpart for violin.

Award winning Joe Chindamo easily takes his place amongst the best jazz pianists in the world. Also a composer and arranger, Chindamo cannot be categorised easily.

Zoe Black is a violinist who has performed throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician and as a member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra where she held the position of Assistant Leader for five years. Black is known for her beauty of sound and natural virtuosity.

The evening will include a VIP reception and début of the new athenaeum space on the ground floor, a welcome speech by Head of School Royston Gustavson, Friends of the School plaque unveiling, a Welcome to Country and the official launch of the weekend and the Whitworth Roach prize.

Ernest Llewellyn

Ernest Llewellyn

#2 Whitworth Roach Classical Music Performance Competition

The inaugural Whitworth Roach Classical Music Performance Competition will be launched on Friday evening with the competition finals consisting of public performances by entrants on Saturday 19 September in Llewellyn Hall.

In addition to a prize-pool of $20,000, the supporting endowment generously donated by Ms Christine Roach also makes provision for the ANU School of Music to invite a musician or musicians of international acclaim to visit the university in the week of the competition each year. The musician/s will contribute to the educational and outreach programmes of the School as well as act as competition judges.

Join the School of Music as the finalists for the inaugural Whitworth Roach Classical Music Performance Competition perform their chosen solo classical music pieces, the winners are announced and watch as the competition becomes one of Australia’s most lucrative competitions for tertiary-level musical performance.


#3 Alumni Function and Community Performances

Sunday 20 September will be filled with School of Music alumni and community performances. Around five separate exhibitions curated by current students will be dotted throughout the building. Share Your Memories will be set up in the video conferencing studio and open for guests to film to film their memory of the School which will be made into a short documentary.

Performances will take place in Llewellyn Hall from 1:00pm by community groups such as the Australian National University Choral Society, Llewellyn Choir, Oriana Choir and Woden Valley Youth Choir, plus courtyard performances outside the Wig and Pen on the ground floor by ANU ensembles.

the essentials
What: School of Music 50th Anniversary
When: Friday 18 September – Sunday 20 September
Where: ANU School of Music, William Herbert Place off Childers Street, Acton
Visit the SoM 50th on the web here, or follow on Facebook or Twitter.


Emily Allen

Emily is an arts administrator with a background in writing and music. By day, she works at the ANU School of Music, and by night she moonlights as a contributing writer, the Communications Coordinator and Secretary for MusicACT, and dabbles in freelance marketing, social media and communications for the arts. More about the Author

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