Orchestra celebrates 30 years of music passion


It was 30 years ago when Chris Thompson began playing flute in the Bundaberg Symphony Orchestra.

This weekend, she and the rest of the talented musicians will celebrate three decades of coming together for the love of music at a special event at Shalom Performing Arts Precinct.

Ms Thompson said the 30th Anniversary Concert would kick off from 2 pm, featuring music from the very first concert and performances from members past and present.

Rosalee Morris returns to conduct the orchestra at th 30th Anniversary Concert. She has chosen Norwegian Dances for her return to the podium. Rosalee conducted from 1998 to 2000.

“Past conductors have been invited to feature in the event and each one has chosen the music they would like to conduct,” she said.

“There will even be an anniversary cake to share with the orchestra.”

Founder Heather McCabe wanted a group for music lovers

Ms Thompson said the orchestra first came to be in 1989, when the late Heather McCabe wanted to create a group for adult musicians.

“At the time, she had arrived in Bundaberg as a string teacher and realised there were lots of music groups for children but none for adults,” Ms Thompson said.

“So she put the word out there about starting the Bundaberg Symphony Orchestra and she got enough people interested.”

Ms Thompson said she was quick to join in with the orchestra in 1989 and had been an active member to this day.

“It has given me a chance to get out and play my flute,” she said.

“I think, if I didn't have the orchestra it would probably never come out of its case!”

Ms Thompson said social interaction was also a big part of why she loved the orchestra.

“You get to mix with like-minded people and play with a large group, which is a fantastic feeling,” she said.

“It also keeps your mind active which I think is very important.”

Bundaberg Symphony Orchestra rehearsing for their 30th anniversary concert.
Bundaberg Symphony Orchestra rehearsing for their 30th anniversary concert.

Orchestra highlights

Ms Thompson said over the years there had been many highlights including workshops, performances and more.

“We have had some very good soloists join us, from guitar to piano,” she said.

“We have also been able to up our skill level through workshops, which have definitely put us through our paces.”

With about 30 members currently in the orchestra, Ms Thompson said there was always lots of fun to be had.

“We have quite a range of ages, from 18 years old to over 80 years old,” she said.

“It really is a group that offers something for everyone.”

The 30th Anniversary Concert will be held this Sunday from 2 pm at the Shalom Performing Arts Precinct.