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Willoughby Symphony: New magical musical performances (virtually!)

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Willoughby Symphony Musical Performances
Willoughby Symphony Musical Performances are now available virtually!

Willoughby Symphony musical performances are a favourite of North Shore families, who love having the beloved musicians as part of the cultural mix locally. Now Willoughby Symphony is entering the digital realm to bring you a captivating series of weekly performances (on a new Facebook page!) 


The unexpected COVID-19 crisis might have changed many things about our daily lives, but the magical music of Willoughby Symphony has not been stopped by the virus.

The creativity of its artists is now available online, where you can experience exciting virtual orchestral performances in breathtaking or intimate settings. It’s a chance to connect with and get to know the musicians better.

The new videos of the musicians show them performing in their homes, empty venues and even a scenic location.  There’s also recordings from previous symphony concerts to relive and enjoy.

Willoughby Symphony musical performances: What to watch

The Willoughby Symphony musical performance virtual series is still in its early days but there have already been some thrilling moments.

A Spoonful of Sugar

The video performance of A Spoonful of Sugar, from the beloved musical Mary Poppins, features over 30 musicians and singers from Pacific Opera alumni.

Shake it Off!

Two of its younger musicians, recently engaged cellist Liam Meany and double bass player Isabella Brown, helped us shake off our worries with a delightful rendition of Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off. Isabella and Liam have been self-isolating together and having a lot of fun arranging popular songs into duets they can play and share with family and friends. Everyone loves a bit of Tay Tay and they thought it might be a fun way to help everyone shake off their worries! They also relive a memorable moments from their exhilarating concerts last year. 

Willoughby Symphony: What’s next?

There’s so much more to come from Willoughby Symphony musical performances! From exquisite strings, boisterous brass and edgy percussion to sublime harp, brilliant woodwind and glamorous opera, and another very special virtual orchestra performance celebrating Beethoven’s special birthday year. There’s music for all the family – the classics, a bit of pop, and exciting performances for children.

In the July school holidays children can enjoy a thrilling performance of famous Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony with special narration from Sydney conductor George Ellis who will explain how all the different parts of the orchestra work.

Willoughby Symphony musical performances

Dr Nicholas Milton AM, Artistic Director and Chief Conductor for Willoughby Symphony, explains the inspiration.

1) What inspired Willoughby Symphony Orchestra to host virtual concerts?

In these unprecedented times, when many of our audience may be experiencing isolation and anxiety, the musicians and I felt it was incredibly important to maintain a connection with them. And while we would love to be sharing the thrill of live music, we unfortunately cannot do so.

I’m therefore delighted that Willoughby Symphony has entered the digital realm with a new Facebook page where we are sharing weekly performances by our musicians. We want to bring joy to all those to our fabulous supporters and hopefully we will introduce our wonderful orchestra to many new people.

2) Do you think classical music is beneficial during this time of isolation?

Now, more than ever, music can play an important part in our lives. It is our solace, our comfort. It brings us joy and it lifts our spirits. It is our exhilarating inspiration. Music unites us and keeps us connected. And at a certain moment, we will again be together, bringing joy back into lives through the magic of music, and the thought that this will, when it’s finally safe, again come to be is what can help to sustain us all during this period.  

Music is a beacon of comfort and hope during these times. It is nourishment for our souls and our spirits. We hope that our virtual performances provide comfort and joy to those who experience them.

3) What have been some standout moments of the virtual concert series?

The Spoonful of Sugar video well and truly started things off with a bang! A video like that is so fun to watch but is the result of many hours of hard work and dedication from lots of talented people. And there’s so much more to come.

Follow the Willoughby Symphony Facebook page to experience all the wonderful performances, to receive news about the orchestra and other interesting content.


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