Concerts connect church and community

There’s a quiet, creative revolution happening in the South Metro region that you might not be aware of. It happens every quarter and is growing in popularity all the time. It’s a musical revolution at Willetton Uniting Church.

Walking into the hall at Willetton for the first concert of the year was a revelation as the room was filled with people, musical instruments, cameras and even a stuffed kookaburra puppet. It wasn’t what I was expecting. The vibrancy and breadth of talent and performers was astounding. Expert pianists as young as 12-years-old and dashing acapella singers with silver lining their hair, variety was exactly the right word for it.

Willetton Uniting Church’s musical heritage is a long one; the concerts themselves began ten years ago, as current concert convener Lyn Muir endeavoured to provide a platform for pianists in the community to practice performing their craft.

“There is a lack of opportunity for pianists to perform publicly,” she said. “As a pianist myself, I realised I had performance nerves because I rarely got the opportunity to play as a kid.”

For the first four years, the concerts were primarily classical piano music. When drawn on to explain how the variety concerts sprung into being, Lyn said, “Well, one of our pianists wanted to sing.”

The classical and variety concerts alike are populated largely by student musicians from the community around the Willetton area. Rev Lorraine Stokes, minister at Willetton Uniting Church, said of the concerts, “It’s providing connection into the community, it’s something that the community members value, which is the gift of music and fostering musical talent in children.”

Lorraine also noted that for many concertgoers, it is the main reason for them to come into the church, providing precious connection between the community and the congregation.

“We get people in (for the concerts) that would never walk in the church door,” she said.

It’s easy to see the creative talent of this region listening to the notes soar of a superb soprano and the incredible precision of Chopin and Gershwin played by a student musician.

Upcoming concert events at Willetton this year include Classical Piano Recitals on Sunday 26 June and Sunday 25 September, and a Variety Concert on Sunday 13 November. For more information closer to the date, contact Lyn Muir at muireal@iinet.net.au.

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