William Barton and Anthony Garcia were among the performers to impress.
William Barton and Anthony Garcia were among the performers to impress.

Music festival a hit

IT hit all the right notes and looks like becoming an annual addition to the town’s music calendar.

The first Bellingen Music Festival has been given the thumbs up with near-capacity crowds for parts of the weekend’s program at the Memorial Hall.

An initiative of Camp Creative, the festival kicked off on Saturday with a free concert by the Bellingen Big Band and finished with a rousing Warsaw Concerto played by David Helfgott and the Bellingen Youth Orchestra under the direction of Ann Phelan.

According to Camp Creative president Peter Nance, soprano Annalisa Kerrigan had the audience enraptured with her renditions of Vilja and Ave Maria and the duet of Niki Vasilakis on violin and Emma-Jane Murphy on cello had the hall ringing to Ravel and Kodaly.

“Mark Walton, David Howie, Nick Parnell, William Barton and Anthony Garcia all contributed to a very varied and entertaining program,” Mr Nance said.

“The Wind Chill Five was the surprise of the event with five youngsters from the Sydney Conservatorium including former Bellingen student Suzanne Sherrington playing some lively and difficult pieces. Other standout young musicians were Robert Sherrington and Esther Henderson,” he said.

For many, the highlight of the festival came on Saturday night when David Helfgott and cellist Claudia Douglas played works by Mendelssohn, Paradis and Schumann.

A Camp Creative meeting today is likely to endorse plans for the festival to become an annual event.



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