A Star is Born – Fiona Jopson

Herald Sun Aria Winner, 2015 Where did life begin for you? I grew up in the small town of Scone in NSW in the wine and horse region of the Hunter Valley, population 5000. I then moved to Melbourne to study at the Victorian College of the Arts and graduated with a Bachelor of Music…

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Caroline Almonte Recognised for Pianistic Excellence

Melbourne pianist Caroline Almonte has won the Excellence in Classical Music Award in the 2019 Australian Women in Music Awards, which were announced at Brisbane’s Powerhouse on 9 October. This award, one of 15 that celebrate the achievements of women in the Australian music industry, recognises female classical musicians in their mid-to-late careers who have…

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Dame Kiri performance at Her Majesty’s

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa performed in Ballarat on 30 October 2016 where the internationally acclaimed opera singer first won the Herald Sun Aria in 1966 at Royal South Street. Dame Kiri became Patron for South Street in 2006. Tickets are available at Her Majesty’s Theatre. “The city holds special memories for me. It was there…

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Daughters of Dance

A brief and biased history of Dance and Calisthenics in Ballarat in recent times, and its relationship with the RSSS Competitions. A. M. Cole, as at February 2000 And so it was, that early in the 1900’s, Terpsichore the Muse of Dance looked down upon the land and saw that it was ruled by false…

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Florence Lee Memorial Prize – History

The late Florence Lee was a piano teacher who supported Royal South Street Society. She continued to show an interest in young pianists well into her nineties and came each year to watch from the front row as her eyesight failed. It was the wish of her son, David, that this prize be continued in…

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Frank Robertson-Smith Award – History

Frank Robertson-Smith was born in Ballarat. He was a gifted musician on piano and pipe organ, an accompanist, choirmaster and teacher. It is from his estate that a legacy allows for several generous awards in his name each year, across various age groups, to promote excellence amongst young musicians.

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Frank Wright

Frank Joseph Henry Wright (born Smeaton, Victoria, 1901; died 16 November 1970), was a composer, music educator, conductor, publisher, and cornet player. He was the conductor of the City of Ballarat Brass Band and Soldiers’ Memorial Brass Band. He was also Australian Cornet Solo Champion. As cornet soloist he went to England in 1933, where…

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Happy Birthday Debating

It is now 125 years since the first competitions were held, but this month we are also celebrating 137 years since South Street was first established as The Young Men’s General Debating Society on 10 July 1879. The Society made up of eight young men proposed to meet every Friday night and indulge their passion…

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Iron Maidens of Dance

A potted history of theatrical dancing in Australia. A. M. Cole 1998   The Venues Australia’s first theatre was a converted convict hut of mud and stone, in 1789 in Sydney town. It held 60 people, and its first production was a satire on colonial life. Our first privately owned theatre was built and run…

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Margaret Schofield

Margaret Schofield was one of the Australia’s leading pianists during her distinguished career, performing as a soloist, accompanist and actively teaching the piano for almost 60 years. Margaret was born in Melbourne and already as a young teenager was teaching piano during the years of the Great Depression to supplement her family’s income. She gained…

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