A generational musical celebration from Coffs Harbour City Orchestra

Coffs Harbour City Orchestra’s Celebrations concert will feature all ages of musicians and a wide range of music genres.

GENERATIONS, the theme of Coffs Harbour City Orchestra’s (CHCO) first gala concert since 2019, celebrates and features the young aspiring musicians, the musical families within the orchestra and some intergenerational composers of prominence.

With an evening concert on Saturday 3 September and a 2pm matinee on Sunday 4 September inside the Princess Room at Sawtell RSL, the concert will be headlined by a performance of the Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor with local young virtuoso Sam Woolford on piano.

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“The Piano Concerto in A taps into the colour of Norwegian folk music coupled with romantic form to give us the melodic warmth for which Grieg is cherished,” Josh Jeremy from CHCO told News Of The Area.

Playing the piece, at just eighteen years old, is multi-talented musician Sam Woolford, a protégé of local pianist Alice Jamison.

“Along with his HSC studies, Sam is working towards his AMus certificate in music and is looking to post-school studies in music,” said Alice.

“He’s an impressive pianist.

“He has all the attributes of a great musician – musical, intelligent, sensitive.

“It has been a delight to teach Sam during his musical journey, which I hope will be long and rewarding,” she said.

Other diverse selections on the program include selections from Blue Danube and Radetzky March by the Strauss family, an Australian flair with music by Australian Elena Kats-Chernin and some program music by Robert W. Smith expressing both calm and fury.

“As generationally diverse as our orchestra members are, so is our program,” Chenoa Wilson orchestra president told NOTA.

“We are enjoying playing and showcasing music spanning a broad range of genres such as classical, modern contemporary, show tunes, and even a homegrown composition from one of our talented young members.”

The orchestra is thrilled to have the mellifluous trumpeter Tim Egan, who is also the orchestra musical director, joining them as a soloist for a special musical premiere.

Tim Egan told NOTA, “We are truly excited to present this gala concert where we are highlighting the younger members of the orchestra.

“Youth today can often be victims of constant criticism, so we support our youth in their musical endeavours and you will be blown away by their talent.

“I will also be joining the soloist line-up with a special arrangement for flugelhorn and orchestra – I just hope I can match it with the young ones,” said Tim.

The orchestra is relishing the opportunity to feature not only the young and aspiring musicians but also celebrating the young-at-heart musicians who provide guidance and a steady hand.

The CHCO’s philosophy is that community music is invaluable as it provides a unique opportunity where people from all ages, abilities and walks of life can come together, inspire, collaborate, improve and create something wonderful together.

It allows musicians from ten through eighty-five years young to all be playing together.

The concert is also a nod to its own past with the orchestra formed in 1979 when Danny Cowen and his twelve-member ensemble started rehearsals in the library of the Coffs Harbour High School.

Life member Joy Griffin, who has been involved with the orchestra for those subsequent 43 years, told NOTA, “It has been rewarding seeing the Orchestra evolve from its humble beginnings into such a large high-quality Orchestra.

“Community spirit has always been at the heart of the orchestra and remains today.

“We always encourage young students to join us.
“To give them the experience of playing in a group; and we try to make our concerts accessible to as many different people as possible.

“The success of the orchestra is largely due to our excellent conductor Tim Egan who has been at the helm for the last nine years doing an outstanding job,” said Joy.

The orchestra provides regular updates on what they are up to on their Facebook page and website.


Coffs Harbour City Orchestra will perform its first gala concert, themed Celebrations, at The Princess Room at Sawtell RSL on 3 and 4 September.

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