Coramba Community Hall welcomes Music in the Regions project

Guitarist Andrew Blanch and harpist Emily Granger bring Suite Mágica to Coramba Community Hall for Music in the Regions. Photo: Lyss Photo Stories.

MUSIC in the Regions, a project funded by Create NSW to take classical music into regional areas, brought a “wonderfully magical afternoon” to Coramba Community Hall on Saturday 21 May.

Guitarist Andrew Blanch and harpist Emily Granger took to the stage, delighting a large crowd of captivated classical music lovers with their performance of Suite Mágica.

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Emily told News Of The Area, “Andrew and I spent the afternoon driving along Orara Way from our accommodation at the CBD Motor Inn in Coffs Harbour to the historic town of Coramba.

“We were traveling here for the first concert stop on our tour for Music in the Regions.

“Our program, Suite Mágica, combines our instruments of classical guitar and harp in a recital program full of beauty, versatility, and energy exploring music from Granados and Ravel and new works by Australian composers Elena Kats-Chernin and Ross Edwards.

“Our performance took place at the lovely Coramba Community Hall built in 1914.

“For me as an American, this building looked like pure Australiana.

“With the misty mountains in the background, the open valley with cows grazing amongst the pasture, and the kookaburras laughing, I was just waiting for a wallaby to bounce by.
“I was told by the locals it wasn’t the first time a harpist has performed here.”

According to the Coramba local, an Australian harpist once graced this same stage playing country-western on her harp.

Andrew and Emily gave their performance to a packed house, getting their ten-day tour off to a great start.

“The warm and receptive audience was so thankful that we had traveled so far to their small community to bring them such high-quality and exciting classical music.

“The Orara Valley Axemen were behind the bar serving the audience refreshments between sets, and a couple of harpists traveled from far and wide to attend the concert.

“It is always a treat to meet musicians.

“After our performance, we were invited to the local pub, The Coramba Hotel, for a couple of pints, outside again with the fabulous view overlooking the valley.

“We were joined by Music in the Regions Artistic Director Janine Collins, who came all the way from Sydney as well as Producer Annabelle Swainston and Marketing Olivia Deskoski.”

When in Coffs, Andrew and Emily spent the afternoon in Sawtell with Stephanie Sims’ Ukulele group, Uko Ono.

Steph told NOTA, “We weren’t sure how the workshop session was going to go – the only thing we knew we had in common was strings.

“In addition to an intimate performance from Emily and Andrew, we received some great tips for playing and got to perform three songs together.

“We chose songs from our repertoire which have quite sparse arrangements to allow space for the harp and classical guitar to shine through.

“I think the best message we received was to really listen to each other.

“We have so many beautiful voices in our group it was lovely to hear it all come together,” said Steph.




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