Our Fiftieth Anniversary
29 & 30 September 2018
Fifty Glorious Sounding Years. What a wonderful weekend of celebrations were held at the end of September 2018! From the start of Saturday morning when the first piece played was to get everybody In The Mood, to Chris and Rosie with I Love an Organ and all the way through to the final offering on Sunday afternoon Thank You for the Music, there was such a wonderful smorgasbord of musical offerings from so many talented people, together with plenty of fine food, laughter and chatter.
How to succinctly summarise a weekend's activities? One observation was the number of tributes being paid throughout the weekend. We attempted to acknowledge each and every person who has played a part in the making of TOSA(WA). Our President, Rodney Raymond made specific mention of Dave Parker and was able to include music being played on the organ by Dave into the program; Chris McPhee made mention of Mal McInnes, as well as Ronald Curtis and Douglas Reeve - the latter being the person who ignited Chris' enthusiasm for theatre organ. Tony Fenelon paid tribute to Ray Thornley. And on the Sunday afternoon, TOSA paid tribute to Tony Fenelon by presenting him with the 2018 National Theatre Organ Award during the fiftieth anniversary celebrations.
One comment received was how wonderfully intimate the concert with Chris McPhee and Rosanne Hosking was, with Rosie almost being amongst us as she sang. And what a variety of music from organ through operatic to jazz. On the Sunday, the impromptu and informal concert by interstate musicians was of an extremely high standard. Then in the afternoon, what a treat to hear Tony Fenelon play! In typical Tony style; there was something of everything - solo organ, organ accompaniment to the roller coaster video, piano and orchestra in Grieg's Piano Concerto, organ and orchestra, organ, piano and orchestra and not to forget the organ and typewriter duet! Again, this was yet another example of people just helping out as Brett Kavanagh stepped in to fill the void left by John Atwell being unable to attend due to illness.
Sunday evening, to the Gala Dinner, and it was fine food and a chance to chat with others. And Monday (for those who had a little energy left) was a wonderful day of touring from Perth down to Fremantle, and around the port city. To quote from one interstate email: And what talent the young organist (Andrew Brown) at the St Patrick's Basilica has.
Len Harris accurately summed up the weekend when he made the following statement during the Sunday morning program: "I feel as though this weekend I have enjoyed just been part of a big musical family".
Now, to the next fifty years...