Prompt Corner: Our Fifth Birthday Celebrations

A Milestone Reached: Our Fifth Birthday

The Centre was buzzing as Melbourne’s music-loving community braved Melbourne’s heatwave for our Fifth Birthday celebrations in February.

Melbourne Recital Centre’s Fifth birthday was marked by two special events that celebrated the city’s commitment to its Best Place to Hear and the incredible artistic diversity and quality that support brings.

On 6 February, a special dinner on stage in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall opened the festivities. Guests were treated to wonderful performances by the Italian women’s choir, La Voce della Luna, superb recorder and harp playing by Genevieve Lacey and Marshall McGuire, the relaxed musical tapestry of guitarist and songwriter Lee Morgan, and *Lotte Betts-Dean*’s ethereal voice which transported the guests to celestial heights.

The evening raised just over $100,000 for the Centre’s Share More Music community access program and the diverse concert program to which its aligned.

On Saturday 8 February, the Centre opened its doors to over 5,000 music-lovers for a free, all-day community celebration of music in all its forms. Events included a three-hour Bach marathon, an open jazz jam session where audience members were invited to bring their own instruments on stage and join the house band, a composition lab and an eclectic range of performances by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Ukulele Kollective, and the Victoria Welsh Choir, to name a few.

The festivities spilled onto the streets as Melbourne’s iconic food trucks helped to sustain the audience’s energy. The culmination of the day saw a 1200-voice choir led by Jonathan Welch AM, Director of the Choir of Hope and Inspiration (formerly the Choir of Hard Knocks) fill Elisabeth Murdoch Hall with celebratory songs and a roof-raising rendition of ‘Happy Birthday!’

Guests included members of community choirs from all over Victoria and Choirs without Borders, a project of the Australian Migrant Education Services’ Community Detention Program. One of their guests said that “This was one of his most wonderful experiences in Australia and he was really thankful to everyone who made it possible for him and his family to be part of this beautiful energetic experience.”

Melbourne Recital Centre’s Fifth Birthday Celebration was supported by The Estate of Beverley Shelton and Martin Schönthal and Elisabeth Murdoch Creative Development Fund donors.