The Annual

 Glebe Music Festival

In conjunction with The Glebe Society Inc

Glebe Voices

Thursday 10th November 2011 at the Blackwattle Cafe, Bellevue Venetia

Dr E. David McIntosh AM

Several voices called strongly from the past: Michael Golden the city surveyor who lived at Margaretta Cottage (Leichhardt Street) in the mid-19th Century, the late Bernard Smith author of ‘The Architectural Character of Glebe’ and the late Vincent E.M. Sheppard who purchased Margaretta Cottage in the 1960s, preserving and restoring it for generations to come. Sheppard had brought the Dutch chamber organ, probably the oldest organ in Australia and now resident at Margaretta Cottage, to this country in the 1950s. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s its sound was central to the activities of the Organ Institute of New South Wales and subsequently the Organ Society of Sydney, the Twilight Recitals at Christchurch St Lawrence, the Workers’ Education Association series on the organ, and recitals by the likes of Christopher Hogwood. The baroque sound became the inspiration for the drive to get a baroque organ for the Great Hall at the University of Sydney.

In the 1980s, the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children’s orchestra was formed and gave regular performances at Margaretta Cottage. David McIntosh was a trainee paediatrician at the time. The replica of the Ruckers Double Flemish harpsichord was built at Margaretta Cottage and opened by the late Geoffrey Parsons in 1989. The Tall Poppies record label was unveiled by Peter Sculthorpe, Geoffrey Tozer and Roger Covell. Sheppard had died of cancer in 1987 and ownership of Margaretta Cottage passed to David. With the tradition of music-making and the keen audiences of Glebe, the inaugural Glebe Music Festival occurred in 1990. The very first “performance” was a reading of poetry to St Cecilia followed by a musical performance of the Hamburger Sonata by CPE Bach.

The Glebe Music Festival is now in its 22nd year. Highlights have been, in no particular order, the Balinese gamelan, the Andean groups Cantolibre and Andean Dreams, the African township jive band Jive Kayana, the identical Hungarian guitarist twins the Katonas, Nick Byrne the ophicléide player, Quantum Theory jazz and of course the US Marine Forces Pacific Band in 2005, not forgetting hundreds of classical music and choral performances. Yes, yes – two pop concerts and a rock concert should be mentioned.

At the request of the Glebe Society a series of “historical” concerts at the Great Hall started in 2001 with the re-creation of a Federation concert from 1991. This was followed by concerts to celebrate anniversaries (Vaughan Williams and Messiaen), a Pastoral Modes from England concert, another re-creation - a Sydney Philharmonia Society concert from the 1830s, and several other historically themed concerts, masterminded by David Miller from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

The Glebe Music Festival would not happen without the stalwart support of the Glebe Society, Ted McIntosh, the Sisters of the Good Samaritan St Scholastica’s, David Gaunt and Roger Mackell from Gleebooks, the Attorney General’s Department, Kathy North and Rob Dowsett, and a host of others too numerous to mention. To all those – thanks! More details about past music in Glebe can be found under “Past Events.”

Preview 2012: Evgeny Genchev Bulgarian pianist.

Past Events
The Musicians
The Venue
The Instruments