MonthOctober 2018

The Song Company – One Equal Music

Wesley Uniting Church
Friday 9 November at 7.30pm

In the centenary of the end of World War I, the Song Company draws on the 16th/17th century metaphysical poets John Donne and George Herbert as the entrée to remembrance and visions of perfection and freedom from disorder – hence the title of the concert : ‘no noise nor silence, but one equal music’.

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Young mezzo wins New York scholarship

The Opera Foundation for young Australians has announced that the Winner of the 2018 Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship is Xenia Puskarz Thomas, a 21 year old mezzo soprano from Queensland.

Xenia plans to study in New York with internationally acclaimed vocal, language and movement coaches.

Anke Höppner, 2018 Head Adjudicator and Member of the Foundation’s Music Advisory Council said that Xenia had  ‘a beautiful mezzo-soprano voice of magnificent potential.

‘She inspired the audience with her energetic stage presence and fearless desire to engage with the characters she portrayed at the deepest emotional levels. The promise of Xenia’s talent convinced us that she would be able to thrive most under the conditions of the scholarship.’

Living Arts Canberra congratulates Xemia and wishes her every success sin her career.

Listen to Barbie’s interview with Xenia Puskarz Thomas

UNDHR Quilt Project – craftivism

Museum of Australian Democracy (Old Parliament House), 18 King George Terrace, Parkes, ACT, from 25 October 2018. Check MOAD website.

Tal Fitzpatrick

‘Craftivism allows people to actively engage in democracy, contribute to social change, and transform the world one stitch at a time.’  

Aided by the power of social media, Australian craftivist Tal Fitzpatrick and fellow USA based craftivist Stephanie Dunlap put the call out for collaborators. 131 craftivists from across the globe, united by their passion for quilting and human rights, came together to showcase the power of their voices through the work of their hands.

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Four Winds Youth Music Festival

 16 to 18 November 2018, Barragga Bay NSW

This festival is the culmination of months of singing and percussion work initiated by Four Winds in five south coast primary schools – Bermagui, Narooma, Tilba, Tanja and Tathra.

The Four Winds 2018 Youth Music Festival includes a Schools Showcase Performance at 12.30 – 2.15pm on Friday 16 November and a Festival Concert at 11am – 2pm on Sunday 18 November to be held at Four Winds’ beautiful venue in Barragga Bay.

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Lucy Marrett – The Way I see it

Elephant Tree Publishing 2018

The first novel of Lucy Marrett, this young adult fiction work is told by Holly, a young woman suffering from anxiety and depression. It delves into her story, the people who surround her, the challenges she faces to overcome her illness and the way she finds to live her life as she would wish.

This is not a self-help book or a manual on anxiety. It is a work of fiction, but one that is told by an author with first hand knowledge of anxiety and which explores many of the scenarios common to the situation.  Marrett shines a light on a topic not always spoken of so lucidly and openly.

Listen to Barbie’s interview with Lucy Marrett

Monster Party

By the children from Rawa with Alison Lester and Jan Godwin, Jeremiah Lubin, Mikaela Whyoulter, Samantha Burton, Anya Rogers and Emelda Biljabu
Magabala Books 2018

This delightful picture book is the product of a project initiated by the Association of Independent School WA.

Rawa School is located on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert at Punmu in the Pilbara Region, home of the Martu people  – it is one of the most remote of the AISWA schools

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Michelle de Kretser – The Life to Come

Allen & Unwin 2017

I had just finished reading The Life to Come when it was awarded the 2018 Miles Franklin literary prize – described as Australia’s most prestigious. It had sat for a bit on my dressing table waiting for me to have time to linger over it. I love the way Michelle de Kretser writes and wanted the luxury of a slow read.

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Louis De Bernières – So Much Life Left Over

Harvill Secker, an imprint of Vintage, Penguin Random House 2018

It is, I know, presumptuous and insolent of me to say that I felt, at 515 pages, The Dust that falls from Dreams, the precursor to So much life left over, was a little long. Obviously I read it (all) and De Bernières writes with such facility and grace that the comment seems churlish.

I’m going to fall back on another view to buttress what I felt about this book:

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Matryoshka by Katherine Johnson

Ventura Press 2018

Brisbane born Katherine Johnson’s third novel is set mainly in Tasmania where she now lives. The rugged beauty of the landscape is a powerful backdrop for this complex story.

Estranged from her mother since birth and brought up by her Russian emigré grandmother, Nina, geneticist Sara Rose (neé Barsova) has never been allowed to know the identity of her father. It is these absences that drive much of the story.

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Kayte Nunn – The Botanist’s Daughter

Hachette Australia 2018

This is another of a burgeoning sub-genre I suspect of tales told in parallel in the past and the present.

The present-day story is set, first in Sydney and then in Cornwall, in 2017 and follows the fortunes of Anna who finds a hidden metal box when renovating her grandmother’s house, left to her upon the old lady’s death.

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Claire McMillan- The Necklace

Touchstone, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Inc, 2017

Claire McMillan is an American author, the 2017-18 Cuyahoga County Writer in Residence who lives near Cleveland Ohio. The Necklace is her second novel.

This is another of the historical fiction genre I seem to be coming across so much lately with parallel stories in past and present, often linked by an object found by the present-day hero/ine.

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National Capital Orchestra – Melodies for kids

Narrated by Charles Hudson, conducted by Leonard Weiss
Sunday 25 November 2018 at 1pm and 3pm
John Lingard Hall, Canberra Grammar School, off Alexander Street, Red Hill

Melodies for kids is the final concert for 2018 for NCO. Young and old alike will enjoy a 45 minute (or so) concert with works including The Blue Mountains by Canberra composer Sally Greenaway, excerpts from Swan Lake and The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky, Peer Gynt by Grieg, Pelleas and Melidande by Sibelius and The Typewriter Symphony by American composer Leroy Anderson.

This promises to be fun and a great way to introduce young people in your family to beautiful classical pieces. A story devised and presented by Charles Hudson will weave the works together – and who doesn’t love a story?

Tickets from or at the door – but don’t risk it. You don’t want to miss out.

Listen to Barbie’s interview with Lenny Weiss.

Canberra Sinfonia – Haydn, Handel & Mozart favourite arias

Conductor Leonard Weiss
Soloist Louise Page OAM
Wesley Music Centre, Saturday 27 October 2018.

After the success of their first performance in July this year, Canberra’s newest semi-professional musical ensemble, Canberra Sinfonia, in partnership with renowned soprano Louise Page OAM, presents a program designed to showcase its versatility

Louise’s repertoire will include Porgi amor from Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro, and Per pieta from Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte. These charming melodies will be complemented by Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances, and the Haydn Symphony No. 63 in C Major.


$20 adults, $15 concession/students (discounts for Friends of Wesley Music Centre)

More information: