State MP for Ipswich Jennifer Howard joins Ipswich Symphony Orchestras president Chris Trace outside the orchestra's
State MP for Ipswich Jennifer Howard joins Ipswich Symphony Orchestras president Chris Trace outside the orchestra's "home ground', St Paul's Church. The orchestras have been granted $12,000 in State funding to embark on a regional tour.

Out of work talent can’t wait to take flight

IN WHAT everyone was hoping would be a year of resurgence for Ipswich City Symphony Orchestras, 2020 has been a story of frustration and waiting.

Barely a year on from the loss of founder Gemma D’Aubbonnett to cancer, the dreaded COVID-19 bug brought a swift end to the 16-year-old organisation’s extensive touring and performing plans.

As a result, the orchestra – one of the only regionally based orchestras of its kind in the country – and its 60 members are champing at the bit to get back out in the public.

With restrictions slowly easing, president Chris Trace says he is hopeful a $12,000 State Government arts grant will give the organisation the kick required to do just that.

The late Gemma D'Aubbonnett pictured with Trent Quinn (left) and husband Peter at the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Excellence Awards in 2018.
The late Gemma D'Aubbonnett pictured with Trent Quinn (left) and husband Peter at the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Excellence Awards in 2018.

A tour of the Ipswich and West Moreton Region will take the Orchestra’s Sting Quartet to Boonah, Gatton, Esk, Ipswich and Beaudesert through October.

“That funding has allowed us to scale down the concerts to stay within the health guidelines while still making it financially viable,” Mr Trace said.

“Some venues will allow us to perform for 200 where others will be smaller crowds, depending on the square metre rule.

“The whole premise is we want to provide people with something nice after all the doom and gloom this year.”

State MP for Ipswich Jennifer Howard was proud to announce the touring grant this month.

Founded by Gemma D’Aubbonnett in 2004, the orchestras feature musicians ranging in age from primary school up to senior citizens.

Mr Trace took over as president following Mrs D’Aubbonnett’s death in December 2018.

Patrick Burns is chief conductor and Helen Carvolth is the concert master.

Ipswich City Orchestra Conductor Patrick Burns.
Ipswich City Orchestra Conductor Patrick Burns.

“We are one of the only professional orchestras outside of the major capital cities of Australia, Mr Trace said.

“We had been engaged in a resurgence, which has been severely interrupted by COVID-19, but it has been an absolute privilege to be associated with this orchestra and assist in its leadership.”

The upcoming tour, referred to as Taking Flight, will perform at venues across the region throughout October, for dates and booking details visit the Orchestra’s website.



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