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Concert to calm the senses

Sensory Concerts are designed for anyone with sensory needs, particularly children on the autism spectrum. Photo: Jenny Wu

By Ellen Hill for Grace Kim

People with sensory issues that prevent them from attending public events such as concerts can immerse themselves in a specially designed live music performance at Glenbrook on April 23.

Concert pianist Grace Kim. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

To be held on a weekday during school holidays to cater for aged care facilities, centres for people with a disability and families, it will feature internationally acclaimed musicians Erica Kennedy on violin, flautist Lisa Osmialowski and Bullaburra concert pianist Grace Kim.

Part of the Sensory Concerts series, it has been designed for people of all ages, especially families with sensory or special needs such as autism spectrum disorder, physical or intellectual disabilities who experience feelings of being overwhelmed by crowd, noise, light, smell and touch.

Performed to small groups in a relaxed atmosphere, there will be a range of seating options and a retreat space where audience members can self-regulate or seek support from the onsite occupational therapist and psychologist.

“We really don’t mind if people need to move around, lie on a crash mat or take time out from everyone else for a while,’’ Ms Kim said.

Violinist Erica Kennedy will perform at the Glenbrook concert

“We select music especially so that everyone benefits from the power of the music without feeling overwhelmed or restricted.’’

As an internationally renowned professional concert pianist and music educator Ms Kim knows firsthand the benefits of music to health and wellbeing, and strives to make it accessible to everyone who needs it.

A mother of two young children, one with Asperger’s syndrome, Ms Kim said: “Young children are especially sensitive to their surroundings and tend to react in certain ways like moving or making noise, to cope.

“That’s why families with children tend to shy away from traditional concerts for fear of disrupting others.

“But we all know that music is one of the best things for the brain development, and these families miss out on the crucial time when their brain are developing.’’

Flautist Lisa Osmialowski will perform at the Glenbrook concert

Subsidised through a Blue Mountains City of the Arts grant, Sensory Concerts are offered at affordable prices to ensure they are accessible to all.

The next Sensory Concerts will be held at Lower Mountains Anglican Parish, 1 Wascoe St, Glenbrook, at 10.45am and 12pm on Monday, April 23. Tickets: $25 adults, $65 families (2 adults, up to 3 children), $15 children under 16 years. Click HERE to book.

  • Grace Kim is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media 

    Concert pianist Grace Kim. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media


Hydro Majestic, Blue Mountains: Final Metropolitan Orchestra concert for 2016

Cocktails and Serenades 07

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group             Photos: David Hill

Celebrate the onset of sultry summer evenings, dusky sunsets over breathtaking views and mouth-watering regional fare to the sublime strains of The Metropolitan Orchestra (TMO) when the Hydro Majestic Hotel hosts its final Majestic Concert for 2016.

Winter Ball 12A 55-piece showcase will include a program of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture, Kats-Chernin’s Ornamental Air (for Basset Clarinet and Orchestra) and Andrew Doyle displaying the exceptional range of the clarinet in the virtuosic, lyrical Symphony No 7 by Beethoven.

The concert program will be accompanied by a lavish cocktail and dining package.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “We’ve had two Majestic Concerts and some of the biggest stars of the modern opera stage perform at the Hydro this year, so I’d say the grand traditions of culture and elegance that the Hydro Majestic is renown have well and truly been revived at the original Blue Mountains party palace.

“The music, the dining, the view and the magnificent heritage building itself combine to create unforgettable occasions.’’

Winter Ball 13Under the baton of founding artistic director and chief conductor Sarah-Grace Williams, TMO comprises Sydney’s most dynamic musicians and is recognised as one of the country’s most versatile orchestras delivering accessible and vibrant concert experiences.

The orchestra’s seven-year history features a star-studded array of highlight concert and/or album performances with the likes of Sumi Jo, David Helfgott, Marina Pior, Anthony Warlow, Elaine Paige, John Farnham with Olivia Newton-John, James Morrison, Kate Ceberano, Vocal Ensembles Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Sydney Chamber Choir, Figaro and members of Opera Australia and Children’s Entertainers Lah-Lah and Buzz.

Winter Ball 14The orchestra has been involved in special events such as BBC’s Blue Planet and Planet Earth in Concert, Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, Opera in the Vineyards, the National Rugby League grand final; and sailing the high seas as resident orchestra aboard the Bravo! Cruise of the Performing Arts.

TMO has commissioned, presented and recorded world premieres by several Australian composers and has workshopped new works by Paul Stanhope, Stuart Greenbaum, Matthew Hindson and James Humberstone.

Meanwhile, principal TMO clarinettist Andrew Doyle has performed with many bands, orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout Australia including the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the Royal Australian Navy Band.

Symphony Under the Stars will be held at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, from 5.30pm to 9.30pm on Saturday, November 19. Cost: $150pp includes cocktails & canapes, two-course dinner, four-hour beverage package and concert; $55pp show only. Go to hydromajestic.com.au for more dining, event and accommodation details and bookings.

  • Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill MediaWinter Ball 30

Blue Mountains Opera Festival: Majestic drama over Hydro high tea

Sydney Cello Collective will play the Hydro Majestic Hotel

Sydney Cello Collective will play the Hydro Majestic Hotel

 

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

The grand traditions of Dame Nellie Melba and Dame Joan Sutherland will be revived when some of the brightest stars of the opera stage perform at the Hydro Majestic Hotel in the Blue Mountains during the October long weekend.

For the first time in decades, internationally acclaimed opera singers and musicians will gather at the original Blue Mountains party palace to present a weekend of operatic drama and passion.

Opera star Eva Kong

Opera star Eva Kong

Among them will be lead soprano in the recent Sydney Opera House production of Turandot, Eva Kong.

The first concert at the Hydro Majestic on Saturday, October 1, will be Cello Extravaganza featuring the Sydney Cello Collective (SCC).

Consisting of four cellists from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the SCC specialises in all things cello, performing music written and arranged for that combination with a repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary music.

Teije Hylkema, Andrew Hines, Elizabeth Neville and Minah Choe will premiere an especially arranged rendition of Nadirs Aria from Bizet’s famous opera Pearlfishers in the elegant Wintergardent Restaurant while guests indulge in a high tea extravaganza overlooking the magnificent Megalong Valley.

Later that day, Opera Australia soprano Eva Kong (currently playing Liu in Opera Australia’s Turandot), tenor Brad Cooper and bass Damian Whiteley will embark on a journey of humour, love, jealousy and tragedy when they perform The Love Triangle, inspired by highlights of the greatest operas and directed by pianist Grace Kim with Caro String Quartet.

Sought-after violinist Andrew Haveron

Sought-after violinist Andrew Haveron

On Sunday, October 2, Molto Cantabile will wrap up the festival when one of the UK’s most sought after violinists and Sydney Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Andrew Haveron performs with Grace Kim (piano) in a delightful program highlighting the beautiful operatic sound of his precious 1757 Guadagnini violin while guests nibble on decadent high tea delicacies.

General manager of Escarpment Group, which owns the Hydro Majestic, Ralf Bruegger said: “Passion and drama over scones and sparkling wine served with sexiness and humour – how operatic, how Hydro!

“With the majestic view overlooking the Megalong Valley, the dramatic history of the hotel (there’s been more than a few love triangles here, let me tell you) and the artistry of fine food prepared by our award-winning chefs, what better way to spend the weekend.

“Come for one concert or make a weekend of it.’’

Each high tea concert package ($85pp) includes a glass of sparkling wine on arrival with a sumptuous three-tier offering including an indulgent selection of gourmet sandwiches, warm fluffy scones, delicate pastries and the finest selection of handmade desserts served with Vittoria Coffee and La Maison Du The teas. Guests may choose an 11.30am or 12.15pm booking, with the concert from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.

The Gala Dinner Concert package from 5.30pm to 9.30pm on Saturday, October 1, will include drinks and canapes on arrival followed by a two-course dinner with beverages. Cost: $150pp.

Go to www.hydromajestic.com.au or phone (02) 4782 6885 to book concerts, accommodation and dining.

  • Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

    Caro String Quartet will help revive tradition at the Hydro Majestic Hotel

    Caro String Quartet will help revive tradition at the Hydro Majestic Hotel


Blue Mountains: Met Orchestra returns romance to Hydro Majestic

Cocktails and Serenades 15

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group              Photos: David Hill

The first in a series of classical music concerts at the Hydro Majestic Hotel last Saturday re-established Mark Foy’s “Palace in the wilderness’’ as the definitive destination for romance and elegance.

Chief conductor Sarah-Grace Williams

Chief conductor Sarah-Grace Williams

The Metropolitan Orchestra played to critical acclaim in the world-famous hotel’s Majestic Ballroom after guests supped on specially created cocktails and canapes followed by dinner and wines showcasing local and regional produce.

Editor of prestigious classical music publication Limelight Magazine, Clive Paget, who attended the concert, wrote a glowing review of the occasion.

“The sumptuously appointed Majestic Ballroom with its bowed ceiling turned out to boast a rather good acoustic for what proved to be a very classy concert.

“Eschewing the tendency for throwaway `pops’ on such occasions, the Hydro and the Met opted to properly engage its audience with two meaty masterworks for string orchestra by late romantics, Dvorak and Tchaikovsky.’’

Cocktails and Serenades 07As well as the two string serenades, Paget praised the orchestra’s rendition of Rojas’ Little Serenade for Strings and encore piece Piazzolla’s Libertango, along with the fascinating’’ vintage fashion show by The Darnell Collection of International Vintage Courture andtoe tapping sets from smoky-voice’’ jazz singer Evelyn Duprai in the nearby Majestic Marquee space.

The entire event was a captivating, invigorating experience that I expect would have delighted the Hydro’s original, eccentric host’’.Thoroughly recommended.’’

The Metropolitan Orchestra will perform again at the Hydro Majestic when the original party palace hosts the masquerade Winter Ball to officially launch the Yulefest season in the Blue Mountains on Saturday, June 18.

Cocktails and Serenades 36Under the baton of artistic director and chief conductor Sarah-Grace Williams, more than 50 musicians will perform O’Boyle’s Rhapsody on a theme of Mendelssohn, Horn Concerto no 1 by Strauss, Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture and Symphony no 4 Italian by Mendelssohn.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said the concert series harked back to the Mark Foy days when events were not merely concerts but opulent occasions.

“The feedback from this first concert has been very positive. The combination of exquisite music by some of the most talented classical musicians in Australia, fine regional food designed and prepared by award-winning chefs, this beautiful hotel and the magnificent surrounds of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area re-establishes the Hydro Majestic as the venue for romance and elegance in the region.’’

The final concert will be Symphony Under the Stars on November 19 featuring Mendelsson’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture, Kats-Chernin’s Ornamental Air (for basset clarinet and orchestra) and Symphony no 7 by Beethoven. Guests will also indulge in a sultry evening of canapes and cocktails followed by a two-course dinner.

Cocktails and Serenades 34

 

 

 

The Metropolitan Orchestra comprises Sydney’s most dynamic musicians and is recognised as one of the country’s most versatile orchestras delivering accessible, first-class and vibrant concert experiences.

 

 

 

 

Jazz singer Evelyn Duprai

Jazz singer Evelyn Duprai

The orchestra’s seven-year history features a star-studded array of highlight concert and/or album performances along with several world premieres and special events such as BBC’s Blue Planet and Planet Earth in Concert, Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, Opera in the Vineyards, the National Rugby League grand final; and sailing the high seas as resident orchestra aboard the Bravo! Cruise of the Performing Arts.

 

 

Go to www.hydromajestic.com.au to book Majestic Concert Series tickets, dinner and accommodation.

  • Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media Cocktails and Serenades 50

Blues and roots at the Sebel Hawkesbury

The Sebel Hawkesbury will host two free music gigs during the Sydney Blues & Roots Festival in October

The Sebel Hawkesbury will host two free music gigs during the Sydney Blues & Roots Festival in October

 

By Ellen Hill for The Sebel Hawkesbury Resort & Spa

Get into the blues and roots groove in stylish luxury when the only 4.5 star resort in the Hawkesbury-Nepean region hosts two free Sydney Blues and Roots Festival gigs during the weekend of October 23 to 25.

James Bennett will perform at the Sebel Hawkesbury

James Bennett will perform at the Sebel Hawkesbury

The tone will be set with fireworks by the lake at the front of The Sebel Hawkesbury Resort & Spa at 8.30pm on the Friday, before Dr Don’s Double Dose takes over the Barracks Bar from 8.45pm to 10.30pm.

There will be more lakeside musical action with James Bennett at 2pm, Liza Ohlback at 3pm and Glenn Cardier and The Sideshow from 4.30pm to 6pm on Sunday, October 25.

The popular music festival will be held across nine venues throughout Windsor in the Hawkesbury region at the foothills of the world-famous Blue Mountains.

Now in its seventh year, the Hawkesbury Council-sponsored festival will again feature the best established and emerging local, national and international blues and roots acts, and transcends age, gender and culture barriers with gigs in intimate performance spaces, market stalls, buskers, jam sessions, workshops and youth events.

Liza Ohlback will also play the resort during the popular music festival

Liza Ohlback will also play the resort during the popular music festival

The Sebel Hawkesbury Resort & Spa general manager David Ross said: “The Sydney Blues and Roots Festival has become a major experience on our community’s social calendar so we are delighted to offer these two music events free to Hawkesbury locals and visitors.’’

He also encouraged festival goers to fully immerse themselves in the event by staying at least one night and exploring activities and locations around the Hawkesbury area.

Just an easy 45 minutes’ drive from Sydney CBD and 60 minutes from Sydney airport, the Sebel Hawkesbury Resort & Spa is luxury travelling at its best.

As well as 8ha of manicured grounds through which to wander, an 18-hole champion golfing range next door and a 9-hole one on-site, several dining options, a full gym and balloon rides, the Sebel Hawkesbury is home to the largest day spa in Western Sydney.

The Sebel Hawkesbury Resort & Spa is on Hawkesbury Valley Way (Richmond Rd), Windsor. Bookings and details: (02) 4577 4222, email H8799@accor.com  or go to sebelhawkesbury.com.au.

Go to sydneybluesfestival.com.au for a full program of Sydney Blues and Roots Festival events.

The Sebel Hawkesbury Resort & Spa is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline Publicity

The Sebel Hawkesbury Resort & Spa is the only 4.5-star resort in the Hawkesbury-Nepean region

The Sebel Hawkesbury Resort & Spa is the only 4.5-star resort in the Hawkesbury-Nepean region