15 February 2022

Go down to the river for a free night of musical favourites from the CSO

| Ian Bushnell
Outdoor concert

A musical of evening of classics across the spectrum is programmed for this year’s Music by the River. Photo: Queanbeyan and Palerang Council.

The Canberra Symphony Orchestra returns to the picturesque banks of the Queanbeyan River later this month for its first outing of the year.

Joined by versatile Canberra vocalist Rachael Thoms, the group of about 15 to 18 string players will perform a range of orchestral classics, as well as iconic songs by the water’s edge at Queen Elizabeth II Park in Queanbeyan.

The Music by the River event on 26 February is now in its sixth year and has become a firm date in the performance calendar.

CSO Concertmaster Kirsten Williams, who will lead the group from first violin, said the players were keenly looking forward to performing, especially after wet weather forced last year’s Prom at Government House to be cancelled.

She said it was a wonderful family event and the players loved playing there.

“It’s a fabulous way to bring the community together and we all need that, especially now,” she said.

Ms Williams said the audience would hear a mix of musical, jazz and opera numbers such as ‘Over the Rainbow’ from The Wizard of Oz, ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ from My Fair Lady, Irving Berlin’s ‘Blues Skies’, made famous by Ella Fitzgerald and later reinterpreted by Willie Nelson, and Gershwin’s evergreen ‘Summertime’, as well as the beloved Puccini aria, ‘O mio babbino caro’ (Oh my dear Papa) from Gianni Schicchi.

Rachel Thoms

Canberra’s own Rachel Thoms will showcase her versatility across the musical genres. Photo: Kyle Manning

The variety will continue with the instantly recognisable ‘Adagio for Strings’ by Barber, the beautiful and fitting ‘Swan’ from Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals featuring principal cellist Patrick Suthers and works from Bach, Gustav Holst and Percy Grainger.

Icon Water is again supporting this year’s event.

“We are excited to partner with the Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council to bring Music by the River back to the banks of the Queanbeyan River,” managing director Ray Hezkial said.

“The previous editions have been evenings to remember, and this year looks set to be another memorable event. Icon Water has been providing water to Queanbeyan for almost 100 years, so we have a long history of partnership that’s worth celebrating.”

People can bring their own picnics but there will also be gourmet food vans, and wine and beer available.

General admission to the grassed riverbank is free and people are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket or lowered seating.

The limited number of ticketed allocated spaces for purchase on the amphitheatre terrace have sold out.

Music by the River is a COVID-safe event and there is a cap on numbers so registration is essential but there are plenty of free tickets still available.

Gates open at 5 pm.

To register go to the eventbrite website.

Original Article published by Ian Bushnell on Riotact.

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