Our History

March 24, 1962 was the first concert of the group that was to become the Central Coast Philharmonia. Conducted by Hugh Baird, it was an entirely instrumental performance. Two concerts of works by Gilbert and Sullivan (Excerpts from Gondoliers and Trial by Jury) followed and in 1963 the choir performed its first major work, Messiah. (no surprise here). In keeping with the tradition of most of the worlds classical choirs, Messiah is the most performed work in the repertoire, with 25 performances in 53 years. The founders of the choir were Hugh and Madeleine Baird, a couple with astonishing musical ability and enthusiasm to match. In addition, there have been two other musical directors, Patrick Donnellan and Philip Rees who have seen the group develop into a noted regional musical organisation.

Past Concerts

In over 50 years of concerts many major works have been presented, including Messiah, Elijah, mass settings by Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn and Mozart; Concert performances of opera, Carmen, Faust, Orpheus, Dido; Requiem settings of Mozart, Bruckner, Faure, Durufle, Peter Sculthorpe, Dvorak; Magnificat settings of Pergolasi, JS and CPE Bach. The choir have also presented a number of concerts with the regional symphony orchestra, Beethoven 9 and Mendelssohn 3. The choir usually presents one themed concert each year of lighter music including a number of postcard visits to a featured country.

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