The Maleny Singers are fortunate once again to have an orchestra playing for their latest production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s popular operetta, The Pirates of Penzance. Formed for the 2008 season of The Mikado, the Maleny Performing Arts Orchestra draws from the local community as well as the Sunshine Coast Symphony Orchestra and the Pacific Players. Live accompaniment by talented musicians enhances a performance anywhere, but is an outstanding achievement for a small country town!
After many weeks of rehearsal with just a piano, ably played by Mavis Benn, the Singers are really chuffed to hear the full orchestral accompaniment to the show. How different it all sounds, when voices are joined by the varied instruments of the orchestra!
Among the local musicians, there is a great diversity, but let’s focus on four of them, including a veterinary nurse, a climate scientist, and an instrumental music teacher from our own primary schools. Wendy Selby, a veterinary nurse from Nambour, discovered music later in life, starting with the clarinet, then the saxophone, before finding her true love – the French horn. Belonging to several other orchestras, she loves performing in a musical theatre orchestra. Allyson Williams, playing the violin, has lived in Maleny for fifteen years and is juggling her job and family – doing climate research at the University of Southern Queensland some days and looking after her two boys on others. Her husband, Peter Thompson, is also part of the Pirates cast.
Paul Meneely, the local woodwind, brass and percussion teacher here at Maleny, as well as Montville, Peachester and Conondale schools, has many family connections to the area. He plays the trombone in the orchestra, but also enjoys playing in Unusual Suspects,
a group that has performed at Woodford Folk Festival, playing Macedonian gypsy music!
A percussionist for many years, Trevor Chapman has lived on the Sunshine Coast and in the hinterland, as well as Brisbane and overseas with his singing wife Sharyn (also in the cast). This year they have returned to put down roots in the Maleny community, bringing a wealth of experience to Pirates and the Singers.
Pirates opens this Saturday 21 June at the Maleny Community Centre and there are only five performances, so don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy these local talents!
Bookings can be made online at www.trybooking.com/79843, in person at Maleny Visitor Information Centre or phone 5494 2584 for groups.