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Composers’ conference to hit the right note

The rugged New England Range could inspire a new generation of composers to create a work as evocative as the timeless The Man from Snowy River score.

Bruce Rowland

Composer Bruce Rowland seated at his piano. Credit: Zoe Phillips, The Weekly Times.

Armidale’s New England Conservatorium of Music has put out an early call for aspiring composers to join it for its three-day conference CompCon.

The conference is believed to be the first of its kind in Australia and will feature six internationally recognised musicians.

Among the world-renowned guests will be Bruce Rowland, who penned the scores for movies The Man from Snowy River and Phar Lap.

The highlight of CompCon will be a screening of The Man from Snowy River and performance of soundtrack by a 75-piece orchestra followed by a discussion with Mr Rowland and actor Tom Burlinson, who played the lead role in the movie.

The conference will explore a broad range of musical genres extending well beyond the bright lights of motion pictures.

Six internationally published composers will deliver workshops and seminars ranging from classical to jazz, traditional to contemporary and instrumental to choral.

Headed by Canadian-based Christopher Norton, composer of the Microjazz educational series, a leading the line-up of presenters includes Mr Rowland and:

  • Amy Bastow – whose works include James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge 3D, Winners and Losers and True Stories with Hamish and Andy.
  • Dr Ralph Hultgren – Australia’s most prominent concert band composer.
  • Andy Firth – one of the world’s leading jazz clarinetists, now a composer of hundreds of works for clarinet, sax and big band.
  • Sarah Hopkins – world-renowned composer of choral and string works.

CompCon will be hosted by the New England Conservatorium of Music at the Old Teachers College from Wednesday to Friday, 9-11 October.

Further details and discounted earlybird registration are available on the CompCon website.

The closing night performance and screening of The Man from Snowy River at the Armidale Exhibition Centre from 7pm on Friday 11 October is open to the public with tickets now on sale.

Gates for the event open at 5pm and include food vendors, cattle dog displays, a cooee competition, whip cracking and a mechanical bull and will conclude with Mr Burlinson performing An evening with Sinatra.

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