A regional tour is no mean feat and is almost a year in the making, with much to do to deliver the same experience to the regions that Perth Concert Hall patrons enjoy.

WASO is hitting the road this month with a touring party of over 70 musicians to share a complete live symphony orchestra experience in Esperance and Albany.

The planning starts with Corporate Partnerships Coordinator Ginny Luff securing funding from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, without which WASO would not be able to tour, “A full orchestra tour like this requires considerable funding. I work with all departments within WASO to gather the necessary information to pull together a strong funding application. I ensure WASO meets the expected criteria and delivers a successful tour, not only for the organisation but the regions we are visiting.”

For Evan Kennea, Executive Manager of Artistic Planning, one of the most important questions in pulling together a tour seems rather an obvious one…what are the Orchestra going to play? “On the surface it’s a pretty straightforward question, but once you start taking into account issues such as budgets, stage size, requirements from funding bodies, orchestral availability and audience expectation, it can quickly become a puzzle!”

Over two very special concerts, WASO brings Beethoven’s Eroica to audiences at the Esperance Civic Centre and Albany Entertainment Centre. This tour marks WASO’s return to Esperance for the first time in 27 years and the Albany performance is particularly exciting, being a musical homecoming of sorts for Principal Cor anglais Leanne Glover who hails from Mount Barker.

Led by WASO’s Assistant Conductor Carlo Antonioli, the program includes popular, classical pieces and a world premiere concerto by Iain Grandage, one of Australia’s most exciting, creative and collaborative composers, commissioned by WASO. This new concerto has been written especially for long-time friend and colleague Leanne Glover.

WASO on route to Geraldton for the 1963 Regional Tour.

The Orchestra Management team including Alistair Cox and Breanna Evangelista have the task of logistics including pre-tour venue scouting, schedules, musician rostering, accommodation and travel as well as liaising with all WASO departments on their requirements. 

Like a giant school excursion, Breanna needs to ensure everyone travelling is present and accounted for, “WASO is providing a coach for those on tour, some have decided to fly and take the coach for one or two of the three legs, and others have decided to drive the whole way. These decisions are important as it helps us be assured that everyone travelling will fit on the bus.  I’ve also had to sort out room allocations at the hotels; as the orchestra is larger than the hotel sizes, we’re spread over multiple hotels.”

On the ground at the venues Artistic Planning Manager Alan Tyrrell will be the eyes and ears in the auditorium as the Orchestra rehearse in unfamiliar venues, “I’ll also be presenting pre-concert talks at both of the concerts and making sure our conductor has all he needs on the tour.”

The tour also includes free open rehearsal experiences for schools and local community groups, increasing participation and engagement with the Orchestra. For the first time masterclass programs will also be delivered to schools in each area, enabling students to receive tuition from WASO musicians.

This project is supported by the Government of Western Australia’s Creative Regions program.

Iain Grandage’s Cor anglais concerto was commissioned for West Australian Symphony Orchestra as a gift to Emeritus Professor David Tunley AM. This work was supported by Prof. Tunley’s colleagues and friends led by Emeritus Professor Margaret Seares AO.

WASO’s Assistant Conductor Carlo Antonioli appears courtesy of Simon Lee Foundation.


WASO’s Eroica Tour
Esperance Civic Centre
Wednesday 30 October – 7.30pm
Tickets here  

Albany Entertainment Centre
Friday 1 November – 7.30pm
Tickets here 

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