Archives For Special events

The Merry Widow

September 7, 2014

A collaboration between Rockdale Opera and Strathfield Symphony Orchestra. 

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Miriam Hyde’s Centenary

February 1, 2013

Strathfield Symphony Orchestra will be celebrating Miriam Hyde’s centenary year with performances of her much loved Second Piano Concerto on 23 and 24 March. Miriam played the concerto with this orchestra until she was in her 90s and our association with her goes back to 1969 when the orchestra was formed.

Our collection of correspondance from Miriam, including handwritten notes on some of her compositions have been donated to the National Library of Australia (holding number MS Acc13.143). Copies can also be accessed here:

As a soloist, Miriam performed with the Strathfield Symphony on a number of occasions:

As a composer:

Thanks to all for your wonderful entries. It was a lot of fun. So inventive were you that we had to create new categories for haiku, sonnets and international.

AND THE WINNERS ARE …  (envelope please, drum roll)

JOHN FLETCHER, our redoubtable principal bassoon, for his take on Bonnie and Clyde. Some like it hot!

SADA FAN; yes, we counted the syllables.

OPHOCLEIDE LOVER. What a hidden talent lies there; you are now a published poet.  It brought tears to our eyes.

From Washington, USA, PETER GRIES. What a pity you can’t be at our concerts this weekend Peter, but thanks for joining us on line.

John Fletcher’s guests can collect their tickets at the door.

And in case any of our audience or readers are inspired, we’ll leave the page open for more entries.

What will we think up for our Murakami’s Music concert in June next year!

Please join our email list if you would like to keep in touch with our concerts, competitions and special events.


To celebrate our performance with the unique Ophicleide, we are offering you a chance to win 2 tickets to our Fervour concert (8th or 9th September).

All you have to do is write a limerick featuring the instrument “Ophicleide”.

To get you started, our president Bruce Lane has written an example

So how does one play Ophicleide?
Ignore those who seek to deride
Put your fingers on keys, and elbows on knees
That’s how one should play Ophicleide

Post your entry as a comment below or email to by 5pm, 5th September, 2012. LATE ENTRIES MAY BE CONSIDERED!!

More resources to help you out:

Limerick structure and tips on getting started

Link to another example

Terms and conditions:

  1. Entries must be posted as comments to this page, or emailed to
  2. Entries close 5pm, 5th September.
  3. Winning entry will be chosen by our Ophocleide soloist, Nick Byrne. Decision is final and no discussion will be entered into
  4. Winning entry will be eligible for a double pass to either concert in the Fervour concert season (7pm Saturday 8th September, or 2.30pm Sunday 9th September).
  5. Winner can collect prize at the box office on the day.

In 2012, Strathfield Symphony Orchestra  appointed a new Principal Conductor and Music Director, Sadaharu Muramatsu. See him in action at our first concert, Ode to Joy.

Breakfast on Bondi

November 6, 2011

On 22 September I received a phone call from Gareth Lewis of Fourth Wall Events asking if we would be interested in providing the orchestra for the inaugural Breakfast on Bondi event as part of the Crave Sydney International Food Festival on Sunday 23 October, playing an hour of music at sunrise to an audience of thousands. What an opportunity!

With positive reactions from the committee and our Guest Conductor for these concerts, Bernard Walz, I confirmed our interest and by 26 September we said yes please! Thanks to our very responsive committee, we decided to go ahead without knowing if we could persuade our players to rise and shine at an unearthly hour and be ready to play at sunrise. We promised an orchestra of at least 40 players, and thanks to our wonderful players were able to provide an orchestra of 55 including a concert harp, played by our faithful and reliable Helen Boyd.

Laura Jamieson took on responsibility for the massive job of Operations and Logistics. You may not know that Laura has extensive experience in events management including the Sydney Mardi Gras for many years and the Asian Games at Doha in 2006. I took on the tasks of assembling the orchestra, liaising with Fourth Wall Events and administration. Bernard worked on the musical aspects including sound and audio.

We received excellent logistical support from Fourth Wall Events, including provision of transport (coach and truck), audio, lighting, a marquee, and of course food and drink. It was a breakfast event after all. Gareth Lewis wrote:

In a very limited time frame Strathfield Symphony Orchestra have assembled a full orchestra of 55 players prepared to play outdoors at 6am and created a superb program of music that will be showcased to thousands of people. Their enthusiasm and professionalism have been fantastic.

There were of course many challenges to be overcome during a hectic three weeks. Three extra rehearsals were scheduled for a new repertoire of:

  • Grieg – Peer Gynt Suites 1 & 2 (Selections)
  • Strauss – Blue Danube
  • Dvorák – New World Symphony (2nd movement)
  • Pachelbel’s Canon
  • Bach Air on the G string
  • Beethoven Symphony No 5 (3rd and 4th movements) from this concert.

Rehearsals over, it was time to get the show on the road – literally. The truck was packed with timpani, music stands, risers and podium. We couldn’t access the site until 8pm Saturday and Laura and Bernard were required to do a layout and sound check at 10pm.

At 2.30am (or in some cases earlier) we struggled out of bed and assembled at Ashfield Railway Station for our coach which left at 4am. I was delighted to find that not one player was late for the bus. At 4.30am we were at Bondi and straight on to the stage for a layout check and warm up. At 6am, after didgeridoos brought the sun over the horizon, we took over with Morning from Peer Gynt.

The whole thing was magical. The audience was estimated by organisers at up to 5000, and they all enjoyed a breakfast like no other. A surfer came up to us afterwards and offered free surfing lessons!
Exhausted but happy we made our way home.