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Lismore Symphony Orchestra finds a new home at SCU


Sharlene King
24 May 2016

Behind the scenes, the University and Lismore Symphony Orchestra have formed a partnership.

Southern Cross University is the new home of Lismore Symphony Orchestra, with the sounds of Handel, Ravel, Respighi, Tchaikovsky and Vaughan Williams set to fill the University’s Whitebrook Theatre on June 4 and 5.

Behind the scenes, the University and Lismore Symphony Orchestra have formed a partnership which will see the Orchestra presenting its concerts at the University’s 500-seat performance venue at the Lismore campus.

“Southern Cross University is excited to be partnering with the Lismore Symphony Orchestra and to be providing a venue and facilities to support the activities of one of the city’s most important community organisations,” said Matthew Marshall, the University’s Professor of Music and director of Community Engagement for the School of Arts and Social Sciences.

“The University has a vibrant music program with a great reputation and by collaborating with the LSO we are able to further enhance our involvement in musical activities, provide opportunities for our students and staff and build stronger relationships with the Lismore community.”

The June concert series will be conducted by Sonya Lopes. The LSO will be performing works including the Fireworks Suite by Handel, the well-known and loved Bolero by Ravel, Fantasia on Greensleeves by Vaughan Williams and The Birds by Respighi.

“With more than 40 musicians on stage and a wonderful program best heard in live performance, this concert will delight from the first note to the last,” said Margaret Curtis, president of the Lismore Symphony Orchestra.

“The partnership with SCU is a very exciting development for LSO. We will continue to bring performances of live orchestral music to the Northern Rivers and our relationship with the University will enhance our ability to do so.

“We are thrilled and looking forward to a strong and vibrant engagement with SCU and our audience.”

Lismore Symphony Orchestra June Concert Series

From the first note to the last, enjoy an idyllic afternoon or evening listening to the greats like Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Respighi and Vaughan Williams.

Whitebrook Theatre at Southern Cross University Lismore
* Saturday 4 June at 7.30pm
* Sunday 5 June at 2pm

Tickets available at and at the theatre door

About Sonya Lopes, LSO conductor

Sonya Lopes has been playing, teaching and conducting music since 1997.

She began playing trombone at the age of nine and at 18 attended the Pan Pacific International Music Camp. She was then awarded a Rotary Scholarship to Brazil, performing on her trombone in the orchestra for the annual music festival, Campos do Jordao.

In 2000 Sonya graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Performance) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying with Ron Prussing (Sydney Symphony Orchestra) and Greg van der Struik (Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra).

She has toured Russia, Estonia and Finland with the SBS Youth Orchestra and served for seven years in the Royal Australian Navy Band, travelling extensively to Gallipoli, Soloman Islands, Brunei and performing at the Edinburgh Tattoo in Sydney.

Sonya now works as a multi-instrumental music teacher and conductor in the Murwillumbah region. She also works in various music projects in the Northern Rivers as a freelance musician.

Sonya's interest in conducting led her to studies with Jerry Novak in 2008 and Luke Dollman in 2016 as part of the Symphony Australia program. She finds it a great privilege to now be conducting the Lismore Symphony Orchestra after a number of years performing as a member.

Photo: Margaret Curtis (right), president of Lismore Symphony Orchestra, with Dr Annie Mitchell and Professor Matthew Marshall from Southern Cross University.