WHITEHORSE ORCHESTRA REFLECTS ON 30 YEARS AT THE BHCAC
When on Saturday 6 October 1990 Whitehorse Orchestra, under the baton of Gerald Keunaman, moved from the Box Hill TAFE music school to the award winning, purpose built Box Hill Community Arts Centre, we rehearsed to the accompaniment of hammers, drills, sanders, saws and more, all being worked frenetically in attempt to complete the Centre in time for its official open day the following week. Whitehorse was then a smallish orchestra, and fitted easily into The Arbour for rehearsals, workshops and concerts.
Thirty years on, and with an orchestra of between 70 and 80 members, even rehearsals can be a bit of a tight squeeze and, sadly, “at home” concerts are now out of the question. That said, audiences loved being introduced to the Centre in those early days, and we held the first of our very popular children’s concerts at the BHCAC to great acclaim. The Orchestra’s expansion was mostly due to the expertise of Musical Director, Gerald Keuneman, OAM and, more recently, Concert Master, Philip Carrington. The third factor for the expansion is the building itself. Designed by renowned architect Greg Burgess, its sense of space and light somehow enhance music making, conversation and feelings of wellbeing. A bonus is the opportunity to mingle with people from other groups and disciplines, to visit the shop for unique cards or gifts and to work with an always friendly and helpful staff.
The Orchestra is privileged to call the Box Hill Community Arts Centre its home, and it is with great sadness that in 2020 we have so far managed only four rehearsals. Gerald, Philip and the entire Whitehorse Orchestra family is keenly awaiting the day we can resume normal rehearsals at its home in this wonderful space.