Steel City Strings Wins Create NSW Grant for “Earth Connections”

Steel City Strings is thrilled by the recent announcement by NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin of a successful application for $29,000 to support “Earth Connections” in 2021. “Earth Connections” will see Steel City Strings collaborate with two contemporary First Nations composers to create new works that speaks to the lived experience of our local communities.


Over three concerts in August 2021 in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands areas, Steel City Strings will curate and present works which bring healing and learning to our communities ravaged by drought, flood and fire. Recent catastrophic events in the region have highlighted the need to seek out the knowledge First Nation peoples harbour in caring for the land. This wisdom is reflected in their music, storytelling and dance, and offers an opportunity for Steel City Strings to collaborate with Indigenous artists to explore works that reflect connection to place.


In these three concerts, we will celebrate diverse musical performers. Indigenous composer and digeridoo player William Barton features as Guest Artist in his own works, collaborating with local Indigenous composer Brenda Gifford from the Shoalhaven. Brenda will arrange some of her own compositions for string orchestra. Mr Barton said it is “a special time for us to connect through music as our national identity and our uniquely Australian sound.”



DIDGE FUSION: William Barton performing with Steel City Strings at the Illawarra Business Awards.


In addition, the concerts will feature other works by Australian composers who have been inspired by the Australian bush and landscapes. Southern Highlands resident Blue Robinson will present his poem “Tomorrow is Hope”, written as last summer’s bushfires abated, accompanied by William Barton on didgeridoo.


“Earth Connections” aims to combine music, dance and spoken word in an exploration of ancient and modern responses to our changing landscape, and to be an expression of our communities’ suffering and resilience. A true fusion of old and new that moves and inspires to tell our communities’ stories of perseverance through hard times. 



Press Contacts:          Jeremy Boulton (Manager)  | +61 450 342 313 | [email protected]

                                      Lyndall Fowler   | +61 487 077 711 | [email protected]


Statement on Earth Connections

Due to the latest COVID-19 restrictions, Steel City Strings will not go ahead with Earth Connections featuring William Barton performances at Chevalier Performings Arts Centre, Wollongong Town Hall and at Nowra School of Arts across August 22-29. Ticket holders will be refunded by Merrigong Box Office for the Wollongong Town Hall soon and subscription holders across all […]

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SCS @ HOME | ‘The Return’ 2020 Broadcast

Steel City Strings broadcast their late 2020 program ‘The Return’ LIVE on YouTube Premiere this Friday night.   A program that is short and sweet offers two old favourites, Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Cellos and Peter Warlock’s popular Capriol Suite. And a surprise: Ernest Bloch’s Concerto Grosso No.1 for strings and piano obbligato. A […]

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The members of Steel City Strings are outstanding examples of hard work, enterprise, enthusiasm and dedication. They reach for the stars and beyond. More power to these wonderful people.

Richard Gill AO

In Debussy's Sacred and Profane Dances of 1904 the orchestra was joined by harpist Paulina Smirnov whose scintillating playing created a wonderful and subtly-nuanced centrepiece for the concert.


A fascinating program of works from various musical periods... The orchestra played with a strong sense of ensemble, and brought an infectious verve to the Mozart.



Community Building Partnership
Wollongong City

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