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Celebration of Youth 2019

​Celebration of Youth Southern Highlands

The Celebration of Youth Southern Highlands performance at Chevalier Performing Arts Centre will showcase a 40-piece ensemble comprising Steel City Strings and the BlueScope Youth Orchestra from the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music.

The lively, exciting program will feature award-winning, young ​soloists:

  • Peter Lavilles, winner of the 2018 Wollongong Conservatorium Concerto Competition, performing Weber’s virtuosic ‘Bassoon Concerto’
  • Cedar Newman, winner of numerous Eisteddfods, returns from her violin studies in New York to present Saint-Sa​ëns’ brilliant ‘Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso’
  • Singer/songwriters Emma Snellgrove and Caitlin Schlenker will get feet tapping with their original song ‘Capsized’, which wowed audiences in the Cantabile Music Festival at Sydney Opera House in 2018
  • World premiere of ‘Absence of Light’, composed specially for this event by local young composer and double bass player Adrian Whitehall, who has had work commissioned and performed by the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

In addition the combined orchestras will play suites and dances for chamber orchestra by Purcell, Boyce, Grieg and Piazzolla.

​Experience the energy and excitement of discovering the exceptional talent of these young​, local musicians.

Cedar-Rose Newman Celebration of Youth Soloist
Peter Lavilles soloist with Celebration of Youth
Emma Snellgrove and Caitlin Schlenker perform in Celebration of Youth Kiama concert with Steel City Strings
Adrian Whitehall composition premiers at 2019 Celebration of Youth
Bluescope Youth Orchestra perform in Celebration of Youth Kiama concert with Steel City Strings

Celebration of Youth Program:

Abdelazer Suite​...................................................................Henry Purcell

  • Overture
  • Air 1
  • Air 2 
  • Dido's Lament. (from the opera Dido and Aeneas)
  • Rondeau

Lyric Pieces​​...........................................................................Edvard Grieg

  • Norwegian Dance
  • Waltz
  • Hailing
  • At The Cradle
  • Puck

Underground Tango​........................................................Goran Bregovic
Libertango​...........................................................................Astor Piazzolla

Symphony No. 1 in B Flat Major for Strings​..................William Boyce

  • 1 Allegro
  • 2 Largo
  • 3 Allegro


Capsized​...................................Emma Snellgrove and Caitlin Schlenker

Breaking Point.................................................Snellgrove and Schlenker

Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso....................Camille Saint-Saëns

          Soloist,  Cedar-Rose Newman, violin       biography >

Absence of Light............................................................Adrian Whitehall
Commissioned work-world premier performances

Bassoon Concerto in F major, Op75​.................Carl Maria von Weber

  • 1 Allegro ma non troppo

            Soloist, Peter Lavilles, bassoon

Adult $45
Concession $40
Student $20
Under 18yr $10
Family $100

​The Celebration of Youth​ Southern Highlands performance is made possible through the support of the following organisations:
Celebration of Youth is proudly supported by SCE
Celebration of Youth is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

​​Celebration of Youth is
supported by the
NSW Government
through Create NSW

sponsors of Celebration of Youth Concert series
Supporters of Steel City Strings Celebration of Youth
Sponsors of Steel City Strings Celebration of Youth Concert series

Serenades and Dances 2018 Program

The Serenades and Dances program was the first time Steel City Strings played with guitar.

Conducted by Shilong Ye, the program featured guest soloist, classical guitar virtuoso Aleksandr Tsiboulski. And we were honoured to have the renowned Australian composer Ross Edwards introduce his piece to the Mittagong audience.


Steel City Strings perform Serenades and Dances

Steel City Strings perform Serenades and Dances


Serenade for Strings in E Minor, Op 20......Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
Allegro piacevole

...my light...   ......David Haladjian (b 1962)

Arafura Dances Concerto for Guitar and Strings......Ross Edwards(b 1943)
First Maninya
Arafura Arioso
Second Maninya

Adagio for Strings, Op. 11......Samuel Barber (1910-1981)

Serenade for String Orchestra, Op. 12......Victor Herbert (1859-1924)

Introduction and Fandango from Guitar Quintet No 4 in D major G.448......Luigi Boccherini

--  -----  --

CONDUCTOR - Shilong Ye

Born in Shenzhen, China, Shilong Ye started piano at the age of 4 and made his conducting debut in public at the age of 12. He began playing oboe and viola towards the end of his primary school years and joined a concert band and two orchestras during his high school years. His love for music was particularly apparent when choral conducting during his time at high school in China.

Shilong moved to Australia in 2004 and was a top student in Music upon finishing Year 12 at Narrabundah College. In 2006 he began studying violin and viola with Tor Fromyhr at ANU School of Music and studied conducting with Max McBride and Dominic Harvey between 2007 – 2009.


He made his conducting debut in Canberra with the ANU School of Music Orchestra in September 2009. Shilong received his Master of Music Studies in Conducting at Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2016. He received the Alan Bellhouse Award for a Young Conductor in 2015 and in 2016 was selected to attend the International Conducting Masterclass in the Czech Republic where he conducted the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra. He also conducted in a sold-out concert at the Shanghai Oriental Art Centre in April that year.

​Shilong conducted Steel City Strings in its very successful Christmas Concert in 2015 with international Violinist Janusz Wawrowski. As a performer, Shilong is a founding member and current manager of the Grevillea Quartet. He is currently the Chief Conductor of James McCusker Orchestra, Conductor of Australian Chinese Musicians Association, and Assistant Conductor of Forrest National Chamber Orchestra.

Shilong Ye conducts Steel City Strings performance of Serenades and Dances

Shilong Ye conducts Steel City Strings performance of Serenades and Dances

Steel City Strings Cellos

Steel City Strings Cellos

The energy in Steel City Strings rehearsals is as powerful as the final performance

The energy in Steel City Strings rehearsals is as powerful as the final performance

Aleksandr Tsiboulski performing with Steel City Strings

Aleksandr Tsiboulski image by Tony Lewis

Serenades and Dances conductor, Shilong Ye

Conductor, Shilong Ye

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Strings with Voices

Steel City Strings collaborating with the con voci chamber choir in the Strings with Voices 2018 program

Steel City Strings collaborate with the con voci chamber choir

Susie Bishop, Strings with Voices soloist with Steel City Strings

Susie Bishop, Soprano

Daniel Tambasco, Strings with Voices soloist with Steel City Strings

Daniel Tambasco, Tenor

Jared Lillehagen, Strings with Voices soloist with Steel City Strings

Jared Lillehagen, Bass

June and July 2018 saw Steel City Strings present a spectrum of vocal music in the program Strings with Voices.

The program featured human voice, for the most part, married with a string accompaniment.  It also featured vocal music, both solo and choral, drawn from opera, the church as well as from the cabaret and cinema.

Four a cappella (unaccompanied) songs provide a taste of pure vocal harmony whilst the glories of string sonorities appear in one of the mainstays of the chamber orchestra repertoire, Grieg’s Holberg Suite.

con voci performing with Steel City Strings for Strings with Voices 2018 program

con voci performing with Steel City Strings

Strings with Voices soprano soloist, Susie Bishop, with Steel City Strings

Strings with Voices soprano soloist, Susie Bishop, with Steel City Strings

a capella in Strings with Voices 2018 program

a capella in Strings with Voices 2018 program

2018 Strings with Voices soloists

2018 Strings with Voices soloists

Steel City Strings first and second violins perform Strings with Voices 2018 program

Steel City Strings first and second violins

Steel City String's Strings with Voices soloistsr

Green room

Music Through the Ages in October 2017

SUNDAY 22nd October at 2 pm                               

The Pavilion, Kiama

Booking link: https://www.trybooking.com/NSDX


SATURDAY 28th October at 7.30 pm

Wollongong Art Gallery

Booking link: https://www.trybooking.com/NSEA



Concerto Grosso in F Minor Op 1     Pietro Antonio Locatelli
I.  Largo                             IV. Grave
II. Andante                           V.  Largo Andante
III.Pastoral                          VI. Andante-Adagio
                                      VII.Pastorale ad libitum
Divertimento in F KV 138            Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
I. Allegro                                                                                                            II. Andante
III. Presto

Sacred and Profane Dances                    Claude Debussy
I. Danse sacrée
II. Danse profane
                         soloist, Paulina Smirnov, Harp

Little Suite for Strings Op 1                   Carl Nielsen 
I. Präludium
II. Intermezzo
III. Finale
Sleep                  World Premier             Andrew Ford   
for String Orchestra

Documentary “Steel City Strings -The Passion of Music”

We are really excited about the 76 min Documentary movie  Tony Williams has made about Steel City Strings.  It has been accepted by Documentary Australia Foundation (DAF) as a film worthy of fundraising promotion. Please click the link and ENJOY!

What Tony needs now is some financial support to launch the film with all expenses paid – musical copyright fees, post-production audio etc.



Venue Details for concerts in October 2017

Kiama Pavilion

2 Bong Bong St Kiama NSW 2533

Sunday October 22nd  2017 at  2 pm

Good access and facilities http://thepavilionkiama.com.au/conference-venue-kiama/conference-facilities/

Afternoon tea provided

Concert Booking Link :https://www.trybooking.com/NSDX











Wollongong Art Gallery

46 Burelli St Wollongong NSW 2500

access details at  http://wollongongartgallery.com

Saturday 28th October 2017 at 7.30 pm

Request easy access at reception

Drinks provided at interval

Concert Booking Link   https://www.trybooking.com/NSEA

Audience Feedback from April/May SCS Concerts

JUNE 2017

The survey was completed by 36 people; 24 had attended at Wollongong Art Gallery, 7 at Berry School of Arts, and 2 attended both concerts. Five respondents did not attend this concert because they were away or had other commitments.

The majority of respondents (73%) had attended two or more previous concerts; five had been to one previous, and for four it was their first time.

How would you rate your overall enjoyment of the music played by Steel City Strings?
All respondents found the music either highly enjoyable (82%) or enjoyable (18%). Comments:
•  The orchestra sounded the best I’ve ever heard them play.
•  Brilliant performance. I am always impressed by the skill and passion of the performers and the conductor when I see Steel City Strings.
•  You are doing well just carry on
•  Marvellous to appreciate the cultural diversity of the pieces
•  Great programming and well played

How would you rate your enjoyment of each piece? (some respondents only partially answered this question; responses are whole numbers only)

•  This was the best program ever! The quality of the playing is exceptional, the orchestra leaders, the strength of the ensemble as a whole and the work of the conductor made this concert very memorable. The Shostacovich was very moving.
•  An ambitious programme which turned out to be excellent, especially the Shostakovich!
•  No complaints. Very moving. Fascinating learning experience because I was not familiar with the historical background to some of the music, which was explained extremely well in the programme.
•  It was wonderful to have Judy Stubbs’s composition performed. She is amazing. The whole story of how the piece was developed with the community, the collaboration and sensitivity needed, and the music and orchestral interpretation all contributed to my enjoyment of the suite and the whole evening.                                                                                •  Good variety of styles/ compositions – kept the players (and audience) on their toes.
•  Enjoyed the solos by Kyle and Rita

How would you rate the standard of playing by Steel City Strings?
Respondents rated the standard of playing excellent (56%), high standard (38%) or good (6%).

How would you rate the leadership of the orchestra by resident conductor Luke Spicer?
All respondents rated Luke highly effective (80%) or effective (20%).
•  Love Luke Spicer. Energy & ability.
•  I love his passion! Such dedication and such talent.
•  Particularly good in the Romero
•  Seemed to have good control/ good rapport with players

Please comment on the venue for the concert you attended.
Berry School of Arts:
Most respondents simply said “good”; others noted
•  Perhaps not ideal, but it is perfect for the local residents
•  Traditional and enjoyable
•  Not the most comfortable of venues, and often poor visibility – but hey, I expect that in such an old country hall.
Wollongong Art Gallery:
•  Excellent. Chairs are ergonomically shocking. Always get a sore back & neck. But the sound is good there & it’s a convenient & nice spot in the Gong.
•  I like it – but the chairs don’t like me!

•  Need good chairs – but I realise that’s Council’s responsibility. I’ll give them some feedback. I doubt they’ll pay for new chairs (lol)
•  More comfy chairs
•  Great venue. Attractive room. It is nice to be able to see some of whichever exhibition is on at the Art Gallery.
•  Combination of exhibitions & music is good.
•  Welcoming environment, intimate concert hall
•  Pleasant rooms with good acoustics
•  Good sound. I like the intimate space
•  Ideal venue – an aura of exclusive audience
•  Beautiful.. suitable for an orchestra of this type because it gives a very intimate feel to the evening

Do you have any suggestions for music you would like the orchestra to perform in future concerts?
Most respondents said no, or “I’m enjoying the surprises … leave it to the experts … I’m never disappointed … keep up the variety …”
•  The occasional Vivaldi or Bach
•  Prokofiev, Debussy, Ravel, Satie
•  Just try to ensure that some of the programme is accessible for younger people…..this last concert was fantastic but very intense, and a little more difficult for my children to engage with.
•  More vocal things please
•  I’d like to listen to a joint performance steel city strings with a Choir some times
•  Faure, Requiem
•  Something modern – perhaps a collaboration with a local singer?
•  Occasionally collaborate with others, eg pianists, guitarists, wind players
•  Some different solo instruments. Oboe would be nice
•  More Australian composers, please – especially if there is a local connection. Having the Stubbs was wonderful

concert venue details

 Two venues for our


 Kiama Pavilion

Sunday 22nd October, 2017, 2 pm

Kiama Pavilion

Kiama Pavilion

2 Bong Bong Street
Kiama  NSW 2533
(02) 4232 1419

The Kiama Pavilion is a superior venue for orchestral music with high ceilings and timber floor and walls adding a beautiful acoustic ambience.

Seating approximately 200 guests and an orchestra of 30 on the ideally positioned stage for maximum audience enjoyment.

Easy disabled access

  • drive up ramp for same level access
  • disabled toilets on two levels
  • lift between floors





2.Wollongong Art Gallery

 Saturday 28th October, 2017, 7.30pm


Burelli St,  Wollongong NSW 2500  

(02) 4227 8500

for details and directions:

DARKER WAG logo JPEGhttps://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1fWsQCGG67mobpoGB-QlaRoPNidI&hl=en&usp=sharing



 Additional venues used by Steel City Strings are on the following page

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