Saturday, 16 December 2017

Musical connections

 This was the sixth of six short pieces of writing, with a reflective statement, which was part of the first assessment for Writing the Family Saga. The theme of the piece was family involvement in the community.

Applause at the end of the final act echoed through the school room, the venue for the evening performance. William surveyed the scene before him with pride. This had been a most successful concert, both musically and financially, with funds raised going towards building a new hall. The concert had also highlighted the talents of William’s musical family.

Like many families of the time, participation in musical activities was an important recreational activity for the Moses family of Windsor. At this concert William’s wife, his daughter and three of his sons had played with William in the orchestra. Members of the family also performed some of the solo acts. But for William, one of the high-lights was the debut performance of his nine year old son, Hilton. Hilton had received enthusiastic applause when he played ‘Norma’ on the violin. Was this the beginning of another musical career in the family?

Eleven year old, Stanley was already considered a talented violinist by those who knew their music. He had even been invited to perform in concerts in Sydney. Some had even been suggested that Stanley might one day continue his musical training in Europe. The audience had certainly enjoyed his musical contributions this evening.

William never had difficulty finding volunteers to entertain for a good cause and concerts usually featured a mixture of vocalists, dancers and comedians as well as instrumentalists. Recitations were also popular. The residents of Windsor looked forward to these concerts that provided a welcome break from daily life.

Reflection:
Access to local newspapers via Trove has opened so many research options for historians showing us a glimpse of what life was once like for our ancestors.

Most local communities throughout Australia included musical activities as part of their everyday life, and Windsor was no exception. Whether as part of a festive occasion such as Christmas or as an activity to raise money for a worthy cause, music helped bring people within a community together.

Community concerts could also provide a training ground for entertainers such as Stanley.


Reference:
Windsor and Richmond Gazette Saturday 23 February 1889 page 4

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