Revisiting Camerata’s ‘Classical Reimagined’ 2022 Regional Tour

Camerata — Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra has recently returned from a triumphant tour of regional Queensland, travelling over 2,900km to Mackay, Rockhampton, Emerald, Barcaldine, and Longreach in May.

This year’s tour itinerary was ambitious in scale with six concerts of the ‘Classical Reimagined’ programme — which included a new commission, Central Highland Rounds, written by Emerging Composer-in-Residence Alexander Voltz — as well as workshops with school students and local musicians, and special performances for aged care residents and kindergarten children. After a prestissimo eleven days on the road, Camerata was thrilled to crunch the numbers and report a ‘best-ever’ attendance record.

Camerata quintet performing for Kookaburra Child Care Centre. Photo courtesy of Camerata.

Flying into Mackay on Friday 6 May,
the tour started with performances at the Pioneer Community Kindergarten, Kookaburra Child Care Centre, and Glenella Care Centre. Then it was over to Mackay North State High School for a workshop with music students before a joint performance for the school community. Camerata was joined onstage by the Mackay Choral Society for evening and matinee performances presented at the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music.

The Rockhampton leg saw Camerata spend time with the town’s tiniest residents at Rockhampton South Kindergarten and C&K Leichhardt Community Kindergarten before skipping across to North Rockhampton State High School for another afternoon of workshops and in-school performances. Evening rehearsal saw players rehearse a new Rockhampton Symphony Orchestra (RSO) commission from composer Christopher Healy (the artist behind Camerata’s inaugural tour commission), which was expertly worked into the Classical Reimagined concert the following day at the Pilbeam Theatre.  


“Thank you for what you have invested in Rockhampton and regional QLD. You have sown seeds of music to our kindy kids for the first time in their life. You have inspired our school students and made some of their dreams come true. You have blessed our elderly by reaching out to them with a beautiful afternoon of music when they are not mobile enough to go to concerts. Thank you and can’t wait to have you back.” — Rockhampton community member


The Emerald community turned out in force at the Town Hall on Thursday 12 May to see students from Emerald State School perform in concert with Camerata. This performance was particularly resonant with the home premiere of new composition Central Highland Rounds by Emerging Composer in Residence Alex Voltz, who drew inspiration from Emerald’s landscape, industry and friendly locals in the creative process.

Jonny Ng, Principal Second Violin & Education Manager, talking with Sasha, a student from Emerald State School. Photo by Morgan Roberts.

Then it was on to Barcaldine and more education workshops with Barcaldine Prep-12 State School, whose students also took to the stage with Camerata at Town Hall for the evening community performance. Camerata also treated locals to a pop-up performance at the Tree of Knowledge memorial. You can watch a video of this performance here.

Camerata’s 2022 Regional Tour concluded with two final days in Longreach, performing for the residents of Bolton Clarke Pioneers retirement village in the morning on Sunday 15 May, and then welcoming the whole community to Edkins Park in the afternoon for the closing ‘Classical Reimagined’ concert, this time with Corinne Ballard Music, Longreach Town Band and students from Longreach State School and Longreach State High School as special guests. The tour wrapped on Monday with one more education day with music students from Longreach School of Distance Education. And just like that, it was time for Camerata to return to Brisbane.

Camerata quartet performing for the residents at Bolton Clarke Pioneers, Longreach. Photo by Morgan Roberts.

The Tim Fairfax Family Foundation commends Camerata — Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra for the community-centred design of its 2022 Regional Tour, and joins with those in Mackay, Rockhampton, Emerald, Barcaldine and Longreach in congratulating them on this highly successful and celebratory tour of central Queensland.  

More photos from the tour are published on Camerata’s Facebook page.