Originally envisaged as a low-key venture for the 30 to 40 patrons who could be seated in the round room, the project was titled Early Music in the Very Round. The audience however, outgrew the venue and in late 2005 it was decided to shift the project next door to St. Cuthbert’s Presbyterian Church. From 2005, Bayside City Council became the major sponsor, so allowing the low-cost admission charge for persons aged over 17 to be maintained. Attendances have increased to between 70 to 120 for each concert.
A celebration of classical music from the medieval to today From its humble beginnings Early Music in the Very Round (EMVR) has developed into an important part of Melbourne’s busy Early Music scene. In addition to attracting some 500 leading local and international artists over the past decade, it has provided valuable performance opportunities for the next generation of musicians from the University of Melbourne’s Early Music Studio.
With each new program there has been an opportunity to move to other venues within Bayside in Black Rock, Beaumaris and Brighton, this ensures that there are opportunities for the community to access the concerts.
The success of the Bayside concerts has resulted in the Early Arts Guild of Victoria using the Bayside model to expand the Early Music program to regional Victoria with concerts in Warragul, Bendigo and recently Ballarat. These additional concerts whilst not funded by Council have been supported through the Resonance website, these concerts have been a tremendous success for the Guild and they plan to continue these regional concerts.
Council has also supported concerts of new music in partnership with The Melbourne Composers’ League since 2005, with an annual concert at Trinity Uniting Church in Brighton. These concerts provide opportunities for composers of contemporary music to have their original works performed by world renowned classically trained musicians from the Asia Pacific region.
In 2010 the decision was made to create Resonance Music Series as an umbrella for suitable community based music events and both EMVR and a performance by The Melbourne Composers’ League were included in this program.
In July 2013 the Arts and Culture Unit was approached by a representative of the Melba Opera Trust for support in creating performance opportunities for young singers who are supported by the Trust. Two opera events were then included in association with the Trust as part of the series.
In 2014 the newly formed Bayside Chamber Orchestra were identified as being a suitable addition to the series and they perform three programs during the year under the banner of Resonance.
In 2015/2016 a composer, Evan Lawson was awarded a studio in the Bayside Artist in Residence program and as part of his commitment to community art activities he and Forest Collective (a not for profit artist collective) will perform two free programs as part of the 2016 Resonance Music Series.
The series now offers an annual ‘expression of interest’ which will provide opportunities for potential program collaborations.