Sopranos sock it to Toodyay as numbers swell for Blundell
By Jean Melhuish-Hill
WHAT a brilliant day for the festival which opened in Duidgee Park with Rattlegun Road; in Stirling Park with our own Toodyay Youth Choir (above) and in St Stephen’s Anglican Church with Nathan Ward.
A wide variety of music was performed during the day with hopefully something for everyone.
Our buskers, inckuding local guitarist Steve and friend (right) were also all around town at IGA, Cola Café, Freemasons Hotel, The Toodyay Bakery and The Victoria Hotel and what a diverse and talented group of performers they were.Read more
The public competition for the favourite busker was awarded to C & J Rockin’, brothers Charlie (14) and Jack (11) (below) who have been performing for the past three years at festivals, markets and fetes.
They were extremely excited not only to have won the spot performing between James Blundell’s first and second sets, but the time James spent with them before and after their set.
It was great to have Emma Pettemerides, a principal of the WA Opera who has regularly performed for the company’s outreach program and is an ambassador for Healthways’ Smarter than Smoking campaign.
Emma is also a regular soloist with local companies Freeze Frame Opera, Perth Symphony Orchestra, Lux et Veritas, Art Song Perth and performs for events around Australia as The Perth Soprano as well as being one of Toodyay’s own.
She facilitated a number of fellow artists, including Jun Zhang (below) in opera and musical theatre to appear and St Stephen’s Anglican Church was at capacity seating all day.
Our evening entertainment was provided by country music singer James Blundell who is no stranger to WA.
In his early 20s he mustered cattle in the West Kimberley and way before that, his great-great-grandfather was the surveyor for the fledgling Swan River Settlement, so the connection goes back a long time.
Once music became his career, WA has always been an important tour component providing inspiration for his song writing.
James (below) was joined on stage in the second part of his show by WA locals Johnny Taylor and Trent Matheison, and his son Briar Blundell.
Duidgee Park was well patronised all day and it was great to see the numbers swell as we moved into the evening’s entertainment.
Food and merchandise stalls were located within the two parks with our Toodyay businesses providing for both locals and visitors.
This free community event could not have gone ahead without the support and funding from a number of people.
To our major sponsors Lotterywest, Shire of Toodyay and Toodyay and Districts Bendigo Community Bank we give the community’s sincere thanks.
The local Op Shop, RSL, Community Resource Centre and Makit Hardware, Shane Love, MLA, Darren West, MLC, Laurie Graham, MLC, LJ Hooker and Country Realty all supported this event along with Northam’s Coles and Woolworths.
Finally, this event would not have happened without The Toodyay Music Fest Working Group and our enthusiastic volunteers who stepped up to help make this a great day.
I joined this group in June last year, after the disappointment of having the 2020 festival cancelled due to Covid-19 and what I found was a small group of enthusiastic, dedicated people who worked tirelessly to provide Toodyay with an event that is a credit to the community.
If you would like to provide feedback on how you as the general public saw the event or should you be interested in getting to know your fellow Toodyayians, have an interest in music or working within the community, we would love to hear from you.
The planning for the next Toodyay Music Fest starts soon. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0419 869 927.