John Spence composition performed by all staff

WollCon’s own Head of Composition John Spence created a celebratory new work entitled Fifty Years, for the entire cohort of WollCon’s music staff to perform together in what was an amazing and unique world premiere performance for the organisation’s 50th birthday.

Fifty Years was composed to be a festive piece suitable for a group ensemble performance. The intention was a ‘coming together’ of sorts, in a way not previously achieved. For this to be possible, the music would need to be diverse and yet find common ground. In practical terms, having the entire faculty together in one room to rehearse was going to be a never-before event.”

John Spence

Head of Music Theory and Composition, WollCon

With only a single rehearsal, Fifty Years needed a way of holding everything together. There is a rhythmic thread that repeats throughout the piece. It is a 5/4 rhythm designed to be easy to learn by using words. Although the themes are easy to learn, the piece itself exhibits all the features and feel of a commissioned art-music work. There is a repeating chorus the sits amidst developmental moments that draw out the individuality of each performer.

The piece was premiered at WollCon’s Music Festival on the 11th of September 2022 at the Wollongong Botanic Garden. One inspiring feature was seeing the audience join in to clap the 5/4 rhythm.

John Spence

Thank you John Spence, and thank you to all the WollCon staff who performed the piece.

Faith Issue Focus Theme Young
Yield Exact Avoid Raise Story

Alex Masso – Drums
Chris Fields – Timbales
Abel Cross – Electric Bass
Callum Burns – Electric Guitar
Sako Dermenjian – Guitar
Janet Andrews – Tambourine
Luke Tierney – Claves
Paul Spencer – Xylophone
Sonia Sozio – Piano
Scott Taggart – Violin
Cecilia Bersee – Violin
Miffy Ryan – Viola
Ching Wen Hsu – Cello
Ethan Ireland – Double Bass
Suzanne Cowan – Flute
Ilaria Ramirez – Clarinet
Hayden Burge – Bassoon
Eric Dunan – Trumpet
Dave Reglar – Tenor Sax
Des Cannings – Trombone
Trish Delaney Brown – Voice
Kirsten Jones – Voice
Kate Whitworth – Voice
Anna Robinson – Voice
Sydney Parker – Voice
Erin Mascord – Speaking Voice