marks the 50th anniversary of
Founded by Tony Szachas
Cook, it has progressed from a small training
orchestra for secondary technical school students
to a well-established community orchestra of more
than 70 players.
the 1970s and 80s the orchestra was little more
than a chamber group, which rehearsed at Box Hill
TAFE College Music Department.
people who contributed to its development include
Marion Souter, Andrew Mathers and Kevin Purcell.
However, the most significant contribution has
been made by our conductor of 30 years, Gerald
Keuneman OAM, who accepted the role of Music
Director in 1990, the year the Orchestra moved to
its current rehearsal venue at the Box Hill
Community Arts Centre.
taking up the baton, Gerald has lead the
orchestra on a remarkable journey contributing to
the performing arts both in the City of
Whitehorse and further afield.
orchestra played for many years at the Carols by
Candlelight in the Box Hill gardens and at the
annual Spring Festival in the City of Whitehorse.
It played at the opening of the newly designed
Box Hill Aqualink, and at the extension of the
city to Box HIll tramline. Further back in
time, the Orchestra also performed at Box Hill
Hospitals 40th anniversary
celebrations in April 1996. In 2015 Whitehorse
Orchestra travelled to China and was welcomed as
a guest of the government of Shaoxhing, which has
a friendship city relationship with the City of
Whitehorse. The Orchestra performed a number of
concerts, including one designed especially for
children. The other major performance was a joint
concert with the University of Shaoxhings
School of Music.
in 1996 the Orchestra was invited by the then
Council of Adult Education to work with it to
ensure the continuation of the annual
Harrietville Music Camp, which it had been
running since the mid-1970s. The relationship
continued until 2005, when the CAE asked
Whitehorse Orchestra to take over management of
the Camp. The 2020 Harrietville Music Camp will
be 15th to be held under the auspices
of Whitehorse Orchestra.
Orchestra holds three major concerts each year,
as well as its annual childrens concerts.