Brisbane City Hall
Opened in 1930, Brisbane City Hall was for a long time the tallest building in Brisbane. The building’s design is based on both the Roman Pantheon and St Mark’s Campanile in Venice. The Auditorium is a large circular hall that can seat up to 1,600 people and is covered by the largest copper dome in the southern hemisphere. Beneath this dome are 8,500 LED lights that display a light show.
The organ pre-dates the hall, and was built in 1891-1892 by Henry Willis and Sons for the Brisbane Exhibition Building (now the Old Museum Building). The reconstruction and enlargement of the instrument for use in the Hall was undertaken both by the Willis firm and local organbuilder Whitehouse Brothers. As part of the closure and renovation of City Hall from 2010 - 2013, the organ was removed and restored by local firm Pierce Pipe Organs. It has 5 manuals, 80 speaking stops and electro-pneumatic action.
Participants in all courses will have the opportunity to sing the fabulous Poulenc Gloria in a concert at this wonderful venue.
St John's Cathedral, Brisbane
Although consecrated in 2009, St John's Cathedral is the second oldest Anglican church in Brisbane. It was designed by John Loughborough Pearson, who is also known for his designing of Truro Cathedral. He was also a popular choice for repairs of older cathedrals, including at Lincoln, Chichester, Peterborough, Bristol and Exeter Cathedral, as well as St George's Chapel, Winsor and Westminster Abbey. St John's is the only Cathedral in the southern hemisphere with a stone vaulted ceiling, creating what is considered the best sacred music acoustic in the country - with a 7 second reverberation!
The Cathedral is home to several choirs, including the Cathedral Choir (with boy trebles), the Cathedral Singers (adult choir), Girl's Choir, the Brisbane Chamber Choir, and the Johannine Voices. We are excited that our opening liturgy will feature the Cathedral Choir, giving participants a chance to hear how this place puts sacred music into context.
Just as stunning as the acoustic and the choral programme is the Cathedral Organ, which is the largest cathedral organ in the country. Originally by Norman and Beard, the organ was installed in 1910 by local firm B.B. Whitehouse & Co. In 1972, the organ was rebuilt and significantly enlarged by Hill, Norman and Beard under the direction of the Cathedral's then Director of Music, Dr Robert Boughen OBE. The organ now has 82 stops across 6 divisions, and four manuals. Attendees of our OrganinSpires course will get the chance to play this magnificent instrument.
Participants in all courses will have the opportunity to sing Vierne's monumental Messe Solennelle in this amazing sacred space.