The Queensland Times  24th April, 2016  |  Review by Wayne Macdonnell
Home Grown Orchestra Stuns

RIGHT from the opening few bars of John Williams ‘Summon the Heroes’ the Ipswich City Orchestra, under the baton of Patrick Burns, enthralled its small but appreciative audience last Saturday evening when it performed music from many of the Superheros movies.

Ipswich City Orchestra had its birth in 2004 and was the brain child of
founder/director Gemma D’Aubbonnett. It’s now all grown up and is a world class professional orchestra.

Conductor Patrick Burns’ curriculum vitae is very impressive.

In 2015 he travelled to Bulgaria to participate in the Blue Danube Opera, conducting masterclasses and international conducting competition with the Bulgarian State Opera. He was one of six finalists and was awarded the jury prize.

The musical scores this orchestra performed - three of which had never been played in Australia before - were extremely colourful, vibrant and exciting.

The audience was taken on a musical rollercoaster from composer John Williams’ Jurassic Park to John Barry’s Dances with Wolves; from Sea Hawke where Captain Thorpe is fighting the Spanish for Queen Elizabeth I of England to John Williams’ music from Raiders of the Lost Ark.............

The music danced off the stage and filled the auditorium with such richness of musical tone that it made the heart race with excitement.

The String players had us swooning while the Brass and Woodwind sections blew us away as they did in the movies ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Ben Hur’.

Ipswich should be proud to have its own orchestra, especially an orchestra of such professionalism and competence. ...... This city is rich with creative talent........this magnificent performance by a very experienced and talented orchestra.
As a community we need to celebrate this talent.

Congratulations Ipswich City Orchestra for giving our community wonderful music. You are a great orchestra and one that I am sure this community is very proud of.

The Queensland Times  8th October, 2015 
Ipswich City Orchestra conductor among world's best

IPSWICH City Orchestra conductor Patrick Burns has put our city on the map by beating some of the world's best at a recent international conducting competition.

Mr Burns came fourth in the Blue Danube International Opera Conducting Competition in Bulgaria, winning the Jury's Special Prize."I was elated. It was my first international competition," he said. "It's judged on technical ability. There were no rehearsals so it was about your ability to make it up on the spot.

"A good conductor is like a good football coach. You have to direct professional musicians and inspire them to do better."

Mr Burns, who speaks German, French, Italian and Czech, said there were a number of surprising skills needed to be a quality conductor.  "Language is important and psychology. It can be true what they say about opera singers, they can be divas," he said.

"The competition showed the quality of Ipswich's performing arts. We've got such talented performers and an audience that embraces live entertainment.

"Conducting is one of the best jobs around and has taken me all over Australia and the world." 

April 2015  |  Angela Jacob

Let this majestic world class orchestra take your imagination on a magical journey of discovery to spectacular lands beyond. 

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The Queensland Times  20th May, 2017  |  Review by Wayne Macdonnell
Orchestra lights up home city
Why we should be proud
     ELECTRIFYING. That is the only way to describe last Saturday's performance by the Ipswich City Orchestra.
The music in the programme, Souvenirs d'Espana, was simply intoxicating.
     The Ipswich City Orchestra is Ipswich's resident orchestra and is the only professional orchestra resident
outside of a capital city in Australia. Ipswich should be very proud to have this extraordinary orchestra.
Led by international conductor Patrick Burns, the ensemble performed some of the most stimulating music
you will ever hear, beginning with the overture, suite No. 1 from 'Carmen' by George Bizet and finishing wih
'Espana', a piece written in 1883 by French composer Emmanuel Chabrier.
     The music performed between these two pieces provided excitement, colour, passion and vigour.
Lismore flamenco dancer Serena Joy thrilled the audience with a spectacular performance as she danced,
'The Miller's Wife', from Manual de Falla's, The Three Cornered Hat Suite No 1. Local coloratura soprano Angela Jacob had the spectators spellbound with her rendition of 'The Maids of Cadiz'.
     The programme featured the tantalising and breathtaking performance by classic guitarist Alejandro Duque.
His playing of Francisco Tarrega's 'Recuerdos de la Alhambra' written in 1896, was just beautiful. Alejandro performed
this piece using a difficult tremolo technique perfected by advanced guitarists which takes great strength.
     Mezzo-soprano Shikara Ringdahl brought to life the sultry character of Habanerain a beautiful aria from 'Carmen'
that had as its main message "love is a rebellious bird".
     After the interval, everyone was on the edge of their seats being transported back to that unforgettable ice dancing
routine of Torvill and Dean as they took out the gold medal in the winter Olympics of 1984 to the sounds of Ravel's  'Bolero'
This night, Laura McLean, who began her dancing career at age six with the Shayne McCormick Dance Centre, dances the  'Bolero'. It was originally written for Russian dancer Ida Rubinstein. This was Laura's debut with the Ipswich City Orchestra
and she had her audience captivated.
     These things don't just happen. They only happen because of people with vision like Gemma D'Aubbonnett who dreamt
of Ipswich having its own orchestra. Yet it is still a battle. The orchestra has no major sponsor and maintaining a professional
orchestra is quite expensive. All of the major professional orchestras in Australia exist only due to a combination of government and private funding.
     Ipswich is supposed to be the "smart" city but when it comes to looking after the soul of the city through the arts we lag well and truly behind other places. This city has a multitude of talented people. Unfortunately, we do not give these people the recogintion they deserve.

May 14 2017 |  Kay Cross

The highlight of my birthday. This concert will live long in my memory. There just aren't enough adjectives to describe the magnificence of this wonderful orchestra and the amazing guest artists. Thanks Gemma and Peter and all the generous sponsors who believed you could do it.

Memories of Spain was the most beautiful evening of music. An outstanding performance. Thank you so much.

Congratulations Gemma and Peter. Words can't do justice to the amazing performance we watched tonight. My hands are sore from applauding. Fantastic to see a full house enjoying a first class show and showing our appreciation with a standing ovation

May 14 2017 |  Ruthie Farrar

It was the most enjoyable evening out thank you for the opportunity and very proud and blessed to be your sponsor....well done Gemma

May 15 2017 |  Murray Kuger

We were transported to another world - the world of Music!

May 15 2017 |  Angela Jacob

Thank-you again Gemma for the opportunity you offered to sing with the Orchestra again. It was an absolute thrill to sing with them on saturday night, as always and I treasure each and every experience immensly. Thank-you Maestro Pat for your brilliant leadership and the passion you draw out of the orchestra. Congratulations to everyone for a spectacular concert, so well received by our wonderfully appreciative audience. Congratulations Gemma for pursuing your visions. And the hidden hero..thank-you Peter for all the hard work you do behind the scenes for Gemma to help turn her dreams into reality. Thank-you sponsors for supporting our very own Orchestra who do you proud with the professional standard they acheive with their stunning musicianship under Patrick's Baton. God bless you all

© copyright Ipswich City Symphony 2018      ABN  84 852 671 758     

Founded in 2004, Ipswich City
Symphony is a regional, professional
orchestra situated in the City of
Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. 


Ipswich City Symphony 
P.O. Box 194,
Ipswich  Q  4305
Tel. + 61 0438 412 907