MOTHER’S Day was spent listening to chamber music at a concert to support asylum seekers and refugees.
Organised by Aireys Inlet Rural Australians for Refugees (AIRAR) member Lynn Barnett, the soiree was the fourth held over the last 18 months.
Ms Barnett found when she moved to Aireys Inlet in late 2016, that the small community lacked one thing – classical music – which she had always listened to and played.
It occurred to her that her home would be a perfect setting for musical soirees to raise funds for AIRAR.
This concert was particularly special because it featured local artists: baritone Manfred Pohlenz lives in Geelong, and is a graduate of conservatoriums in Adelaide, Brisbane and New York; while Bellbrae resident and pianist Anne Pilgrim studied at the University of Western Australia and founded the For the Joy of Singing the Classics series for the Geelong Chorale in 2012.
The duo performed pieces such as “To the Distant Beloved” by Beethoven and “Songs on the Death of Children” by Mahler.
The two artists have a strong commitment to chamber music – so much of the repertoire never gets sung because its very nature, it is small and intimate and thus not attractive to larger promoters.
All the songs performed were originally written to be sung in people’s homes, not large concert halls.
“It is quite wonderful that the traditions of Europe are being translated and brought to life in Aireys Inlet all these years later,” Mr Pohlenz said.
Several thousand dollars have been raised through the soirees with the money going to support refugees and asylum seekers living in Geelong.
A strong focus has been on providing funding to assist with legal costs related to visa applications.
Ms Barnett plans to hold a fifth soiree later in the year.