This concert, presented by the Canberra Youth Orchestra (CYO) and the Canberra Dance Development Centre (CDDC) on June 23rd 2012 is an event that is remembered by all of whom were on stage and in the audience. Coincidentally though, the reason many look back at this concert with a concerned chuckle, was completely left out of the review written by Bill Stephens.

That night, one of the large spotlights in Llewellyn Hall burst mid-performance, replicating a dramatic timpani hit, the shattering of glass sprinkled down across the lower strings – an expertly cleared away by the stage management while the orchestra continued unfazed. This occurrence of the night was not mentioned by Stephens, and perhaps that was a wise decision as it made way for Stephens to address more important matters. He eludes to the situation of the School of Music in 2012 regarding the funding cuts and redundancies that were put in place; “…Harvey-Martin made an impassioned statement during the concert drawing attention to the impact of the current situation involving the Canberra School of Music.” (Stephens, ‘Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2,’ 2012)

In some cases, leaving out the rather dramatic event of a bursting light might have had a negative impact however, by bringing to light the dim situation of the school and the successful ability of the youth orchestra to perform to such a high calibre in such circumstances, Stephens manages to suede his reader into supporting the School of Music. (ABC, ‘Concert Marathon Protests ANU Music Cuts’, 2012)

The writing itself flows with an ease suited to all audiences. Outlining the musical repertoire, complementing the programing skills stating that the “beautiful emotive music was superbly played by the young orchestra and set the mood and tone perfectly for the major drawcard of the evening.” (Stephens, ‘Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2,’ 2012)

Stephens’ ability to note the staging aspects of the evening’s concert makes for a clearer and better read, enabling the reader to feel as if they were there. The final focus towards the end of the review on the CDDC and the way in which the stage was set creates a pleasant contrast to the previously musically descriptive text.

Overall, the review and the website it was posted on, demonstrates an understanding of the need to appeal to both musically literate and the general public. An informative yet short biography of the Canberra Critics Circle helps bring the whole article together. An enjoyable read despite the neglect of an explosive rare event mid-concert.

Image sourced from: (Stephens, ‘Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2,’ 2012)


Stephens, Bill. “Romeo and Juliet Suite No.2.” Canberra Critics Circle. June 27th 2012. Accessed March 2nd 2017.

ABC. “Concert Marathon Protests ANU Music Cuts.” ABC News. May 14th 2012. Accessed March 2nd 2017.