This years online Master Class 2021 Series was an outstanding success. The Master Class 2021 Series provided a broad curriculum from specialist instrumental classes to performance preparation, building a practice routine through to grant applications, music licensing and child protection policies for community organisations. We held 32 classes over the 5 day course with over 800 participants. Our clinicians included musicians from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and other international artists.
Written by Walkley Award-winning artist Bill Farr and produced by Melbourne-based Skunkworks Productions, JUDY • AUSTRALIA • 1964 is a two-act musical drama that documents the 12 days that Garland spent in Australia. Entirely based on Garlands three performances (two in Sydney, one in Melbourne), the production showcases 15 of her most famous songs, from the upbeat When You’re Smiling, Trolley Song and Swanee, to the emotionally powerful The Man That Got Away, As Long As He Need Me and What Now My Love. A two-hander, it also features the character of Harry M Miller watching on and describing the events as he remembers them. Miller has two songs, including the haunting Peter Allen classic, Quiet Please, There’s A Lady Onstage. The show was first performed – in a shortened cabaret version – at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre 2 on July 4, 5 and 6 in 2019. Performances were sold out and the show was spectacularly received with the audience on its feet each night. The full two-act version was bedded down (magically, between lockdowns) at the Whitehorse Theatre in Melbourne on July 9 and 10 this year. Again, the show played to enthusiastic audiences.
(Photo: Musical Director Phillipa Edwards, Nina Ferro (Judy), Andrew Broadbent (Harry M. Miller).
The Alpine Brass Festival took place at Bright in the heart of Victoria's beautiful alpine region on 15th May.
Five bands over five hours, soloists, home cooking, local beers and ciders, late-night chats and all things community. We had a blast! Thank you so much to Michael, Athalie, Nathan, Fenella, Jeremy and the Bright Chalet staff for your amazing hospitality. Thank you to the bands, The City of Greater Dandenong, Creswick (Katrina Bird) Hyde Street, Glenferrie Band and Wodonga Band(Fenella O'Sullivan)
The Last Post Project invited musicians of all ages and instruments to join with us in creating a unique event in commemoration of ANZAC Day 2021. With the COVID 19 pandemic preventing large scale Anzac Day services we recruited musicians from all over Australia to play the Last Post on Anzac Day in their driveway or for their local community. Participants in the project also raised money for veteran charities Mates4Mates and the Women Veterans Network Australia.
(Right: Hetty Lawson playing the Last Post for the residents at the Faversham House Aged Care Facility Anzac service)
Bursting with wit, charm and festive highlights from throughout the ages, The ISO That Nearly Stole Christmas celebrates the Christmas concerts we’ve loved in the past and nearly lost in 2020. With MC Sammy J and guest artists including Ali McGregor, Nina Ferro, Danielle Matthews, Eddie Muliaumaseali’i, Andrew Broadbent, Georgia Wilkinson, Shauntai Batke, Jude Perl and The Toshi Clinch Trio.
The show played at the Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne, on 12th December 2020. It was the first live audience theatre show to open in Melbourne since the COVID 19 lockdown.
The Skunkworks Master Class 2020 series proved to be a great success with over 250 class registrations. The classes were aimed primarily at our VCE music students who have been in lock down most of the year but were also open to others who have an interest in music. The Master Class series focused on Brass, Percussion, Singing and Theatre with internationally renowned clinicians from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia and many others. This Master Class series was funded by Skunkworks, our sponsors Windcraft and Fine Music, and many generous donations from the public.
Skunkworks were proud to be part of the We Are One bushfire appeal concert on 2nd February 2020 at Windy Hill. We had a fantastic band comprising the top musicians from the community scene to support our fabulous line up of singers including Silvie Paladino, Amanda Harrison, Danielle Matthews, Georgia Wilkinson, Shauntai Batzke and more. All proceeds were donated to the Victorian bushfire appeal.
World renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma and The Skunkworks Orchestra entertained the audience at the annual Coming Back Out Again Ball for the LGBTI+ community. Hosted by All The Queens Men this fabulous ball is a spectacular celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Gender Diverse and Intersex elders. Yo Yo Ma and The Skunkworks Orchestra performed a number of audience favourites that had everyone dancing to the beat.
The newly established Skunkworks Orchestra under the musical direction of Skunkworks Director Phillipa Edwards performed their inaugural gig with the incomparable Yo Yo Ma at the Coming Back Out Again Ball (it doesn't get much better than that). The orchestra comprises professional, semi-professional and outstanding community musicians to form an ensemble that can perform a wide range of genres from pop to swing to classical.
Written by Bill Farr this production recreates the dramatic events of Judy Garland's tour of Australia in 1964. From wowing audiences and gaining rave reviews for her Sydney performance to the ignominy of her Melbourne performances we witness the decline of a great star. Produced by Skunkworks Productions this project has been specially developed for the unique talents of Liane Keegan. Also starring Alistair Frearson. This show ran for 3 nights at the Athenaeum Theatre, in July 2019.
Skunkworks Productions has produced a number of recordings featuring the wonderful Danielle Matthews including "The Prayer" with Claire Lyon and a CD titled "The Songs of Shirely Bassey" plus a demo reel for her Shirley Bassey show.
Go to our store page to purchase these recordings.
Aspiring musicians of all ages and abilities are invited to joins us for a week of fun and music in the beautiful Victorian Alps. Held each January at the Bright Chalet this week long music camp includes accommodation, meals and expert musical tuition in a fun group environment. Develop your ensemble playing and showcase your achievements at the Bright Summer Camp Concert. Extra curricular activities include bike riding, rafting, swimming (all inclusive).
In 2019 Skunkworks established the Melbourne Brass Ensemble to display the talents of our most outstanding local musicians. The ensemble is available for gigs and special occasions. The ensemble also provided the music tracks for our recent recording with Daniel Matthews.
The ensemble is directed by our own Phillipa Edwards.
Created by our own Phillipa Edwards and taken on tour to Europe and the UK in November 2018 by the Footscray-Yarraville City Band, this show commemorates the courage and sacrifice of our original Anzacs. The tour and show was a great success and Skunkworks is looking to produce the show again in 2021.
The Bright Oktoberfest is a very successful community event aimed at families and provides opportunities for local community groups, artists and businesses to actively engage with the community while providing an enjoyable family event. In conjunction with the Bright Chalet, organisers of the Bright Oktoberfest, Skunkworks produces the live entertainment and music for this event which has been very successful over the last five years. We are now looking at bringing this event to Melbourne.