The recently formed Canberra Classical Guitar Society Orchestra has stepped into the Canberra music scene with two recent performances. Its debut outing was at the Italian Cultural Centre at the invitation of guitarist Milena Cifali who held a concert there on 23 May. A second chance for the group to perform came¬† from the Spanish-Australian Club who invited the orchestra to kick off their Santiago Day festivities on 25 July. Santiago (Saint James) is the patron saint of Spain.
The orchestra formed a year ago as an outgrowth of the first meetings of the Canberra Classical Guitar Society. It gives players a chance to play in a group environment, since guitar playing is often a solo endeavor.
The orchestra consists of around 20 guitarists of varying playing abilities and a wide range of ages, led by guitar teachers Steve Allen and Milena Cifali.¬†¬† Leslie Spencer, from Cooma School of Music, conducted the first two performances and also plays with the group.
The youngest player is ten; the oldest won’t say.¬† Its repertoire is still developing and already includes works by Australian composer Richard Charlton and two by the Gypsy Kings.