Web White Hat

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter 'Great Things to do in Melbourne - the White Hat guide'

Submit an event, attraction or venue to be considered for listing on this website.

Music
Musical history tour
Miniature & Dolls House Fair
Did you know?
Melbourne's Hidden Gems
Reminders
Feedback

  White Hat  
   

Music

This is a weekend with music for every taste. You can choose between chamber music, hip-hop or the Wiggles – or why not all three. The Wiggles are performing at Dallas Brooks Hall. Details at Children's Activities in Melbourne. There is a free day of hip-hop music and classes in Richmond and Collingwood. Details at Rock & Pop Music in Melbourne. A free day of chamber music recitals in the city (see below). There is also a concert from the Song Company on Tuesday and a free ABC recital next Friday. Details at Classical Music in Melbourne.

  White Hat  
   

Musical History Tour

On Saturday, the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition presents a number of free concerts in city venues. For a long time our major music organisations and some theatres have often brought us international talent that is past its prime (and therefore affordable). Get together a few superannuated actors, make sure the cast contains a couple of people who once appeared in a British TV series shown in Australia, put them in a not very good comedy and you will always get an audience who wants to ‘see them in the flesh’. Similarly, big name musicians who have long settled into a cosy limited repertoire of popular works will always put bums on seats. After a not very good performance, Barry Humphries’ mother used to say. “Well at least you can say you’ve seen them!” If, you prefer to hear musicians on the way up rather than on the way down, this is the weekend for you. The performers at this competition are world class and at least some will carve out important careers.

Each recital is only 45 minutes, and the venues are all in walking distance, so you could use the day to make a musical history tour of Melbourne.

Try starting at St Michael’s Church (previously known as the Congregational or Independent Church). Little Johnny Fawkner, one of the European founders of Melbourne, was a Congregationalist, and it was on this site that the first church service in Melbourne was held. Make sure you have a look at one of the hidden treasures of Melbourne while you are there.

Please note: This section of the newsletter has been removed as it forms part of a forthcoming publication.

The outside of the church uses multi-coloured bricks and presages the Federation style of architecture that grew up at a later date. The inside is highly unusual because it is in the shape of a semi-circular amphitheatre. I could tell you why, but at this rate we’ll be here all day and miss the next recital.

There are recitals over the road at the Sofitel, but that is in an international style found anywhere in the world, so lets head down the road to the Assembly Hall. Through the doorway in the carved stone façade, up the stairs and you’re in the foyer. There, portraits of Scottish Presbyterian forefathers remind us that there will be no improper behaviour in this place. Through the stained glass doors and into the small wood panelled hall with leather seats. Things have hardly changed since when this was a favourite venue for temperance meetings. Ladies, remember the oath you took, “Lips that touch liquor will never touch mine!” Time now to renew that oath. Although the Assembly Hall has been regularly used for small concerts over the years, to many Melbournians it is a hidden gem they have regularly walked past but never seen from the inside.

Just a little further down the hill is the Baptist Church, home of Tim Costello. Walk to the top of the steps at the base of the pillars, then ponder that you are now standing at what once was footpath level in Collins Street. Inside is plain, almost austere, but comfortable. If you have time after the recital, head back up to Russell Street and then down Little Collins. You will notice the long narrow lane leading up to the back of the Baptist Church. That is where the charitable work of the church takes place for those sleeping rough, having drug problems etc. Many buildings in Melbourne have a public face and a hidden face - see below.

Down the hill to the Town Hall. Still a fine concert hall, and with that Victorian monster of an organ it can’t be beaten for major romantic repertoire. A seat near the front in the left hand balcony will give you the best view and acoustics. The council chambers in this building are a real gem, but maybe another time.

Along Swanston Street and we are one block and one century away at Fed Square. The new performing space at BMW Edge (the State Government have cut off funding, so expect more naming rights to be sold in order to finish the place) gives unique views out onto the Yarra while listening to your last concert for the afternoon.

Even if you don’t stay for the recitals, it is a walk well worth taking while these buildings are open.

If you do attend some recitals, make sure you keep the programs. In the future when these groups are internationally successful and you can’t afford to go to their concerts, you can drag out the program and say “Well, at least I can say I’ve seen them!”

Details of these concerts at Classical Music in Melbourne.

  White Hat  
   

Miniature & Dolls House Fair

If dolls houses are your thing (and the amount of size 14 Pooh & Piglet pyjamas that are being sold seems to indicate there is a sustainable market out there) then head off to the dolls house fair. A small admission charge applies. Details at Craft Festivals in Melbourne.

  White Hat  
   

Did you know?

. that this newsletter has a larger confirmed readership than there are audited listeners to a number of Radio National programs. Scary isn’t it? Maybe Senator Allston will soon move to block further media ownership by White Hat.

  White Hat  
   

Melbourne's Hidden Gems

Buildings with 'public' and 'hidden' faces

Melbourne has numbers of buildings which are well known by the public and tourists. However it is often the hidden aspects of these buildings that are most fascinating. Here are some of our favourites.

Please note: This section of the newsletter has been removed as it forms part of a forthcoming publication.
  White Hat  
   

Reminders

The moot court sessions continue at the Supreme Court - the thinking man’s (or woman’s) alternative to reruns of TV courtroom dramas. Stimulating courtroom battles in heritage surroundings. Details at Forums in Melbourne.
The art exhibition continues this weekend at the Mission for Seamen. The artwork is not going to set the world alight, but it is a rare opportunity to visit this hidden gem of Melbourne. Details at Exhibitions in Melbourne.

  White Hat  
   

Reader feedback

“Congratulations!
Hello my name is Annie. I was just given your URL and had a look around. Well I have to say that it’s the most informative site I have been to and I think that Melbourne Tourism should take a leaf out of your book. This is the most eclectic, cross sectioned and most diverse site for tourist or a local like me”

“Hello there its me again.annie who posted the message which is on your home page. I think your site is great ...not just great but really great and Lots of hard work has gone into it. I don’t know if I said this before in my previous email but I have included your site on my site on geocities. If you care to take a look its just past the two week mark and today I have already had 300 hits...I am blown away with that. I am from Melbourne and love it...cant you tell?? So please check out my site as well thank you. If you do not like it on there please let me know and I will remove it. Thanks I will keep checking up on your site. Keep up the good work...............including the home page I have four pages up.I do . . . markets at Mornington Racecourse and Flemington Racecourse as well. I call myself a creative artist. I design, create and make costumes for children. I also make wings and wands and all sorts of faerie gifts. I am a face artist, (facepainter) a story teller and I do children’s parties (in Home). I have been involved in this way for ten years after owning a Hairdressing salon. I changed tack and am loving it. Take a look at www.rivertribe.com as well as they are a Melbourne band and do wonderful work. They have just come back from a tour of USA and Canada and are at this moment in Qld. They will become very highly sought after. I believe in the future. Take a peep at them as well...maybe they can be included in your pages. Take care and Congratulations again ..great work."

You can find a comprehensive guide to markets around Australia at The White Hat Guide to Markets in Australia.