Bellingen Youth Orchestra's spectacular end-of-year concert 2018

The Bellingen Youth Orchestra’s gift to the community that has nurtured it came wrapped in a velvety soft warm night and was resoundingly well received.

Thousands poured into the showground for the Symphony under the Stars concert, bringing their picnic rugs and their fold-up chairs, and spreading themselves out across the main ring with their friends and families.

The music began while the sky was still blue, with people eating, drinking and talking, but as night began to fall and the main act took to the stage, the crowd’s attention became more focused.

Check out the size of the audience as the camera pans in this video:

The BYO, along with alumni guest artists and singer soloists, performed toe-tapping fast pieces like ‘Lord of the Dance’ and well-known songs like ‘I dreamed a dream’ and ‘You raise me up’, inspiring a troupe of tiny dancers, who swayed and leapt on the stage right in front of them.

Duke sings and the children dance:

Artistic director Annie Phelan made a point of saying she was thrilled to see so many small children at the event and they were welcome to come as close to the orchestra as they liked.

The grand finale, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture went off as promised with cannons sounding and fireworks lighting up the dark sky behind the stage, a perfect visual and aural spectacle to close a hugely successful end-of-year concert.