Parkville is alive with the sound of music

Kaylah Joelle Baker

Parkville Ensembles’ open-air chamber music concerts are back this year, with two concerts set for February 19 and March 5 from 6pm.

Made up of professional musicians, Parkville Ensemble has been playing music in the precinct for more than 20 years but were unfortunately left without a home to perform when their original venue was sold, and the pandemic started.

“Last year we went for the open-air concerts because people could be spaced outdoors and it was safer,” Parkville resident and Parkville Ensemble musician Stuart Riley said.

“It worked really well because people could relax with a drink as the sun went down, and they really enjoyed it. So, we wanted to continue the concerts this year.”

As a principal double bass player for Orchestra Victoria, Mr Riley is more than aware of the importance of the concerts for many of the musicians who struggled with lack of work during the pandemic.

While the concerts were a chance for the musicians to have fun playing music together again, they also became very special to the local community, many of whom found themselves missing live gigs.

It is for this reason why Mr Riley can’t wait to get back to performing in the open-air chamber music concerts.

“The concerts are just a fun community live music event, and we want people to tell their friends and come along to sit outside, have fun and enjoy some free music,” Mr Riley said.

Although the concerts are free to attend, there will be a chance for the crowd, if they wish and are able, to contribute to Parkville Ensemble’s chosen charity.


While last year’s concerts raised money for freelance musicians who lost all their income due to COVID, this year any gold coin donations received will go towards PODtriangle (Player-Owner-Donor).


Created by Mr Riley after he saw a lack of support for the cause, PODtriangle is a new charity that is helping to find musical instruments for young musicians who can’t afford to buy them.

His introduction and explanation of the charity and its importance will also be briefly mentioned at the concerts.

Stating that “the asset prices have gone up so high compared to salary”, Mr Riley is hopeful that people may also be able to help by donating old instruments, in good condition, that they no longer use.

“It is a really important charity because a violin is a violinists’ voice, and there is a limit to what people can do without a quality instrument,” Mr Riley said.

For the first concert on Sunday, February 19, there will be a quartet who will be playing a mix of Mozart and lighter songs, and for the second concert on Sunday, March 5, renowned soprano Ali Rae Jones will be present.

Mr Riley will also be playing the classic Tosca (Abridged), promising that he will be playing “all the good bits, and just having a bit of fun with it”.

Both concerts will be held outside 82 Story St, Parkville. •

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