Arts / CYO farewells Grant on a high note

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James Morrison.
WHEN trumpeter and music legend James Morrison steps up onto the stage of Llewellyn Hall tomorrow night to perform with Canberra Youth Orchestra, there’ll be mixed feelings of elation and sadness.

While the concert marks the high point of its 50th anniversary celebrations, it also coincides with the departure of their CEO and artistic director, Kathleen Grant, who will leave the CYO’s hosting organisation tomorrow.

Kathleen Grant.
Grant, who has been in her position since 2015 and has overseen the transition of several orchestras and music teaching groups into the umbrella organisation “Music For Canberra”, has also held administrative positions at the ANU School of Music and the Canberra International Music Festival and is now moving to Melbourne for personal reasons.

Grant says: “What an amazing place Canberra is… we are going to miss the people and liveability of our bush capital very much, but moving interstate is the job when you are part of a defence family.”

Grant’s successor as CEO and artistic director will be Eloise Fisher, who takes up the position at the beginning of Term 1. A self-described “Canberra native”, Fisher holds a doctorate from the Juilliard School in New York and has experience working in administrative roles in both musical and non-musical organisations. She also started out as a Junior Strings member and continued through to the CYO.


CYO. Photo by Peter Hislop.
Meantime, it’s business as usual for the organisations that come under Music for Canberra. Tomorrow, November 11, at 1pm, in the Albert Hall, the James McCusker Orchestra will perform, tickets can be purchased at the door.

As for the Canberra Youth Orchestra and its busy conductor Leonard Weiss, they will be enjoying CYO alumni drinks followed by a rehearsal tonight then the grand 50th anniversary concert tomorrow with Morrison, where they’ll be playing jazz and Latin favourites, Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” and Copland’s “Appalachian Spring”.

Canberra Youth Orchestra’s James Morrison concert, Llewellyn Hall, 7.30pm, Saturday, November 11. Bookings to


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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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