Concert rich in local history
THE story of how renowned Queensland musical quintet Topology came to schedule a performance of their new Queensland at Home tour in Mount Perry began with an interview by the ABC's Brad Marsellos.
He was discussing the historical Hilltop Chapel with its owner Karen Betts, who has big plans for the space.
Mrs Betts was asked if there were any interesting stories she had heard about the church, which was dedicated in 1908.
She responded that one of the famous Mount Perry tales involved the late Morris Dingle, renowned for drifting off during services and snoring loudly.
One day the children of the congregation, who had been banished outside to play with the dogs so as not to cause a ruckus, decided it would be hilarious to launch a puppy through an open window into Mr Dingle's lap.
His reaction is still fondly recalled among those who were present.
This interview was posted to the ABC Wide Bay Facebook page, where it was seen by a Topology employee.
Topology was, at this stage, about halfway through its Queensland at Home series, which pairs an original musical score composed by Topology's Robert Davidson with archival footage from the early 20th century sourced from the State Library of Queensland.
Topology's creative director and violinist Christa Powell said the archival footage from the 1930s-40s had striking modern parallels.
"It's very similar to what's taken now on iPhones,” MsPowell said.
"Kids playing tunnel ball, woodchopping, the burning of the Empire Theatre in Toowoomba in 1933.
"(The effect is) dreamy. It makes the ordinary extraordinary,” she said.
"It is quite melancholic knowing that all these people depicted are probably no longer in this world.”
Ms Powell said the music "responds to what's on the screen” and therefore "the music becomes the narrative”.
The idea for the Queensland at Home tour was to "ferret” out iconic town halls, historical theatres and other curious buildings to perform in, adding another layer to the experience.
Mount Perry was not on Topology's schedule until they saw Mr Marsellos' interview and learnt a bit more about Hilltop Chapel.
The renowned quintet couldn't resist booking a show there.
Mrs Betts said she had been telling everyone she met to book a ticket and "get your culture on”.
"I'm so very excited. I want to hire a tuxedo to get dressed up to the nines,” she said.
Hilltop Chapel is a long-term project for the Betts family.
The venue is currently undergoing rolling renovations and Mrs Betts envisages that once complete it will be a multi-purpose community space suitable for classes, celebrations and meetings, with North Burnett Regional Council's blessing.
- Hilltop Chapel will host Queensland at Home on Friday, June 21, at 7pm.
- Canapes are included in the ticket price and will be served at 6pm.
- Visit topologymusic.com/ live-shows/ to book.
- Tickets are also available at the door, children under 12 free.