Since 1973, Brisbane City Pops (formerly St Lucia Orchestra) has been a cornerstone of Brisbane's amateur orchestral music scene.
With over 50 members at weekly Monday evening rehearsals, BCPO is a vibrant social and musical force.
The Brisbane City Pops Orchestra (BCPO) began in 1973 as a small group of string players led by well known Brisbane violinist Ron Toussaint. By 1976 the orchestra had added a wind and percussion section and later brass instruments. Today the BCPO has around 50 players.
Since its beginnings, the members of the orchestra have been a mixture of both practising and retired professional players as well as serious amateurs with a strong desire to perform well. We have always been fortunate to have a number of first rate conductors lead us and many well known musical identities have been associated with this orchestra. From 1976 and for eighteen years, British conductor Ronald Hanmer was the musical director and conductor. Ron penned over 300 unique arrangements for the BCPO and of course he was the composer of "Pastorale" which became the theme to the longest running radio soapy 'Blue Hills'. Ron's adage was 'light and bright' and his arrangements of light classical and stage music have played a major part in defining the sound of the BCPO. Sadly he passed away in 1994 but since then the influence of other talented conductors means our repertoire is always expanding in exciting new directions. At present, our resident conductor is Warwick Potter and our concert master is Sarah Ryan - two musicians of enormous experience and professionalism.
Over the past 42 years we have travelled far and wide playing everywhere from the Schonell Theatre at University of Queensland to the Brisbane city hall to the wineries of Stanthorpe and country centres such as Mt. Mee. We have performed in retirement villages, schools, services clubs and concert halls and since 1995 we have participated regularly in the 4MBS Festival of Classics. The orchestra broadens its appeal by regularly introducing guest soloists and singers to audiences and many of the younger performers have gone on to create highly successful careers.
In 2014 the orchestra officially became the Brisbane City Pops Orchestra - a community orchestra for all ages and tastes.
Juan Carlos Malvaez
# denotes Concertmaster
* Principal player