Music at Wesley
Music at Wesley
Wesely Logo

Wesley Music Centre

22 National Circuit, Forrest ACT 2603

Wesley Music Foundation

Music at Wesley Uniting Church and Wesley Music Centre

 


Background

Music has played an integral part of life in the Wesley Church community ever since the first church was opened on the site in May 1930. A choir has been continuously active for more than 73 years. There have been many memorable services and events, including ecumenical and national occasions, in that time.

With the opening of the new church building in November 1955 there was more scope for music ministry with a large choir and a pipe organ available for the first time. At this time and until 1977 the church was known as the National Methodist Memorial Church. In 1977 it was renamed Wesley Uniting Church.

In September 2002 major property developments were dedicated. These included a new gallery in the church to bring the regular seating up to 350, a new main foyer to accommodate up to 250, a new administrative wing and a new Music Centre. In the same month the rebuilt organ was also dedicated.


top of page

The Wesley Organ

In the late 1970s and early 1980s action was taken to enlarge the pipe organ from 9 ranks to 43 ranks and to convert it into a valuable instrument for recitals and services.

From 1983 to 2002 action was taken in stages to transform the acoustics of the church. As a result of the changes made, the acoustics are excellent for all forms of music and worship services. Read more here.

During 2000 and up to August 2002 George Stephens, Organ Builder from Adelaide, comprehensively re-voiced and re-built the organ to international standards with outstanding success.

In 2006 further additions were made to the Pedal Division to bring the total number of speaking stops to 61 over three manuals and five Divisions. It is the largest and most diversified pipe organ in the region and is intended as a resource for community as well as church use. Read more here.


top of page

Music Scholarship Program

In 1994 the Wesley Music Scholarship Program was commenced with the purpose of providing a sympathetic environment and some financial support for talented students to participate in the church's music ministry and associated events. Read more here.

 


top of page

Wesley Music Foundation (ABN 71 567 791 250)

The Wesley Music Foundation (ACT) was set up by Wesley Uniting Church in 1999 as a community organisation to promote music and music education with the aim of ensuring a strong music program in perpetuity. It is a charity on the Australian Government Register of Cultural Organisations and can receive tax deductible donations by individuals and corporate bodies. There is also an active 'Friends of Wesley Music' organisation that raises money through public events.

To date, the Foundation has raised over $2 million through concerts, gifts and pledges. This has allowed the expansion of the Scholarship Program, the re-voicing and rebuilding of the Wesley pipe organ and the establishment of the Music Centre ($1.4 million). There have been no church or government grants for any of this development. A brochure about the Foundation is here.

The Board members are Ockhert Meyer (Chair), Stan Sismey (Secretary and Treasurer-Public Accounts), Simon Cowling (Treasurer-General Accounts), Don Whitbread (ex-Director Woden Valley Youth Choir), Alan Hicks (ex-ANU School of Music), Glenda McDowall, Robert Schmidli (Pianist), Helen Robertson (Lawyer) and Colin Milner.

The WMF Constitution can be downloaded. The Foundation operates under a Trust Deed.

To support the Foundation (including bequests) more details are here.


top of page

Friends of Wesley Music

The Wesley Music Foundation operates an active Friends of Wesley Music to raise funds through public events promoted by the Friends. Friends of Wesley Music receive regular information on future activities and are entitled to an additional discount on tickets to concerts and other music events organised or sponsored by the Foundation. They also have the opportunity to attend special events for Friends. Download an application form here. Download the current newsletter here.


top of page

The Future

The aim in all this is to move ahead as resources and circumstances permit and as the Spirit guides.

A lot has changed since 1930 and much since 1955 and 1977. It has been necessary to see change as an opportunity to move in new directions. We are conscious of the fact that to develop and maintain any worthwhile program one must have a great deal of dedication and interest from many people with strong support from ministers, church councillors and others in the wider community. Fortunately that support has been there and continues to be there to enable the work to bear good fruit for the great mission of the church.

The Wesley Music Centre regularly emails its calendar of events, usually for a period ahead of 2 to 3 months, as well as media releases and invitations to those who wish to be on the distribution list (recipients are undisclosed). The calendar and other information on events is here.