The tait performing arts association (tpaa) recently marked the momentous occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Tait Memorial Trust by Isla Baring OAM in the UK. To commemorate this significant milestone, a special concert was held at the prestigious Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School on 27 April 2023, during Isla's visit to Melbourne.

Caroline Almonte, the Artistic Director of TPAA, curated a captivating program featuring renowned artists who have been supported by or involved with the Trust, all eager to perform and honor this momentous occasion.

The evening commenced with a warm welcome from Hilary Bland, Principal of VCASS, setting the stage for an enchanting musical experience. Marshall McGuire, an eminent harpist, teacher, conductor, and administrator, mesmerized the audience with his captivating performance of Hasselmann’s “La Source” on the harp. Caroline Almonte, an exceptionally gifted, versatile, and sensitive pianist and artist, enthralled the audience with her rendition of Listz’s “Gondoliera” from Venezia e Napoli.

The program continued with the spellbinding vocals of Rebecca Gulinello, who delivered a breathtaking performance of Puccini's “Mi Chiamano Mimi” and Cilea's “Io son l'umile ancella”. David Meng Xia, a talented student from VCASS, showcased his prodigious skills by playing Rachmaninov’s Etude op. 39, no. 9 on the piano. The acclaimed pianist Stefan Cassemenos took the stage, enthralling the audience with his captivating interpretation of Rachmaninov’s compositions. The evening culminated with an unforgettable performance by Meow Meow, accompanied by the illustrious Paul Grabowsky. Meow Meow’s captivating singing and enthralling stage presence left the audience mesmerized. The concert reached its grand finale with a heartfelt rendition of “Happy Birthday”, the perfect ending to a truly remarkable evening.

Reflecting on the event, Isla Baring, President of the TPAA, expressed her pride in supporting young performing artists from Australia and New Zealand and shared her admiration for the remarkable work being done at VCASS.

The proceeds from the concert will be allocated in assisting students during their studies in London. The event proved to be both enjoyable and highly successful, reaffirming the commitment of TPAA and Tait Memorial Trust to nurturing young talent in the performing arts.

2023 VCASS TAIT Concert 25(left to right) Meow Meow, Paul Grabowsky, Rebecca Gulinello, Stefan Cassomenos, Isla Baring, David Meng Xia, Marshall McGuire and Caroline Almonte. Photo by Dylan Breninger.