Organ's Fest draws crowds for Halliday

THE Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts was alive with music on Saturday morning.

Acclaimed pianist Anthony Halliday, along with Miwako Abe, performed in the 19th recital for the 2014 Organs of the Goldfields festival.

In an hour, the pair played Beethoven, Debussy and Saint Saens on piano and violin to a captivated audience of about 100 people. 

Just after noon the musically-minded spilled from the art centre, raving about the performance. 

Robin Ruys,  who was visiting from Sydney, said she came down especially for the event. 

"It's a great experience, a lot of people look forward to events like this all year," Robin said.

"Coming from Sydney, it's good to see events like this in regional towns." 

Her Ballarat friend Jane Monro agreed.

"Anthony played very well, it was a great performance," she said. 

Melbourne visitors Domenica Ashworth, Peter Ellyard and Ralph and Patsy Poppenbeek said it was a terrific performance by Halliday. 

"Anthony Halliday has a fabulous presence on stage, and not many can hold the music for more than 50 minutes," Patsy said. 

"We usually come up from Melbourne for about a week for the festival, but we didn't this year because of the heat," she said. 

The Port Melbourne resident said it was important for Ballarat to host the Organs of the Goldfields festival. 

"Regional towns are getting smaller and becoming more like big cities," Patsy said. 

"It does wonders for tourism, we've already spent a lot of money in town."

Domenica said she tried to come along to the event every year.

"We just love it, and it was a quality performance of the music," she said. 

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