ONE final spectacular weekend of music and song has wrapped up the 25th Organs of the Goldfield festival, a festival which oganisers are hailing as the best yet.
Music enthusiasts from right around the country have made Ballarat their home-away-from-home these past 10 days.
At the weekend, the festival concluded with the variety which has come to be expected from the popular event.
From Friday night's Vivaldi and Bach E major violin concerto featuring internationally acclaimed harpist Elisabetta Ghebbioni, Andrea Dainese on flute and Paolo Tagliamento violin to Murphy's Pig Irish Band and their collection of dancers, which performed a the Civic Hall, showed there was something for everyone.
Festival assistant director Judy Houston said Saturday night's performance from the The Lay Clerk's Choir of St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney was among the most spectacular seen in the history of the event.
"I think it's been the best, it been really beautiful," Ms Houston said.
"We're very grateful to all the musicians that have come, they have come and done some amazing things here.
"While it's hard to single out the highlights, I loved the opening concert which was very exciting and last night we had the choir from St Mary's in Sydney who flew down to be part of the festival.
"They are all professional singers and the show they put on was wonderful."
Another highlight of the final weekend was the Recital for mezzo soprano and guitar featuring Sally Anne Russell (mezzo soprano) and Massimo Scattolin (guitar), which was held at Mary's Mount Centre in Sturt Street.
The festival culminated in a duo of concerti from Bruch and Beethoven to finish the festival at an inspiring high on Sunday. Violinist Paulo Tagliamento and pianist Anthony Halliday, accompanied by the Art of Sound Orchestra directed by Mario Debernig, brought a rare level of musicianship to the sublime pieces.
Ms Houston said it was incredible that the festival was now 25 years old.
"There are many audience members who have attended since the beginning and certainly these friends must be congratulated as being a crucial part of the backbone of the festival," she said.
She said another highlight was the annual visits to country churches, this year including Uniting Church in Carngham, the former Wesleyan Church in Clunes, a return to St Joseph's Catholic Church in Blampied and, for the first time, a visit to the Uniting Church in Yandoit.
'We started that 25 years ago when we came across the lovely old church on the rise at Snake Valley," she said.
"We were able to get access there and had a look through and it was so beautiful, we thought it would be lovely to have a concert there. The acoustics are magnificent. Ever since then the visits have been a central part of our festival. She said the variety on show this year had been unsurpassed and plans were already in place for the 26th edition.
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