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Spotlight: New Year's Eve at the Hall - An event that gives back!

If you you've never been to our annual New Year's Eve concerts at the Hall, you may not know that The Rotary Club of Perth have held their Annual New Year's Eve Matinee and Gala concert events on the 31st of December every year for the past 3+ decades!  We are honoured to be host to this magnificent event because it always feels like the perfect way to end a year and start a new one - and going to the hall to see the Vienna Pops Orchestra with special guests feels like a true destination on arguably the biggest night of the year. It's hard to beat the impressive acoustics and the plush red seats with a drink in hand while waiting for the triumphant sounds of a full orchestra. And most importantly, we can't fail to mention that what's even more special about this event is the fact that it's all about giving back to charity.

With the end of 2020 just around the corner, we wanted to catch up with the good folks from Rotary who have been taking time outside of their families and day jobs year after year to organise a wonderful event worth recreating! 

Read below for our collective interview with the organising committee and learn what will make this year's New Year's Eve special!

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Photo courtesy Mark Coughlan, Musical Director

It’s been an interesting 2020 and with a lot of people staying local this year, we anticipate that a lot more people will be planning a night on the town here in the city on New Year’s Eve and if they were away in recent years they may not be privy to the fact that one of the most magnificent buildings in town (in our opinion!) hosts two incredibly fun AND charitable Annual New Year’s Eve Concerts – tell us more! 
The Rotary Club of Perth Vienna Pops NYE event has been held for 32 years (this is our 33rd year!). The event showcases the best musical talent from WA and around the world and features Mark Coughlan and the renowned Vienna Pops Orchestra who play a mix of popular classics, songs from the shows, love songs and light-hearted moments with outstanding singers, backed up by our own brilliant orchestra. The Vienna Pops NYE concert truly has music to suit all tastes and ages and is an opportunity to enjoy a festive NYE event whilst knowing you are supporting a worthwhile charity making a difference in WA and beyond. The evening includes entertainment, food and drink packages and glamorous VIP options. The matinee is a shorter family friendly event for those who want to start the festivities early and enjoy some beautiful music, entertainment and good humour.

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We here at the hall know that most of the people working to put these annual concerts together are Volunteers who all have day jobs on top of planning this charitable event – tell us more about the special group of people putting this event together. 
The Vienna Pops committee is a team of Perth Rotary members, corporate members and business sponsors who all pull their skills and expertise together across marketing, graphics, event management and fundraising. The committee ranges from the age of 25 to 55. Some members have been a part of the committee over many years. Each committee member brings together a unique perspective, network and commitment to creating a world class event. Volunteering in their spare time, the members display the ethos of Rotary which is “Service above self”.


We love that these annual concerts raise money for charity– how much of the profits go to charity and which ones do you focus on?
100% of the funds raised after costs are allocated to charity. In the past, these profits have helped Perth Rotary support Passages Youth Engagement Hub supporting at risk youth, The Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Cambodia Family Support, Hagar and many other charitable groups. Funds are also directed to the Perth Rotary Community Fund which then supports our annual District Grant Projects. In 2020/21 our District Grants are supporting the Nyoongar Outreach Centre, Reflections – a charity raising awareness about the impacts of asbestos on the community, and support of a vocational training opportunity assisting local and grass roots social entrepreneurs in the launch of their social enterprises. It’s through our club’s and our committee members’ collective desire to serve the community that we run these concerts annually.


New Year’s Eve to most of us always means good food and bubbles – is this something party/concert-goers can look forward to?
Yes! What is a party without good food and drink? Heyder and Shears provide a delicious array of food, this year due to COVID we have chosen an a la carte menu and the VIPs will be treated a selection of canapés. Drinks are available for purchase before and during the show and of course at the afterparty.


What has been a favourite memory of yours from a past concert?
The impromptu elements of the show are always the best. The interaction and long standing relationship between Musical Director Mark Coughlan, the stars of the show and the Vienna Pops Orchestra are always entertaining. The glamour of the red carpet for the VIPs and meeting the stars is a highlight too. The introduction of the matinee concert is a great option for a shorter, fun more relaxed way to end the year.


What’s on the program this year that you’re particularly looking forward to? 
Rachelle will be a highlight of this year's show. She is magical and very funny. The Rising Star is always a highlight so I look forward to seeing the talent on display this year. 

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Photo courtesy Vienna Pops Orchestra & Rotary Club Perth

Last but not least, there is a Matinee concert which makes me perk up as I have little ones at home– would this be appropriate for people to bring their families to?
Yes, the matinee is a short, fun and family friendly event.  With just over one hour of entertainment it is short enough to keep the family entertained and still enjoy a bit of glamour on New Year's Eve. There are family tickets available at a discounted rate and these are a great options for those who are no longer night owls!

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