Published on 28 June 2023
Cowra Shire was abuzz last Sunday June 25 with a stirring live rendition of ‘World Peace Suite’, written by council commissioned artist in residence Nicholas Gentile and performed by the Sydney Youth Orchestra and Cowra Vocal Ensemble. With lyrics written by local author Lusi Austin, the 16-minute arrangement covers the human struggle between having someone as an enemy and the subsequent healing and reconnection of those relationships set against the backdrop of Cowra’s eventful wartime history. The piece is sung in English, Japanese, Korean and Thai and the message of the work is “live the path of peace” is especially fitting given Cowra’s past and commitment to reconciliation, growth and peace.
Other repertoire highlights included the 70-piece Sydney Youth Orchestra also performing selections from Antonin Dvorak (Symphony No.9) and Ross Edwards (Ecstatic Dance) as part of the free community concert at Darling Street.
The concept was initially funded by the NSW State Government during the first COVID outbreak in 2020 when Mr. Gentile came to Cowra as the artist in residence and was commissioned to write the piece ‘World Peace Suite’, which pays homage to Cowra and its history.
The special event also included fantastic art exhibitions at Cowra Regional Art Gallery – ‘While The World Waits’ and ‘Little Nothings’ by Shani Nottingham and a Regional Gathering held by Arts OutWest, who were also hosts and co-organisers of the day.