WollCon has some exciting plans to celebrate its 50th birthday. WollCon's CEO, David Francis said, "We are unashamedly using the 50th birthday as a springboard to talk about everything WollCon contributes to the musical life of the region and how our work delivers positive change through music. "WollCon has planned a year-long program of events to showcase its activities. The Jazz Program, the BlueScope Youth Orchestra and the WollCon Community Ensembles have already hosted performances in Wollongong Town Hall. They were joined by alumni and guest artists such as saxophonist Nick Russoniello, who performed his own concerto with BlueScope Youth Orchestra in July. "The centrepiece of the celebrations will be a weekend music festival in Wollongong Botanic Garden. Free to the public, the weekend on Sept 10-11 will showcase WollCon artists, music staff and guest performers such as Sydney's Hot Potato Band. Steel City Strings will present a 'Celebration of Youth' with WollCon music students. To find out more about the history and celebrations of WollCon, click here. "'The Big Sing' to be led by head of voice Trish Delaney-Brown with audience participation in the song 'Slice of Heaven', and head of composition John Spence will conduct a new work for all WollCon music staff to perform together. "Australian composer, Matthew Hindson, an alumnus of the Conservatorium, is writing a work for BlueScope Youth Orchestra to be premiered in December at Wollongong Town Hall along with a new work by jazz composer and 2019 Freedman Jazz Fellow, Novak Manojlovic. "Wollongong local, Novak will be writing for the combined forces of the Jazz Orchestra, BlueScope Youth Orchestra, vocalists from the Conservatorium and guest alumni. "That performance in December will be rounded off with an after-show party featuring the Con Artists and other community ensembles in collaboration with the Hot Potato Band - so a lot of vibrant street music to bring celebrations to a close."