S T E E L   C I T Y    S T R I N G S

(Click on photo to enlarge)


Steel City Strings is a very fine chamber orchestra based in Wollongong NSW.

For the past 16 months, Tony Williams has been directing, shooting, and editing a 76 minute feature documentary that takes us inside a community chamber orchestra. The film is now completed other than final post production. This will include a 5.1 surround sound mix by Mad Max academy award winning sound man, Nigel Christensen.

The film will have a cinema premiere on February 11th at Great Union Cinema, Wollongong at 6pm. Then there will be DVDs available to buy for private and educational use.

STOP PRESS the film premier in Wollongong will be introduced by RICHARD GILL, AO.  Richard is one of Australia’s pre-eminent and most admired conductors specialising in opera, musical theatre and vocal and choral training and is internationally respected as a music educator. Richard’s work in developing young musicians and creating opportunities for them is recognised world-wide. Richard has been Artistic Director of the Education Program for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of OzOpera, Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, and Artistic Advisor for the Musica Viva Education program. He is currently Music Director of Sydney Chamber Choir and is the Founder and Director of the National Music Teacher Mentoring Program.

The Minister of the Arts, local MPs, local Mayors and councillors have been invited.

It promises to be a grand opening for the film.

Bookings are essential
Enquiries: or 0467869478

A feature documentary by Tony Williams
76 minutes

Andrew Ford (Composer, radio present of The Music Show ABC)
‘In showing the people behind the music and telling their stories, Tony Williams’ film demonstrates that music is not some optional extra, it is our greatest form of expression and our lifeblood’.

Philip Bailey, (Personal assistant to Yehudi Menuhin for 20 years)
In this unsettled world we need assurances that the human spirit can rise.
Watch this magical film by Tony Williams and be inspired.

Acclaimed filmmaker Tony Williams draws us into the heart of an exceptionally talented not for profit community chamber orchestra, and reveals the stories of the people behind the music. Three times a year, players of a very high standard travel up to two to three hours to rehearse at the Wollongong Conservatorium, and give concerts in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands. Williams captures the interaction between the players and explores the structure of the orchestra and the roles that are played by first violins, second violins, violas, cellos and basses.

The film examines the important role of the orchestra in the rural community, providing fine music to an audience that has less access to music than city people. Steel City Strings also provides opportunities for up and coming young soloists to perform with an orchestra. Many members of the orchestra are music teachers, and the film reveals the value of music in education, particularly for young children. We learn that primary school children who play an instrument will have neurological benefits which will help them in all aspects of education. Parts of the brain are accessed by music, that are not affected by other forms of learning. By being part of an orchestra, we see children also learn discipline and social interaction.

The players in Steel City Strings are united by their passion for music, their dedication and their energy. Their music resonates throughout the community. This film is an uplifting experience celebrating the joy of music.

The film helps to raise awareness of the value of music in education, particularly for young children. We see how primary school children who play an instrument can benefit both neurologically and socially. We also learn that playing music has a healing power in adults, including helping fight depression and staving off dementia.

Bringing fine music to rural areas:
The film will assist in raising public support for an orchestra that brings fine music to a rural area and to people who don’t have the same access to music that city people have.

Supporting youth:
The orchestra gives local young talented musicians opportunities to play for their community, have experience of being a soloist with an orchestra, and playing alongside the members of Steel City Strings.

To hold a number of local cinema screenings and invite council members, members of parliament, and influential people who will have the opportunity to help fund and support the orchestra and the work they do for the community.
To distribute the film to schools and other educational/music institutions throughout Australia, to distribute DVDs to music societies and people who love fine music throughout Australia.

About the filmmaker:
Tony Williams has been making this unpaid film on his own, donating his time and equipment for the past 16 months as a contribution to Steel City Strings, young musicians and youth orchestras in the Illawarra area. Williams has been in the film industry for over 50 years and has made award winning feature films, commercials and documentaries. His feature film Next of Kin, highly praised by Quentin Tarantino, is about to be rereleased by Umbrella Films in Melbourne. His last film The King Sun – John Olsen a Portrait at 85 has been seen throughout Australia, by DVD distribution, Art Gallery screenings, and ABC TV screening.

What people say about the film:

Tim White (Film Producer, Oscar and Lucinda, Highly Strung, Ned Kelly etc.)
There are some joyous moments and overall it has a beautiful uplifting quality.

 Michael Heath, (music critic and filmmaker)
Just watched your beautiful film, the use of the Mozart slow movement over the children at the end, and the personalities of the players, how inspirational it all is, those wonderful scenes of children running riot and bashing the xylophone and cuddling pandas, – which leads us back to the Mozart – my favourite sequence!  Wonderful!

Roger Oakley – (Actor/producer)
Your Steel City Strings film, loved it! what a great bunch.
Enjoyable for the personal local and educational content but especially for the enthusiasm and commitment of those people. Love the way they talk about what music is for them, so The Passion of Music seems a very good title.

Bevan Wilson (Actor)
Loved the film. A loving portrait of an orchestra and members. I really felt I had got to know these lovely people and their journeys.  I teared up  at the slow movement of the Sinfonia Concertante when it finally got performed at the library. And again when the tiny kids were silently bowing with the “grown-up’s” Mozart sound over. Delightful film Tony, you deserves all success for future sales and screenings.

 Denise Troke (Singer)
This film is brilliant!!. Loved the whole film. Loved the section Celebration of Youth.  Young people – amazing!  Really caught up with this section.  Congratulations –  its a winner.!!!

Here are some of the highly talented performers Steel City Strings have supported and given the opportunity to perform. Aged 12 – 15.



Excerpts from the concert at Wollongong Art Gallery June 2016…

Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola – W A Mozart,  featuring Kyle Little Violin and Joanna Landstra Viola. Conductor Louis Sharpe

Sinfonia in G Major by Johann Friedrich Fasch. Concert Master Shaun Warden

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Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 8.54.15 am

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The final concert filmed for the documentary was a Celebration of Youth. Involving talented young players from the Illawarra and Shoalhaven.

Here are some excerpts from the Celebration of Youth.

Stephanie Tam 16 (Cello) plays Elgar

Olivia Kowalik 15 (Violin) plays Haydn

Cedar Newman and Lina Lee  (violins) perform Ann Carr-Boyd:  

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