Lyndall McCormack, farmer, wife, mother, community leader and a lover of music makes no bones about it. She is proud of her country Queensland roots in the Darling Downs and how the people living there don’t flinch at challenges.
An insight into her character can be gleaned from a gift she gave to her husband years ago when he was faced with a work-related dilemma. According to an article in The Australian about Mick, head of the APA Group, Australia’s leading gas infrastructure business, it was a coffee cup with the words “No goals, no glory”. “She was sort of saying, ‘Get off your bum and do something’, as wives tend to do,” said Mick.
Which is exactly Lyndall’s approach to life of community service from chairing the Killarney Memorial Aged Care Centre to promoting local tourism and cultural development in her region.
Lyndall said “Regional Australia is reflecting Australia’s burgeoning of the arts that has been happening nationally since the 1970s. People move to regional areas for the lifestyle, and bring creative energy and new skills”. Her support for the local arts led this month to another free concert by the world renowned Australian Brandenburg Orchestra in Toowoomba on August 10, 2017.
The concert “Brandenburg. Baroque. Toowoomba.” at the city’s acclaimed Empire Church Theatre, will be the third year in a row that the Brandenburg has played there, thanks to Lyndall. And as with previous years, tickets were exhausted within an hour, indicating a thirst for these cultural experiences in the region.
Lyndall, who is credited by Mick with luring the Brandenburg to Toowoomba, has had a long association with the orchestra, starting 16 years ago when it formed a cultural partnership with the APA Group.
She said Toowoomba had worked hard to reinvigorate and develop a high standard concert facility in the Empire Church Theatre. “This means artists of the Brandenburg standard, are welcome and easily catered for,” said Lyndall. It is Lyndall’s belief Toowoomba and the region “can do it all, street art to high culture” and credited community spirit for the region’s healthy arts and cultural scene”.
Lyndall, whose property The Lakes, is on the banks of the Condamine River just outside Killarney, understands what community means, “in regional towns we have to work together to generate funding, build facilities, attract quality events and performers, even to sell tickets to events, we network and encourage others to be involved,” she said. “The more we work together, the more our community benefits economically, socially and creatively.”
Lyndall joined the board of the Killarney Memorial Aged Care Centre in 2008 and has been Chairman since 2011. A qualified Occupational Therapist, who has worked in community health and public health campaigning, she has served on the Board of Warwick Shire Tourism and is passionate about the tourist potential of the region.
She said the Toowoomba performances of the ABO had their genesis many years ago when she first met the orchestra’s Artistic Director and harpsichordist Paul Dyer, “when both the orchestra and APA were small and growing organisations”.
“Meeting these artistic impresarios is a great privilege, I have enjoyed many concerts, and I couldn’t live without all their recordings. Now I live in regional Queensland, I have entreated the ABO to include Toowoomba in their national tours,” she said.
The ABO performs music of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, known as the baroque period. During this time, composers and musicians such as Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart thrived.
The Brandenburg performs original edition scores and with instruments of the period, Mrs McCormack saying, “it’s vigorous and lively, but somehow it brings you peace and lots of deep breathing”.
Lyndall is quick to point out that concerts like that of the Brandenburg were only a small part of the overall arts and culture scene in the region. She said many regional areas now boasted their own festivals and niche art flavours. “Music, performance, art – it’s everywhere. No longer in galleries and concert halls – there is art in retail, markets, street parties, week-end festivals and seasonal celebration”, and she’s happy to encourage its growth and be part of it all.