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Cathedral’s Candlelit Concert to mark historic Hunter figure


Christ Church Cathedral is expected to glow with warmth this month when it hosts a Twilight Candlelit Concert to commemorate one the Hunter’s religious forbears. 

George Augustus Middleton will be remembered through the sounds of flute and piano at the iconic site, on Saturday 27 May, in which the former Reverend served from 1821 to 1827. 

Ironically the lead flautist at the event will be Newcastle’s Laura Chislett, Middleton’s great-great-great granddaughter. 

She will perform alongside pianist John Martin. 

Reverend Middleton was the first Chaplain of the Hunter region.  

Christ Church Cathedral, located on Church Street in Newcastle, actually stands on the original site of Middleton’s church.  

Once described in the Sydney Gazette as “unassuming, retiring, devout, and unbusinesslike”, Middleton was and remains to this day, a mysterious man. 

There are no portraits of him, and all of his private papers were lost in a flood.  

He and his wife Sarah Rose had a large family, many of the descendants still living in the Sydney and Hunter regions.  

He was also a keen farmer, driving his cattle north from Parramatta to the rich agricultural land in the Hunter and establishing what was to become The Great North Road. 

Laura Chislett

Laura Chislett says she is hoping the event will honour a part of Hunter history.

“This special occasion promises to be a delight for the senses, an unforgettable opportunity to experience music and history in the beautiful candlelit Christ Church Cathedral, which stands on the site of Middleton’s church,” she said.  

“Music for flute and piano will feature famous composers who lived during George Middleton’s lifetime will be performed: Donizetti, Schubert, Carl Reinecke, and Franz Doppler. 

“Also on the program is a work by the living Australian composer, Katia Tiutiunnik, titled L’abbraccio della Rinascita meaning Embrace of the Rebirth.

“Tiutiunnik’s music creates a powerful sense of spirituality and connection, and that’s what this concert is all about.” 

Twilight Candlelit Concert to commemorate George Augustus Middleton will take place on Saturday 27 May from 5pm – 6pm at Christ Church Cathedral, 52 Church Street. 

Tickets: $35 & $30 (concession) via Trybooking or at the door. 

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