History of the Orchestra

The year was 2013

The Moorabool Light Orchestra was established in February 2013, by its Co-Founder & Musical Director Barry Wilkins OAM, together with Robert & Fiona (Deneys) Wrzaszcz.

The trio called for expressions of interest in just 2 public notices, inviting interest from musicians across the Moorabool Shire and neighbouring areas.

As a result, on Sunday 17 March 2013, after only 4 rehearsals, the first public concert was held, as part of the Bacchus Marsh Community Harvest Festival celebrations, involving 25 musicians.

Subsequently, word spread rapidly and the success of the inaugural concert brought even more musicians “out of the wood work” and in September the same year 45 musicians took part in an ambitious program of "Symphony of the Classics" including a performance of the famous Modest Mussorgsky work "Pictures at An Exhibition". The orchestra currently has 60 musicians registered on its books.


Since then many Concerts have occurred in Bacchus Marsh, Melton, Ballan and Ballarat performing a wide range of music genres and featuring local, state, national and international guest artists.

All those performances were prepared and conducted by Barry Wilkins with Robert as Leader.

Barry & his Parter Barbara Snibson have worked tirelessly in both the administration, music, staging and promoting of the MLO Concerts and operation, since the inception of the orchestra.

Big changes announced in 2019

December 2019, following the MLO Christmas Concert, Barry stepped down as its Musical Director, as he and Barbara are returning to Ballarat to live (for family reasons).

The Committee of Management arranged a special Presentation Dinner for Barry & Barbara as an expression of its thanks and gratitude for their efforts and contribution.

The MLO Committee of Management has decided, for the time being, not to appoint a "resident" Musical Director, but will be engaging Guest Conductors to lead the orchestra for its respective concert performances. (Barry will be returning from time to time to partcipate in this role with the MLO.)

Where we are today

2020 has been an interesting year. Due to the Covid -19 pandemic, the orchestra has been in lockdown.

For the first time since the orchestra began in 2013, due to the health restrictions the May concert was canceled.

As restrictions continue to evolve, we are waiting to see if the September concert is feasible.