The Willoughby Symphony, founded in 1965 and based in Sydney’s northern suburbs, played the first concert in their new hall. It is an exciting occasion to christen a new concert hall and I marvel at it all the more that it was built in Sydney’s North Shore where new building is almost exclusively in the form of hideous apartment blocks which have destroyed many of the area’s old gardens and once contiguous tree canopy. The 1000-seat hall is part of a whole culture house called The Concourse, which also has a 500-seat theatre, some impressive-sounding rehearsal space and the new home of the area’s borrowing library. Willoughby Council deserves credit for pulling this off when the New South Wales state government one level up cannot manage anything like it for Barangaroo, right next to Sydney’s downtown, let alone the second, Frank Gehry-designed opera house that’s begging to be built there. But I mustn’t be negative; this isn’t the occasion.