Ahead of WASO’s Southern Symphony Tour, we spoke with Principal Cor Anglais Leanne Glover, who grew up in WA’s Great Southern, about the experience of touring to her home ground.

Tell us about your experience of growing up in Mount Barker.

I loved growing up on a farm. I followed dad around wherever he went and enjoyed working in the sheep yards and being on the tractor with him. 

I had a myriad of pet animals, but my favourites were an orphan calf that I hand-reared, my own little dog and of course my beloved horse which I rode almost every single day. 

Every Monday I took lessons from the local music teacher John Bush who taught wind instruments to anyone who wanted to play! I moved off the farm to study music at university, but I was indeed lucky and blessed to have had a pretty idyllic childhood.

Leanne Glover with her horse, jumping on her home-made course in the family’s front paddock

You’ve been on tour with WASO to Albany previously. How will the 2021 tour differ?

For me this tour will be quite different because last time I had to play a concerto (a solo piece accompanied by the rest of the orchestra) which had been especially written for me. It is never easy standing out the front of the orchestra; happily though it went pretty well.

This time I'm back in my normal seat and am really looking forward to playing to some wonderful friends and relatives.  

What does playing on your “home ground” mean to you?

Whenever I come down to Mt. Barker or Albany (my parents retired to Albany along with every other farmer in a 500km radius), it still feels like coming home, so playing a concert there is always special.

I know that my oboe teacher John Bush and his family will be there and I think they will get so much joy out of it. There will be many people I know in the audience who don't often get to see a full symphony orchestra in action right in front of them and I just love that.

I still haven't convinced any of my three nephews to come off their respective farms to see one of my concerts yet so maybe this will guilt them into it!

Leanne Glover on stage for her concerto, on tour in 2019.

What’s your favourite thing about visiting the Albany region?

Seeing family and friends is always a priority but then it would have to be the beaches. They are so pristine and often not another person to be seen if you go outside the town. Gorgeous.

Any tips for the musicians who haven’t visited Albany before?

Bring a coat, scarf and beanie!!

Favourite piece from the Southern Symphony Tour repertoire?

The Sibelius Violin Concerto. It is such a beautiful, amazing piece, especially the first movement.

Favourite aspect of farm life?

Speaking nostalgically, there was a kind of freedom that was safe but still wonderfully adventurous and fun for a young person. 

Favourite aspect of city life?

Coffee shops on your doorstep, supermarkets just down the road and being able to work full time in a symphony orchestra! 


WASO’s Southern Symphony Tour

Esperance Civic Centre | Thursday 2nd September, 7.30pm

Albany Entertainment Centre | Saturday 4th September, 7.30pm & Sunday 5th September, 2pm