Award a high note for Mr Music
GREG Butcher believes that if you build an event, they shall come, and on Saturday night, the Clarence Valley came in droves.
Following the success of his Afternoon at the Proms and Anzac shows at the Saraton Theatre, Mr Butcher combined with Midday Grafton Rotary to produce a Carols by Candlelight extravaganza at Alumy Creek that more than a thousand people attended.
He took the baton to lead the Clarence Valley Orchestra and Chorus in the music for the night, and despite his meticulous organisation, there was one surprise in store for him.
As part of a Christmas message, member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis presented Mr Butcher with a NSW Government Premier's Award for Service to the Community, to a standing ovation from his fellow musicians and singers.
Mr Gulaptis called his work a "wonderful gift to the Clarence Valley", but Mr Butcher was quick to deflect the praise.
"It definitely comes from the group as well, it would be a bit boring if it was just me," he laughed.
"But this has kept me involved in music, and if you've got a great community ensemble and players, why not show it off?"
Mr Butcher was awarded Clarence Valley Council Citizen of the Year in 2015 for his work in producing the concerts, which have raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity, as well as his contribution to community events such as the carols.
He said the first concert was a leap of faith.
"The idea, we really just plucked that out of the air; it was something to put there and see if it works," he said.
"And I like to see things done well so the community can come out to enjoy it, and it was something I learnt from my father, getting people to play together and making it fun so that people will come back."
The night was organised in conjunction with Midday Grafton Rotary, and funds raised from the event will go into local Rotary projects.