ANU’s professor of music rocks with the Rolling Stones
Australian National University’s School of Music head recently surprised his students with news that he had been secretly preparing to appear on stage with the Rolling Stones for the last seven months.
Professor Peter Tregear is leading the Consort of Melbourne choir during the Victorian leg of the Rolling Stones’ On Fire tour. The band has enlisted Australian choirs to accompany them on each part of the tour.
Professor Tregear led the 23-strong choral group in a performance of You Can't Always Get What You Want during the Melbourne gig, with 24,000 people watching. He was due to lead the choir once more during the Stones’ concert at Hanging Rock, Victoria this weekend, but unfortunately this show has been cancelled because Mick Jagger has a throat infection.
Professor Tregear explained that the band had engaged choirs across Australia to perform the beginning of the song You Can’t Always Get What You Want: "It's the first time, I believe, they've performed it with a live choir. With classical music, [the 24,000-strong crowd] is probably a one-off – I don't think that will happen again."
"I don't suspect many heads of music departments have performed with the Rolling Stones!" he laughed.
Professor Tregear said he had always been open to left-of-field performances, combining his classical training with pop and rock performances, and encouraged his Canberra students to keep an open mind.
"If I had been told when I was younger that my classical music degree would lead to performing with the Rolling Stones I would have said, 'yeah, right'.
"In a sense the music industry is very small. We're much closer than many would think across these genre divides."