The music pioneer responsible for laying the foundations for the cultural icon that is today's Conservatorium will be honoured by the University of Newcastle this weekend.
In memory of Harold Lobb and in recognition of his vision and commitment to developing classical music in Newcastle, the University of Newcastle's Conservatorium concert hall will be named the Harold Lobb Concert Hall.
As Founding Principal of the University of Newcastle's Conservatorium, Harold Lobb was instrumental in ensuring that Newcastle had a Conservatorium before either Brisbane or Perth.
Head of the School of Drama, Fine Art and Music, Carmel Lutton, said Harold's energetic approach meant that by the end of the Conservatorium's first week in February 1952, more than 160 students were enrolled.
"By the end of its first year, the Conservatorium had enrolled 388 students with numbers rapidly escalating to 608 by 1954," said Mrs Lutton.
Despite his heavy schedule of teaching and administrative duties, Harold pursued scholarship donations from the community to support the growth of the Conservatorium.
"Early supporters of Harold’s vision included Newcastle City Council, the Business and Professional Women's Club and the Rotary Club of Newcastle. It is a proud testament to his efforts that much of this support, and more, still exists today," said Mrs Lutton.
Ill health forced Harold’s premature retirement from the Principal's role in 1968, but it did not quell his passion. He returned to lecturing in the mid 1970s with an MBE for his services to the Conservatorium.
"Harold’s vision that the Conservatorium should cater to the needs of all students — including promising performers to develop the ranks of the orchestra or as soloists; music teachers to meet national demand; and those who want to learn music just for the fun of it — is as relevant today as when he conceived it," said Mrs Lutton.
Photo opportunity: The Chancellor of the University of Newcastle, Professor Trevor Waring AM, will unveil a commemorative plaque during a ceremony honoring Harold Lobb’s memory at 2pm on Sunday 25 March 2007 at the University of Newcastle’s Conservatorium of Music, Newcastle. Members of Mr Lobb’s family will attend the ceremony.