Town Hall concert records

The Adelaide Town Hall is a significant icon in the history of the city. 

The foundation stone for the Adelaide Town Hall was laid on 4 May 1863 and the building was officially opened on 20 June 1866.  It was considered the largest municipal building south of the Equator at the time. 

Just as it is today, the building was noted for its  striking physical presence and social importance, being an important venue for private events, concerts and organ recitals.

The following reference guide has been prepared by the knowledgeable staff at the City of Adelaide Archives to assist researchers identify relevant source material held by the City Archives relating to concerts presented in the Adelaide Town Hall since 1866. The sources are drawn from both the City of Adelaide Archives Collection and the City of Adelaide Civic Collection.

Town Clerk’s Department records relating to this subject include:

  • Town Clerk’s Special File 232 – City of Adelaide Municipal Band – includes programs of concerts given in the Town Hall from 1939 - .
  • Town Clerk’s Special File 400 – Correspondence and other papers regarding Town Hall Lettings.

You'll find many Town Clerk’s Department Correspondence Dockets relating to the use of the Adelaide Town Hall for concerts and other musical and artistic performances within the City Archives. These can be researched using the Council’s annual Digests of Proceedings and the Indexes and Registers of Town Clerk’s Letters Received and Sent.

For your convenience we've set out a small sample of Town Hall Dockets and their reference number below:

TCDKT NumberDescription
1892/1049Popular Concerts in the Town Hall
1895/0907Town Hall Concerts
1897/3586Concerts by Heinicke’s Grand Orchestra
1898/2378Charity Concerts at the Town Hall
1898/1080Orchestral Concerts Rehearsals
1898/0591Town Hall Sunday Organ Concerts
1902/018Town Hall Orchestral Concerts – Report by City Treasurer
1904/0561Sunday Concerts
1907/1080Sacred Concert Town Hall
1909/4842Council Patronage at Organ Recital
1910/1620Organ Recital Series
1913/5612Organ Recitals – Town Hall
1917/1644Series of Municipal Recitals
1920/2492Community Singing in the Town Hall
1921/2008Engagements at Town Hall 1919-1921
1925/1639Elsa Stralia Organ Concerts
1926/1380Performance of Musical Works in Town Hall
1926/1976Booklet re Diamond Jubilee of Town Hall
1929/0431Organ Recitals – Town Hall
1930/2643Formation of Civic Orchestra
1931/1867Particulars of Municipal Concerts
1933/2957Adelaide Orchestral Society Concerts
1935/4669Centenary Concerts
1938ABC Public Concerts in the Town Hall
1945/1189Civic Concerts and Organ Recitals
1948/1118Band Concerts

  • CC000933. Scrapbook compiled by W R Pybus 1879-1913, 1 volume. Relates to Town Hall and other musical concerts at which Pybus (who was the City Organist) performed. Includes printed programs, newspaper clippings, tickets of admission, etc.
  • CC000934. Printed Concert Programs relating to the City Organist, W R Pybus 1870-94, 1 volume. Contains souvenir programs of organ recitals at the Town Hall and other venues.
  • CC003209. Adelaide Town Hall Souvenir Concert Programs (3) 1937-39.
  • Accession 1 Item 1. Souvenir of the Diamond Jubilee of the Opening of the Adelaide Town Hall, 1926, 13 leaves (printed). Includes a copy of the original land grant for the Town Hall acre, history of the Town Hall, Jubilee speech, official opening ceremony.
  • Accession 1 Item 587. Printed programs of Choral Concert held at the Adelaide Town Hall 20 October 1943.
  • Accession 281 Item 1. Town Clerk’s Department ‘Notabilia’ Book, 1872-89. I volume. Contains various newspaper clippings, official addresses, printed programme of proceedings re swearing in of Colonial Governor Earl Kintore at the Town Hall, 1889.
  • Accession 352/232. Town Clerk’s Special File 232 City of Adelaide Municipal Band. Includes concert programs at the Town Hall 1939 -76
  • Accession 352/400. Town Clerk’s Special File 400 Correspondence and other papers re Town Hall Bookings.
  • Accession 675 Item 1. Organ Recitals Book 1886-1904, 1 volume. Includes printed concert programs, press cuttings, as complied by the City Organist, Professor Ives.
  • Accession 739 Item 1. Band Concerts at the Adelaide Town Hall 1927-55 [booking lists only].
  • Accession 852. Newspaper Cuttings Book – Mayor’s Secretary 1903-05. Includes invitation and acceptance cards, printed program of organ recitals.
  • Accession 1120 Item 1. Scrapbook re Town Hall Organ 1929-33. Mainly press cuttings and information leaflets.
  • Accession 1251 Item 1. Newspaper Cuttings – Mayor’s Secretary 1898-1903. Includes invitation cards re civic functions.
  • Accession 1630 Item 1. Town Hall Bookings Diary 1971-75. Booking lists for concerts at the Town Hall.
  • Accession 1920 Item 1. City Surveyor’s Department Newspaper Clippings 1852-85. Includes press reports re opening of the Town Hall ceremony, 27 June 1866.

There are also unaccessioned records relating to the use of the Adelaide Town Hall c1930-55. These relate chiefly to bookings at the Adelaide Town Hall, seating plans, civic organ recitals programs, applications for hire of the Town Hall, printed conditions of use and more.