Willunga 175 Black Tie Dinner

Willunga Show Hall, Saturday June 21st

A glittering occasion indeed. Graham Ormsby and his Willunga 175 committee hosted the event with STARS providing the entertainment. Roughly 175 guests attended, the evening ran like clockwork and was adjudged a great success.

Turning a basketball stadium into a high-class dining establishment is not easy. However a large contingent of volunteers, including most of our STARS committee, turned up at 4pm on Friday afternoon to start on the transformation and worked for several hours, continuing on Saturday until the job was done. A vast false ceiling of bird netting was erected and covered with strings of fairy lights. The front quarter of the hall was cordoned off to make a foyer. Twenty three tables were set up, each with capacity for eight diners. These were covered with white cloths and fine settings. A large stage was erected along the southern wall while a small stage was erected in the foyer to accommodate the pre-dinner musicians. A technician (XXX) arrived at five pm on Friday and proceeded to install a high class sound system. All in all things went very well.

On arrival guests were offered champagne and canapes in the 'foyer', with young musicians Aiden Ryan and Jordan Goudy providing a soft background to the increasing chatter.

Once the guests were settled in the main dining area compere Wayne Anthoney made them welcome and introduced Graham Ormsby, who made them even more welcome.

The entree was a superb arrangement of seafood platters. Chef Joe Steel excelled himself.

This was followed by a beautiful exhibition of tango dancing, by Andrew and Adrienne Gill. Andrew of course is the son of Willunga folks David and Ginny Gill.

Main course was mouth-watering roast lamb with an excellent range of vegetables and condiments.

Bottles of red and white wine were provided at the tables, the system being that when a bottle was empty you took it to the bar and it was replaced with a full one. Good system.

Following the main course, Sidonie Henbest came to the stage and rocked the joint with her amazing voice and selection of jazz classics. She was accompanied at the keyboard by a professional partner Matthew Sheens.

STARS committee members Elizabeth Boydell and Judith Barr next conducted the raffle, which had some very tasty prizes and netted us about $1400.

Cheese platters were now available at the counter for those who felt the need for cheese at this time of night.

It was an excellent event all round. Graham's planning and organisation was faultless and STARS acquitted ourselves very well.

Hereunder, a selection of photos taken mostly by Rex Munro.



The stadium converted

Sold out

Typical happy folks

The tango dancers

Graham Ormsby surveys the scene

Sidonie does her thing

Wrapping up the bird netting on Sunday morning


Black tie dinner timeline

7.00pm people arrive

                        Served 3 x canapés plus drinks in foyer of stadium

                        Jazz duo playing

7.20pm          Start moving people in

7.40pm                      People seated

7.45pm                      Welcome speech – Graham Ormsby

7.50pm          Entree served

8.40pm                      Entree completed and tables cleared

8.30pm                      Tango Dancers

*                       Dancing?

9.20pm                      Main meal served

10.15pm        Main meal finished and tables cleared

10.00pm        Sidonie Henbest

STARS Raffle

11.00pm        Cheese/fruit served

*                       Dancing?

11.30pm        Finish




 Aiden and Jordan both attended Tatachilla Lutheran College, playing in the ensembles at school together before finishing in 2013 and 2012 respectively. They are both studying Jazz Performance at Adelaide University and have been playing a range of jazz standards for you tonight. 



Andrew & Adrienne have been dancing, teaching & performing together for over 15 years, establishing Southern Cross Tango, South Australia’s original professional Argentine Tango School, in early 1999.

They have performed internationally in Buenos Aires, Los Angeles & New York, & danced on the most prestigious stages across the country such as The Melbourne Recital Centre. They have shared the stage with some of Argentina’s greatest dancers, performed & choreographed for Leigh Warren & Dancers, Victorian Opera, State Theatre Company & State Opera of South Australia. Andrew & Adrienne Gill are renowned for their creative collaborations with international classical musicians from Italy & Australia, & are dancers in ‘Jose Carbo – My Latin Heart’ company with Jose Carbo, Leonard & Slava Grigoryan.

Andrew is lead tango dancer in the Leigh Warren & Dancers production of ‘Maria de Buenos Aires’. Andrew & Adrienne have created & performed in tango productions for arts & tango festivals around Australia, & are the directors & producers of ‘Buenos Aires in the Vales’ Tango Festival.



Sidonie Henbest has one of those voices that can stop you in the street” – Rip It Up

Sidonie is an artist recognised for her dramatic poise and versatility; spanning The Great American Songbook to the Avant-Garde and Operatic. She has made a name for herself as a sophisticated entertainer and a powerhouse singer, performing as a solo artist and ensemble member for countless projects in Australia and abroad.

Born in London, she was raised in a wildly creative home here in Adelaide and was partial to stage from infancy! She studied music at the Elder Conservatorium, before returning to live in the UK for a number of years. Since moving back to Oz, she has become a friend of STARS – bringing her shows about Sophie Tucker and the quintessential years of New York’s Cabaret scene to life here in Willunga in the past few years.