The North Melbourne Town Hall has been the centre of the cultural life of its community since it was built in the 1870s. Victoria's Sesquicentenary in 1985 provided the opportunity for the Astra Choir and Chamber Orchestra to re-discover the North Melbourne Town Hall as a fine performance space, with a program of pieces that presented a spectrum of Victorian composers reaching back to colonial days.

The North Melbourne Town Hall was designed by George Raymond Johnson who also designed the Fitzroy Town Hall and the Meat Market.

The former North Melbourne Town Hall is registered as of historical and architectural significance to the State of Victoria. For more information see the listing on the Victorian Heritage Register.

For 30 years, the concerts of Astra Chamber Music Society have ranged around Melbourne’s architectural environment. Each concert has had a site-specific design that takes advantage of the marvellous visual qualities, spatial possibilities, and acoustic personality of each building. The music, in turn, contributes a new quality to the perception of the buildings, now experienced by audiences as a sounding space - an area where cultural issues from music’s history are traversed, and new ideas in Australian composition are explored.