A new Ministry! The PM has wisely appointed a new Arts Minister, but his signals have some worried. And in the meantime a pot of money sits waiting his decision.  What does all this mean for music?  Read our stories on the new Minister and reflections on where the money will go in this issue, below.

The National Opera Review Discussion Paper is out. Established by previous Arts Minister Senator Brandis, this Review is considering the viability and vibrancy of our four major opera companies. We encourage your submissions, or share your thoughts with us. Submissions close on 26 October.

As always, share your news, and for more, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest music news from out there.

The Australia Council has put out an International Arts Activity Report. It show funded performing arts companies played to over a million ticketed audiences from 2010-2013. Interestingly, 68 percent of these were by small to medium companies – the very ones threatened by current federal arts policy!
Chris Bowen CEO
Music Australia




50th Annual APRA NZ Silver Scroll Awards Announced 

Songwriting siblings Ruban Nielson and Kody Nielson of Unknown Mortal Orchestra took out top prize, while 92-year-old Bill Sevesi joined the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame. Full story





Aus Government links alternative music to violent extremism

A Federal Government booklet launched on Monday has provoked widespread anger for linking alternative music and left-wing activism with radicalisation. Full story



Australians among World’s Biggest Spenders on Music

A Music Business Worldwide report has revealed the top ten music markets in the world, as measured by spending per capita. Full story



Women's Panel established from Women in Music Report

Following the release of its Women in the Victorian Contemporary Music Industry report, Music Victoria has announced a women’s industry advisory panel. Full story



Welcoming a new Minister for the Arts

Victorian Senator Mitch Fifield’s appointment as new Arts Minister has been welcomed by many in the sector. However with indications the money taken from the Australia Council may not be returned, what will this mean for the arts? Full story


A pot of money waiting - Can NPEA funds actually be spent this year?

A change in Minister will delay rollout of key arts portfolio funds. We speculate on what may happen to the money reserved for the new national funding program. We hope it all is wisely invested this year. We see an opportunity and some warning signs. Full story



Julia Lester: ABC Classic FM’s problems stem from the ABC

Shortly before retiring from ABC Classic FM, veteran broadcaster Julia Lester laid the blame for the station’s current woes at the hands of the ABC. Its funding was slashed 17 per cent cut last financial year. Full story



QSO personalises the orchestral experience

The Queensland Symphony Orchestra devised a unique programming idea called ‘Symphony For Me’ for Brisbane Festival: ordinary listeners talked on stage about their favourite orchestral works which were then performed. Full story



MSO to perform with Shanghai counterpart next April

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will team up with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in a history-making combined concert next April. The joint concert will take place in Shanghai under the direction of Sir Andrew Davis, the MSO’s chief conductor. Full story



What to make of Marshall-Hall’s opera Stella

Lyric Opera of Melbourne staged the first performance in over 100 years of a rarity in Australian operatic history, Stella by Marshall-Hall. But critical reaction was surprisingly muted for what has been described as an Australian landmark. Full story




Learning an instrument online just got raised to a higher level

Launched in April, UK-based Musical Orbit offers online lessons with principals from many of the leading orchestras from the UK and Europe. The user needs nothing more than a laptop equipped with a webcam.  Full story

Australian school takes up ‘FabLab’ that helps children compose their own music

Lauriston Girls’ School in Armadale, Victoria, is the first school in Australia to adopt a new science and technology based learning system developed at Stanford University called FabLab@Schools. It has enabled students to compose their own music.  Full story

The Song Room’s ARTS: LIVE launches Music Industry Resources

The Song Room has released a new music industry-focused course on its award-winning music and arts education platform, ARTS:LIVE, the free education resource used in over 6,000 Australian schools.  Full story




Song Suite premieres family violence stories of heartache and inspirational resilience

A new song suite, based on true stories of family violence, will premiere at Big West Festival 2015, performed by a massed community choir. Full story

Call out for instruments for Joseph Banks Secondary College

Joseph Banks SC is a brand new school in Perth, with a vibrant culture focusing on Arts and Technology. Only nine months old, they are still  establishing programs from the ground up. One area they need help with is acquiring instruments to support their music program. They have formed a beginner Concert band & Jazz band with many students keen to take part. Any donations of instruments would be gratefully accepted. Email the school’s Music Specialist & Ensemble Director Melissa Skinner to offer your help.




Competitions & Awards



Royal School of Church Music (ACT) Composition Competition 2015

Compose a setting of Psalm 33 for unaccompanied choir, or an organ piece based on the notes C-A-G-E, suitable as a postlude in a liturgical setting. Performance of the winning choral work at the 2016 RSCM Summer School in Canberra. $600 in prizes. Entries close October 16

Roma International Choir Festival & Competition

Jul 1-7 2016
Since 1990 the beauty and the natural diversity of Riva del Garda has inspired hundreds of choirs to give their best in a fair competition and forge friendship with local and foreign choirs. Categories include children and youth choirs, male and female and mixed choirs, gospel and spiritual. Applications close November 30

APRA Tropscore

The object of Tropscore is simple – produce a musical score or synch for a short film clip provided by Tropfest. The winning artist or band get the chance to perform their score live on stage at Tropfest and also receive $5,000, courtesy of APRA AMCOS. Entries close Thu 8 Oct

The 4th Federation Bells Composition Competition

Compose your masterpiece for the Federation Bells and publish it before 26 October 2015 to be in the running to win $2000 and other prizes.


Country Music Awards

Nominations for the 44th Country Music Awards of Australia 2016 are now open, closing October 2.

Australian Youth Orchestra - The Ernest V. Llewellyn Memorial Fund Annual Awards for string players

Annual awards provide support for young string players wishing to undertake advanced studies, or to attend master classes, workshops or seminars such as AYO programs, in Australia and overseas. Open to violin, viola, cello and double bass players only. You do not need to be an applicant or participant in AYO programs to apply. Applications close 21 November 2015


Programs, Workshops & Masterclasses


Glasshouse Trio Music Workshop

Do you play strings, woodwind or piano? Do you play in a duo, trio, quartet or string, wind or mixed ensemble? Australia’s Glasshouse Trio is presenting a community workshop for aspiring musicians and local ensembles. More information

City of Sydney Volunteer Call Out

City of Sydney is looking for volunteer performers to be a part of an exciting project GAMES AND ACTIONS (For a Quiet City) to be performed in October 2015 as part of Art & About Sydney. More information

Sing for Good

Join former Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu and friends at A Song for Iceberger Dan Canta. Sing for Good aims to make our brains and lives healthier through singing. They encourage families, workplaces, schools, choirs, sports teams, everyone to enter a video of them singing in 3 easy steps during the months of August, September and October. More information

Conferences, Events & Seminars


Four Winds Open Day

10 Oct
An exciting line up for the Four Winds Festival 2016 will be announced on Saturday 10th October at the Four Winds Open Day, in Barragga Bay NSW. The Open Day will also be an opportunity to meet the new Four Winds Executive Director, David Francis, explore Four Winds current and future community programs.  Register now  

Arts Access Australia presents Meeting Place 2015

23 Oct
Meeting Place 2015 brings people interested in arts and disability together to generate real conversations, explore the distinctive nature of the sector and share brilliant artistic work. More information

Paramasala Festival

23-25 Oct
Music, dance, film and flavours come together in a celebration of cultures at Parramasala 2015.
Parramasala is a free festival celebrating the many cultures of western Sydney. More information

The Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS)

15 and 16 October
CHASS is inviting registrations for its 2015 National Forum Inspiring a Creative Australia. At Woodward Conference Centre, University of Melbourne. More information

S.A. Community Music Festival

The ARPA Orchestra is sponsoring and organising the first Festival for S.A. Community Music.
Over 500 musicians in 20 excellent Bands, Choirs and Orchestras will present 16  entertaining
shows at 3pm and 7pm every Sunday 11 Oct – 29 Nov. More information

Face the Music Conference

13-14 Nov
Melbourne music city’s own contemporary music summit, Face The Music, returns in November for its eighth annual conference. More information

SXSW Music 2016 - Artist applications now open

SXSW, the world’s biggest music market and conference, can - if right for you - be the place to reach the next rung of the ladder. 2,000 acts from numerous countries, and a plethora of genres perform each year. Apply now for your opportunity at SXSW 2016.

Airlie Beach Festival of Music

6-8 Nov
Line up includes 10cc, Toni Childs, Angry Anderson with the James Southwell Band, The Black Sorrows, Richard Clapton and Wendy Matthews. More information

ASPAH 2015 Conference

21-22 Nov
A Career in the Spotlight: Enhancing Performance Health and Wellbeing. The theme of this conference will inspire attendees to consider the health and well-being of the whole artist through evidence-informed practice. More information

32nd ISME World Conference – Call for Presenters

CEPROM, the Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician invites
papers that address the education of professional musicians, whether from an individual and/or
institutional perspective. More information via CEPROM’s Facebook page.

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music Centenary Festival

6-11 Oct
A week-long celebration of the very best music from the Conservatorium featuring our students and staff, and guest alumni performers. More information

Australian Songwriters conference

10-13 Jun 2016
The ASC focuses on the craft and business of songwriting and attracts writers from across Australia and internationally. Registrations are now open

Electronic Music Conference

1-2 Dec
Sydney’s annual electronic music conference is Asia-Pacific’s premier electronic music industry event. Special Guest this year is iconic DJ Carl Cox. Music Australia members receive a super discount of $80 on tickets - just enter your membership number at checkout!  Purchase tickets

TUTTI 2016: 18th National Conference of Orff Schulwerk

Jan 2016
This is a conference for music educators working in schools, colleges, child care, tertiary education or music therapy. More information  Register here




Australia Council grants for 2015-2016

The national funding body has announced its revised funding program, affected by cuts to its 2015-2016 budget. A four year organisational program is now being offered, closing 1 December. There will now be two core grant rounds, the next in February 2016. Details in a statement on their website.

Performers' Trust Foundation

The PPCA Performers' Trust Foundation provides grants to promote and encourage music and the performing arts. The grants provided are non-recurring and can be used to cover tuition fees, travel costs, accommodation and venue hire/ PA hire. More information



Live Music Office – Live Music Programming Coordinator

The Live Music Office is looking for a highly skilled person with experience and networks in the live music industry across a broad range of venues, genres and programming types. More details

Opera Australia – Partnerships Manager

Opera Australia is seeking a Partnerships Account Manager to fill a full time position in its Sydney office. More details

Australian Chamber Orchestra - Principal Viola

Applications are invited for the above full-time salaried position. The Australian Chamber Orchestra has an annual season of over eighty performances throughout Australia as well as a regular overseas touring schedule.  More details

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra - Chief Operating Officer

Diverse leadership role responsible for a broad range of operational activities including assisting with the Company’s strategic plan, attracting, creating and managing the ASO’s commercial activities as well as financial, ICT and asset management. More details

Administration Manager - ANAT

Based in Adelaide, the Australian Network for Art & Technology (ANAT) is Australia's leading organisation working at the intersection of art, science and technology. More details


Deputy Concertmaster, Tutti Viola, Associate Principal Percussion, Tutti Double Bass – Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra

Various closing dates. More information




Leichhardt Espresso Chorus - MASSIVE - St James Church, Sydney, NSW

11 Oct

Ancient chants resonate to the sound of the didgeridoo. With excerpts from William Byrd’s timeless Mass, and Gerard Brophy’s Guildford Mass the concert is a celebration of the human voice and ancient instruments. More details

Live Internet Music Performance with Ethernet Orchestra at UNE for Parramatta Lanes Festival, NSW

7-9 Oct
Audiences will be treated to an eclectic mix of intercultural improvised music and sound that includes highly skilled refugee musicians performing with the acclaimed Mongolian throat singer Bukhchuluun Ganburged and notable Australian musicians.  Contact  Roger Mills for more details.

Australian Shakuhachi Society Festival, QLD

2-5 October
Redlands Performing Arts Centre Cleveland QLD 4163. More details

Blush Opera and New Music Network Present: FANCY ME DEAD, Katoomba & Sydney, NSW

3  Oct & 12 Oct 
'Fancy Me Dead' is emerging composer and librettist Paul Smith's first production for the fledgling Blush Opera. With Jermaine Chair and Taryn Shroj, and pianist Benjamin Burton.
Baroque Room, Carrington Hotel, Katoomba
Hayes Theatre, Potts Point 


Key Supporters 

  • Australia Council for the Arts
  • The Australian Government through the Dept of Education & Training
  • City of Sydney
  • Clipper Property Group
  • Thomson Geer Lawyers
To unsubscribe from all of our mailings, click here.
FOLLOW US   Twitter   Facebook