Welcome to the MCA eNews 28th May 2014
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This week we’re delighted to welcome two new writers to MCA. You can meet Graham Strahle and Jasmine Crittenden below. In coming weeks, they will provide regular stories for our enews, Music Forum Journal and our website across a range of topics from classical and art music, to music education, plus community and contemporary popular music. We’re thrilled to have these experienced writers join us and we hope you enjoy the results.
Our fortnightly enews provides you with a comprehensive round up of music activities, news, policy, events, opportunities and resources. We hope you enjoy it. You can let us know your news and views to share, and if you want more, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest in music from all corners of the country.

Chris Bowen

The Music Council of Australia eNews is divided into 6 sections. Scroll through or, if you wish, click on one of the sections to be taken straight to those stories.


Key Developments in the Music Industry - Chris Cooke

The UK’s annual The Great Escape Festival and conference has concluded for another year, always a good time to check in for news.  We liked this round up by CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke and convenor of the Great Escape convention of key developments in the UK music industry in the past year. Cooke noted these as: optimism in the record industry, the massive growth in streaming, digital downloads, the debate on artist royalties for streaming and downloads, strategies to combat piracy, issues around YouTube, and copyright extension in the UK market. You can read our full post on these developments here.

Canadian Music Week to focus on Australia in 2015

Music conference and market, Canadian Music Week (CMW), has announced Australia will be the ‘spotlight country’ for CMW 2015 (5 - 9 May in Toronto). The event will highlight Australia’s strength as a music exporter and follows many years engagement with Australian music and acts. Artists who have previously showcased at CMW include The Jezabels, The Falls, Jordi Lane, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Blue King Brown, The Beards, Kate Miller Heidke, DZ Deathrays, The Lazys, Busby Marou, Emma Louise and You Am I. Australia’s music export office, Sounds Australia, who produced three events at CMW this year, will again have a presence in 2015 and can provide advice and information on how best to take advantage of this opportunity.

Before starting your new music ensemble – read this

Interesting recent blog in the New Music Box on the challenges of making a small ensemble work in New York City. Producer Sugar Vendil reflects on her experiences to date and suggests five questions to ask before embarking on setting up your own group:
  1. Why am I doing this?
  2. What is unique about my ensemble?
  3. Who is my target audience?
  4. Am I prepared to spend the time and money I need to get this done?
  5. Am I willing to do this for the next ten years?
If it’s hard in NYC imagine what it’s like elsewhere!
Postscript: MCA news has been shining a spotlight on innovative ensembles, which we do very well here in Australia. The reality is, though, we have more music makers in this genre then appreciators. Arguably the challenges have never been harder; and one Artistic Director of a major Australian arts festival recently noted ‘the gap between what artists want to make and what audiences want to see’ is now wider than ever. So what to do? Here at MCA we’re keen to contribute to this discussion to seek solutions to creating as well as sustaining audiences and to approaches to programming and engagement that can address this conundrum in a meaningful way. If you’d like to participate in this activity let us know now.



Ben Wright Smith awarded Nashville residency


Melbourne folk rock musician Ben Wright Smith will spend three months in the United States later this year as part of the Australia Council’s Nashville Songwriter Residency. The $15,000 Nashville residency, now in its second year, includes mentoring by one of Australia’s most successful producers Mark Moffatt. Australia Council, Director, Music Paul Mason said the “residency was open to all songwriters and this year attracted many high quality applications” with “the aim of the residency is to enable songwriters to develop their writing skills, build creative and business networks and connect with other artists to co-write and collaborate.” Previous recipients include Chris Altmann (SA) and Travis Caudle (WA).

Good news for Music Victoria

In a pleasant turnaround to generally otherwise bleak funding news, contemporary music industry body Music Victoria has received a $150,000 boost from the State Government. Interestingly, this injection comes from the Liquor and Gaming Regulation part of the State Government and recognises the excellent live music advocacy work  being undertaken by Music Victoria in that state. This comes on top of some thorough policy work by the independent state peak body with a document laying out a strategic agenda for contemporary music in Victoria. Congratulations!

Classical Innovators - More From Brisbane

This week we profile Brisbane based live music series DeClassified Music (DCM). This occasional series run by Brieley Cutting presents high-quality and energetic performances by leading Australian musicians. DCM takes the music out of what they call ‘classified’ spaces (concert and university halls) placing it in intimate local settings. Music ranges from baroque through to new music, classical and jazz, solos to septets, acoustic and amplified, innovative projects and collaborative performances. Their next concert is on 7 June and will be in a café featuring Syzygy Ensemble from Melbourne (piano, cello, violin, clarinet, flute) - at Blue Sky Coffee, 32 Commercial Road, Newstead. Following that they have a three night series in Brisbane art space Fireworks Gallery over the June long weekend, suitably called The Long Weekender!

The Case for Philanthropy

We can expect to hear more about philanthropy in the coming months. As governments reduce expenditure - and arts funding - the common mantra is: increase your philanthropy. This is fine, and important, however a reality check is in order. Philanthropy comprises a small percentage of arts budgets (a 2011 report put it at 10.4%), and cannot possibly fill the hole governments choose to vacate. However, it can explore new territory, embrace innovation, provide incentives, and make the case for new approaches – and these are where we believe it works best. The Federal Government has announced it will re-establish the Community Business Partnership with $6.1M over four years. This initiative to foster growth in philanthropy has been welcomed by philanthropy groups including Philanthropy Australia.  This is all good, but we need to be mindful of potential impacts on public policy and the public interest as the role philanthropy plays increases.  You can read an interesting US article on the subject in The Atlantic here.

Presenting New Music: How do I get my music out there?

The New Music Network is presenting a workshop for prospective entrepreneurs in new and experimental music. This full-day workshop will provide composers, performers, producers and promoters with an introduction to and a fresh perspective on the business-side of new music. The workshop is designed for current students, recent graduates and emerging practitioners in the new music sector. Key speakers include: Andrew Batt-Rawden, John Davis, Claire Edwardes, Damien Ricketson, Louis Garrick, Cat Hope, Joanne Kee, Paul Mason and James Nightingale. Presented in association with the Australian Music Centre. The workshop is being held in Sydney on the 9 August. For more information and to register visit the New Music Network website.

Meet our Writers

MCA’s two part time staff writers have now joined us and will be filing stories regularly for our enews, Journal and websites. We’re very pleased to welcome them aboard. You can say hi to Jasmine and Graham at this email address.

Graham Strahle has joined MCA as part time Senior Writer and Editor Music Forum Journal.  Adelaide based Graham is an experience music journalist writing for The Australian, The Adelaide Review, and has written for Limelight and Artstate Magazines, UK publications The Works and Managing the Arts Worldwide, and is also a  classical music program writer. Graham is a former MCA Councillor (2002 to 2009), served on the MCA Board (2002-2004), and has been a regular contributor to Music Forum magazine with 15 published articles and some 50 CD reviews. Graham holds a PhD in Historical Musicology and plays the Viola da Gamba in various ensembles including Adelaide Baroque. Graham will cover classical and art music and music education for the MCA.

Sydney based Jasmine Crittenden has joined the MCA as a senior writer. She is also a senior writer at online arts-culture publication Concrete Playground and a regular contributor to Metro and Screen Education magazines. Between 2001 and 2003, she was Drum Media’s chief jazz critic and she has since written about jazz for Jazz Australia and Jasmine completed a degree in Modern History and English Literature at the University of Sydney, receiving First Class Honours for her thesis on the role of African-American music in the Civil Rights Movement. She is currently studying a Master of Arts in Writing at the University of Technology, Sydney. Jasmine will cover contemporary popular music and community music for the MCA.


Songwriting Workshops For Teachers

Passionate about empowering Australia’s teachers with new and inventive approaches to music education, the MCA has teamed up with Musical Futures Australia to offer a free nationwide program of Songwriting Workshops for Teachers running July – September 2014. Workshops are scheduled for all Australian states and offer the opportunity to:
  • Learn inventive techniques for teaching contemporary songwriting
  • Engage students with a fresh, hands-on approach, opening them up to exciting possibilities for storytelling and music creation
  • Take home resource packs and lesson plans you can immediately use in the classroom
  • Develop your own songwriting skills under the guidance of professional songwriters and education experts
More information about the program and register to attend here.

Music: Count Us In Update

Image: Students working with John Foreman

The MCUI program song was recorded on May 15 and will be launched in late June. We kept it local to our Erskineville offices, with students from Newtown High School of the Performing Arts recording at Studios 301 in Alexandria, supported by professional mentors, as well as our program ambassador, John Foreman. The song will be accompanied by a series of 10 lesson plans our writers, Margie Moore and Jane Law, are hard at work completing. Our intention is to offer teachers a more in depth program of study that they can implement in Term 3. All resources will be uploaded in late June. Register now.

Update on Victoria’s Music Education Inquiry

The Victorian school Music Action Group (sMAG) reports that the Victorian Parliament has adopted all the recommendations of the Parliamentary Inquiry into School Music Education. This is good news. Now the focus is on implementation, with a goal for quality music in schools to be the norm not the exception.  One way to do this is to highlight good stories, to illustrate the benefits that school music can deliver. In the lead up to the November Victorian election, now is the time to make the case. If you have a positive story of successful school music in Victoria, send it to sMAG now.  And let us know here at MCA, we’ll share it with out readership.

How can the School Musical help raise Student Grades?

Fresh from seeing how galvanizing the school musical can be to a school community, your enews Ed was taken with this inspiring US story of the transformative effects of arts and music in a school community. You can read Huffington Post’s story on Savoy Elementary here where a program called Turnaround Arts uses the arts to turn around under performing schools with impressive results.


Arts programs can lift Indigenous health and wellbeing

The Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing has published a report which found that participating in arts programs has major benefits for people in Indigenous communities. Improvements include health and wellbeing, cultural maintenance and transmission, countering boredom, reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, increasing civic engagement and social inclusion, and economic development. The Institute’s paper synthesised findings from over 30 studies, covering all geographic areas from inner city to remote regions, and all age ranges from preschool children to the elderly. About two-thirds of the studies are Australian, with some international studies used to add depth. It found that Indigenous participation in arts activities is relatively high.  The report is available for download on the AMPAG website.

Koyama Kings: The search for Australia’s favourite ukulele group is on!

Join the Cairns Ukulele Festival and Koyama Ukuleles Australia in their search for Australia's Favourite Ukulele Group! The competition, invites groups of 3 or more players to enter by submitting a video via a Facebook Application. Ukulele must be the main or lead instrument in the video, but other than that, participants have free rein. The group in the video with the most votes will win a spot at the Koyama Ukulele Showcase during the Cairns Ukulele Festival on 6 July. The winning group will also receive free entry for up to 10 members to the Cairns Ukulele Festival finale concert and 3 Koyama ukuleles. Entries close 6 June. For more information visit the Koyama Ukulele Facebook Page.

Artist rights and the law

Arts Law and Marrickville Council in Sydney are presenting a series of free workshops for artists to gain legal perspectives and practical advice.  Workshops run on Tuesday nights throughout June and July and will be discussing a range of topics including: Copyright and moral rights, Artist contracts, Artist as business, Musicians and the law. More information and register here.






Sidney Myer Creative Fellowships

The Sidney Myer Creative Fellowships provide grants of $160,000 over two years to individual artists, arts managers and thought leaders in the humanities. The Fellowships are intended for artists in their 'early mid-career' - to be eligible, nominees must be in the first seven to fifteen years of their creative practice. Nominations close 1 June. Find out more at the Sidney Myer Creative Fellowships website.

APRA Music Grant program

Each year, the APRA Board sets aside 1.75% of distributable revenue to fund projects and organisations promoting the use and recognition of music by APRA members. The annual APRA Music Grant program closes on 31 May. Further information and grant guidelines here.

PPCA Performers’ Trust Foundation Grants

The Phonographic Performance Company of Australia Limited (PPCA) Performers’ Trust Foundation provides grants to promote and encourage music and the performing arts. The grants provided are non-recurring (i.e. one-off grants rather than a periodical payment). Closing date: Ongoing (applications are considered every three months). For more information visit the PPCA website.

John T Reid Charitable Trusts

The John T Reid Charitable Trusts is a national funding organisation with a wide ranging commitment to philanthropy around Australia. The focus for arts and cultural heritage is often to enable equitable access to the arts for disadvantaged people and provide arts programs in rural or remote communities.  This will often involve projects that focus on community education.  New enquiries can be made after 3 June 2014. Further information here



Crown Resorts Foundation’s Western Sydney Arts Initiative

Crown Resorts Foundation has opened their Western Sydney Arts Initiative. Over 10 years, beginning in financial year 2014/15, $30 million will be allocated to eligible arts projects in Western Sydney. It is hoped this Initiative will enhance Western Sydney’s arts capacity by promoting the accessibility and availability of the arts and supporting projects and organisations that encourage excellence, innovation and creativity in the arts.

Focussing on young people’s engagement with the arts, these projects will:
  • Provide opportunity for participation and engagement with the arts
  • Enhance Indigenous arts and cultural programs
  • Develop local professional arts practice
  • Encourage community engagement
Applications close 30 June. For more information visit the Crown Resorts website.  

WA Boost Funding

The Performing Arts Tours Boost is a $1m project funded by the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program. The Boost program provides funding for regional touring by WA small to medium groups and for the development and delivery of skills training packages for community presenters. The Boost program has approximately $900,000 to use toward this grants program over the next three years. The Skills Training Package is now open to receive applications and closes 11 June. Applications are also now open for the first round of The Regional Touring Grants. Applications close 25 July. For more information click here.

Carriageworks Seeking New Resident Arts Companies

Carriageworks in Sydney’s Redfern is seeking new Resident Arts Companies. As a resident company you will be provided with subsidised office accommodation and the opportunity to partner with Carriageworks in developing and presenting new Australian work at Carriageworks. Submissions close 13 June. For more information visit the Carriageworks Website.




SOUNZ Contemporary Award

Entries are now open for the SOUNZ Contemporary Award. The annual SOUNZ Contemporary Award recognises creativity and inspiration in composition by a New Zealander. The Award is New Zealand’s premier composition award attracting a prize of $3000. It is a collaborative project of both SOUNZ, the Centre for New Zealand Music and APRA. Entries close 30 June. More information and apply here.

Jeunesses International Violin Competition 2015

With a tradition of 21 years, Jeunesses International Music Competition "Dinu Lipatti" is one of jmEvents successful programs. It discovers and promotes young talent, combining competition with master-classes and classical music concerts for worldwide fans. The 2015 competitions will be for the violin. Registrations close 1 March 2015. More information here.


Sony Music offers record deal in talent search

Sony Music and its mobile brand affiliate Sony Xperia are launching a global talent search, with the winner to sign a recording contract with the label. Artists and bands have until 8 July to submit an original song that will be uploaded across the social networks of online creative platform Talenthouse. The winner will receive a recording contract, 2 tracks recorded and mastered in a studio by a Sony producer, an all-expenses paid trip to London and a filmed interview. More information and to submit an entry here.

Melbourne Music Week 2014, EOIs now open

Expressions of interest are open for Melbourne Music Week (MAW) 2014. MAW is calling on promoters, venues, recording labels, businesses and music aficionados to take part in the fifth instalment of MMW from 14 – 23 November. Produced by the City of Melbourne, MMW is an event dedicated to celebrating and supporting the city’s thriving contemporary music scene. Expressions of interest for MMW 2014 are now open for the Self-Made Series, Live Music Safari, The Hub and Umbrella programming. EOI’s close 9 June. Visit the City of Melbourne website for more information.

EOIs Illawarra Folk Festival 2015

Expressions of interest are now being accepted for  performers at the 30th Anniversary Illawarra Folk Festival 2015. Applications close 30 May. For more information about the festival and to apply click here.




FEEDBACK: A music conference for young people

Indent is pleased to announce the highly anticipated return of FEEDBACK: A music conference for young people, held in collaboration with Vivid Ideas 2014. Indent is the peak network for all-ages entertainment in NSW, offering to assist young people to get a leg up in the highly competitive music business. The conference is being held on 9 June in Sydney, with content tailored especially to the 12-25 year old demographic. For more information visit the Indent website.

MPA Education Forum

Major Performing Arts (MPA) Education Network Conference will be held in Brisbane on 30 June – 1 July. The two day forum of the Major Performing Arts (MPA) Education Network discusses the latest crucial issues in arts education, including the latest developments in the National Arts Curriculum. It is also open to other education personnel from key performing arts companies. For more, visit the AMPAG website.

20th ASME National Conference 2015

Expressions of interest to participate in the Australian Society for Music Education (ASME) National Conference taking place 30 September  - 2 October  2015 in Adelaide are now open. To register your interest click here.


NABMSA 6th Biennial Conference

The North American British Music Studies Association(NABMSA) will hold its Sixth Biennial Conference from 31 July to 3 August 2014, in Las Vegas, Nevada, hosted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  For more information click here.

Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference

The 42nd Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference will be held at the University of Birmingham in the Department of Music 3-6 July. To find out more visit the University of Birmingham website.

SysMus14, London

The Music, Mind and Brain group at Goldsmiths, University of London will host the annual International Conference of Students of Systematic Musicology (SysMus14) from 18-20 September. To find out more click here.



Senior Producer, Contemporary Music

The Opera House is looking to appoint a Senior Producer, Contemporary Music. This position is responsible for the effective management and presentation of projects that are part of the SOH Contemporary Music program.  Applications close on 1 June. For more information click here.

Operations Manager, MusicNSW

MusicNSW is currently seeking a permanent part-time Operations Manager to lead the organisation through its next stage of strategic growth and business development. Applications close 30 May. For more information click here.

Marketing Coordinator, Sydney Festival

Sydney Festival is looking to hire a Marketing Coordinator for a contract position. The role will work in consultation with the Marketing Manager & Digital Marketing Manager. Applications close 4 June. For more information visit the Sydney Festival website.

Social Media Coordinator, Arts Centre Melbourne

The Arts Centre Melbourne is looking for an enthusiastic Social Media Coordinator to oversee management of social media channels and online communities, driving customer engagement and growth of online communities. Applications close 1 June. For more information click here.  

Communications Officer, Regional Arts NSW

Regional Arts NSW is seeking an energetic, creative and skilled marketing and communications professional. Applications close 29 May. For more information about this position click here.

Music Teacher, Marist College Ashgrove

The College has a vacancy for a Music teacher from January 2015. This is a full-time, continuing position. Applications close 13 June. For more information visit

Performing Arts Manager, Studio ARTES

Studio ARTES is looking to appoint a Performing Arts Manager to oversee and develop their performance program. The successful candidate will have experience managing a creative team, creating performance pieces and schedules, be an effective and adaptable communicator and be highly organised. Applications close 30 May. For more information about this position click here.


Music Director, Milton Keynes Chorale

Enthusiastic choir of 100+ singers seeks an inspiring conductor. Applications close 8 July. For more information click here.  

Organ Scholar, Sherborne School, UK

The Sherborne School and Sherborne Abbey are looking to appoint an Organ Scholar. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to accompany the Abbey men and boys’ choir on the magnificent organ by Grey & Davison, to play for the two School services in the Abbey each week, and to work within the Music Department at Sherborne School.  Generous remuneration, free board and accommodation within the town. Applications close 1 June. For more information visit the Sherborne School website.

Senior Officer, Information, Arts Council England

Arts Council England is looking to appoint a Senior Information Officer. Applications close 1 June. For more information click here.

Participation Programme Manager, BSO

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra(BSO) is looking to appoint a Participation Programme Manager. Applications close 30 May. For more information click here.
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