Welcome to the MCA eNews 3rd September 2014
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It’s Awards season!  To find out who is making waves in jazz, classical, art and Indigenous music circles this year – read our awards round up below – an incredible array of talent. We congratulate all winners and nominees.
Our enews provides your fortnightly fix of music news, activities, policy, and opportunities. Share your news and views, and for more, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest in music from all corners of the country.

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.



How American is this Year’s US Song of the Summer?

Not very it seems – in fact it’s distinctly Commonwealth, or more to the point Australian!  Time Magazine has added the combined Spotify streams and YouTube views – in millions - of the top ten songs over summer, and four places are taken out by Australian artists. Hip hop artist Ziggy Azalea features on two, along with pop boy-band 5 Seconds of Summer, and songstress Sia Furler. Azalea takes the outright top spot with 321 million streams / views with Fancy. Canadian reggae act Magic, and Scottish DJ Calvin Harris round out the colonial invasion.


How Good is Streaming for Opera?

OK, we’ve heard plenty about the rapid growth in subscription music services – but what is it like for opera? The New York Times road tests a range of services, some via subscription providers and some straight from the great opera houses. They report it is relatively straight forward to do this on your computer, however a bit more complex – but more enjoyable - on a widescreen TV.

Musical Addiction We've Heard of - but Classical Artists?

We are familiar with stories of rock and pop musicians succumbing to addiction - attributable to multiple temptations and pressures. But classical artists? Certainly the pressures are enormous, from expectations of note perfect performance, intense competition for limited recitals, and an artform with few paid positions; but addiction in the ranks is news to us. UK’s Channel 4 has just aired a documentary on the subject which has shown the problem is quite widespread. The Guardian reports.



Get on the Bandwagon for Support Act!

Support Act is a charity, unique in Australia, helping music professionals who are facing hardship due to illness, injury or some other crisis that impacts on their ability to work in music. Support Act has embarked on its most ambitious fund raising project to date - Bandwagon! They have teamed up with Pozible to launch a crowdfunding campaign. They’re offering gig tickets, mentoring packages, birthday messages and beyond, with every pledge contributing to their goal of $100,000 to fund their services for music professionals in crisis. Click on the image to watch their crowdfunding video.

Countdown to Big Sound – 10 to 12 September

It’s a week until music industry gathering Big Sound kicks off in Brisbane. This QMusic  event has a formidable array of speakers, panellists and seasoned performers, plus dozens of up and coming bands vying for decision makers’ attention. Neil Finn will give a keynote, and we can’t wait to see Megan Washington, the Church, Thelma Plum and a host of others. There are multiple informative sessions on festivals, management, music export and more at Australia’s largest music business and talent discovery market.  

New Code of Conduct for Music Managers

The Association of Artist Managers (AAM) will launch their much awaited Code of Conduct for music managers at Big Sound in Brisbane next week and will hold a networking session for managers at Big Sound. You can contact AAM here.

National Indigenous Music Awards Winners Announced

Jessica Mauboy and Dan Sultan featured at this year’s National Indigenous Music Awards, which were held in Darwin on 15 August. Mauboy was named National Artist of the Year and Sultan took two prizes home: National Album of the Year for Blackbird and National Song of the Year for ‘The Same Man’. Meanwhile, National New Talent of the Year went to BRIGGS and added to the NIMA Hall of Fame was Munkimuk (aka Mark Munk Ross).

Freedman Jazz Fellowship Winner Announced

Pianist Aaron Choulai has been awarded the 2014 Freedman Jazz Fellowship, following the final, which was hosted in the Sydney Opera House Studio on 20 August. Formerly based in Melbourne, Choulai is now living in Japan and plans to put the $15,000 prize money towards setting up a recording studio and releasing new music over the internet. Fellow finalists were trombonist Shannon Barnett, vocalist Gian Slater and pianist Matthew Sheens.



Camerata of St John’s in the Spotlight

This week we profile another enterprising ensemble, Brisbane’s Camerata of St John’s. This energetically youthful, conductor-less string ensemble performed impressively at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and notably headlined the recent Darwin Festival in a collaboration with Gurrumul Yunupingu. Camerata won the Queensland State Art Music Award for their performance of Iain Grandage’s When Time Stops. Having performed numerous new works by Australian composers, including premieres by Anne Carr-Boyd and Phillip Houghton, Camerata also provides a strong platform for young musicians building their careers. They perform a new work by Gerard Brophy in October – details here.

2014 Art Music Awards Winners Announced

Composers Mary Finsterer, James Ledger and Andrew Ford came out tops in this year’s Art Music Awards. Winners were announced by APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre on 26 August. Finsterer’s Aerea was judged best new instrumental work, Ledger’s violin concerto Golden Years won Orchestral Work of the Year, and Ford’s Last Words topped the Vocal/Choral category. Performance of the Year went to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under conductor Simone Young in Brett Dean’s The Last Days of Socrates.

Melbourne Ring Scoops Six Helpmann Awards

The Melbourne Ring Cycle was a runaway winner in this year’s Helpmann Awards, winning six gongs including Best Opera. It also won Best Direction of an Opera (Neil Armfield), Best Music Direction (Pietari Inkinen), Best Male Performer (Terje Stensvold), and Best Male and Female Supporting Roles. Other Helpmann music awards, announced on 18 August, went to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Jordi Savall’s Jerusalem Project, Julia Lezhneva for her performance in Hobart Baroque, and Iain Grandage for his score When Time Stops.
* Photo Credit: Terje Stensvold as Wotan & Rainbow Girls Photo Credit  Jeff Busby


How to use Music: Count Us In for Community Engagement – Video Workshops

We are partnering with the ANU Music Engagement Program to deliver national workshops, via video conference, with a focus on teachers in remote areas or without access to face-to-face professional learning. These interactive workshops will offer a great professional learning tool. Learn how to build MCUI into a community outreach event with simple principles and practical techniques targeted at generalist primary and early-childhood teachers.
  • Monday 8 September 4:00-5:00pm AEST
  • Tuesday 9 September 4:00-5:00pm AEST
  • Wednesday 10 September 4:00-5:00pm AEST
  • Thursday 11 September 4:00-5:00pm AEST
 For more information, visit the Music Engagement Program website

Vote One for Music Education

The Victorian state election is coming up on 30 November and, whichever way you choose to vote, don’t forget to register your voice for music education. School Music Action Group (sMAG) has a roundup of current action and tips on how you can make your voice heard, pus some great other music ed info.

How Music Benefits Your Brain – a Wonderful Short Video

Here’s a great video Canberra based Anita Collins has made for TedTalks.  It’s an easy to follow animation that clearly demonstrates the remarkable activities – and benefits - taking place in a brain when musical activity happens. This is  a great one to share with your colleagues and students, and a fabulous incentive to take up an instrument.

Cathy Aggett Wins Music Education Award

Sydney music educator Cathy Aggett received the Award for Excellence in Music Education in the 2014 Art Music Awards for her project to create new repertoire for low voice. It resulted in two anthologies, vols 1 and 2, of new vocal works by Australian composers including May Howlett, Larry Sitsky and Gordon Kerry. Award winners were announced on 26 August. Finalists in the music education category were Karen Carey, Topology and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.


Moorambilla Gala Concert

Now in its ninth incarnation, the Moorambilla Festival will manifest as a Gala Concert this year, at the Coonamble Pavilion on 20 September at 6:30pm. The Moorambilla Voices Regional Boys and Regional Girls Choirs and the MAXed Out Company will perform original Australian music. There’ll also be appearances from The Song Company, TaikOz and a chamber ensemble featuring SSO Associate Concertmaster Kirsten Williams, as well as post-show fire sculptures by Phil Relf.

Victoria Sings Camp

Open to singers of all ages and all levels, the Victoria Sings Camp, organised via Community Music Victoria, is described as ‘a residential weekend to inspire and refresh community singers and singing leaders!’ Happening at Mt Evelyn Recreation Camp between 19 - 21 September, it offers two days and two nights packed with vocal sessions of both the structured and non-structured varieties. There’ll be lessons in ‘finding your voice’, workshops in vocal improvisation, spontaneous a cappella jam sessions, games, formal performances and much, much more.

Peregian Originals Festival

Peregian Originals, who host a free, family-friendly, open-air concert at Queensland’s Peregian Beach every second Sunday of the month, will hold their first ever festival on 13 September, at Noosa AFL Grounds. Headliners are Ash Grunwald + Andy & Scotty (of The Living End), with another twelve acts making up the bill, including Sticky Fingers, Kingswood, Oka and Bonjah.





Creative Partnerships Australia – 2015 Programs & Information

Creative Partnerships Australia will travel to all capital cities in September 2014 to announce funding and industry development programs for the year ahead, and information on services to increase private sector support for the arts. They will be in Brisbane on 17 September, 9.30 – 10.30am at the Queensland Multicultural Centre. More information and reserve a place here.

ArtStart Grant 

The ArtStart program provides financial assistance to recent arts graduates, helping them make the challenging transition from studying to having a professional career in the arts. The grant is for up to $10,000 to support a career or business development strategy for your arts practice. Applications close 22 September. More information at the Australia Council website.

The Adelaide Fringe Cultural Fund

Applications for Adelaide Fringe Cultural Fund Grants are now open. This Fund provides grants to independent Australian artists presenting their work in the Adelaide Fringe. In 2014, three grants of $10,000 each will be awarded to selected artists to support the presentation of their work in the 2015 Adelaide Fringe. More details at the fund website. Applications close 12 September.

Anzac Centenary Arts & Culture Fund

Individuals, organisations and groups are invited to apply for funding for collaborative, commemorative arts and culture projects that engage local communities and produce quality artistic outputs. Support is for projects that enhance understanding of the Anzac legacy. Funding is up to $100,000 for national, state and territory cultural institutions, and up to $50,000 for artists, arts organisations and other applicants. Applications close 10 September. More information here.


CASP Grants Open for 2015 

Applications have opened for the Country Arts Support Program (CASP). The grants are for a maximum amount ranging from $3,000 to $5000 (varying by Regional Arts Board) and are available to groups and organisations based in regional NSW for projects occurring between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015. Applications close 1 October. For more information click here.  




MBZ launches "5-Minute Opera" Competition

Music Biennale Zagreb (MBZ) has launched a new composers' competition - 5-Minute Opera! Composers have the opportunity to face the ultimate challenge - to create a "flash"-opera. In other words an entire opera to fit two singers, eight instruments and that in only 5 minutes! Applications close 1 October.  For more information click here.

International Jean Sibelius Composition Competition

The first international Jean Sibelius Composition Competition is organised as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of Finland's most prestigious composer. The aim of the competition is to gain new, high-quality repertoire for choirs, pianists and violinists. The competition is open to all composers regardless of nationality and there is no age limit for applicants. Entries close 30 September. For more information and to apply click here.



Tropscore 2014

APRA AMCOS is partnering with Tropfest for a fourth year to present Tropscore. This competition gives songwriters and composers the opportunity to create the soundtrack for a short film provided by Tropfest. There’s a $5000 cash prize available. Entries close 2 October. For more information visit the APRA AMCOS website.

Ashfield Council  Artist in Residence program

Submissions are currently open for Ashfield Council’s Artist in Residence (AIR)  program. The AIR residency program is open to Australian artists who live outside the Sydney Metropolitan Area, and international artists. There are five residencies are available between January 2015 to April 2016.  Closing date is midnight, 21 September 2014.  For more information click here.

ACMF National Songwriting Competition!

Don Spencer's Australian Children’s Music Foundation(ACMF) is proud to launch its 12th annual National Songwriting Competition! Schoolchildren of all ages across Australia are invited to compose an original song for the chance to win a share in over $30,000 in prizes. Entries close 13 October. For more information visit the ACMF website.

Call for Performers – Enlighten 2015

Enlighten Canberra is an innovative and contemporary cultural event of national significance presenting a program of high-calibre cultural content, after dark, in a selection of the capital’s iconic buildings and surrounds. The 2015 Festival will embrace the theme of Elements* (Earth | Air | Fire | Water. Expressions of interest close 26 September. For more information visit the Enlighten Canberra website.

City & Regional

RAV 2015 Creative Leadership Program

Regional Arts Victoria(RAV) is offering regionally based, young creative leaders in-the-making, the opportunity to register their interest in taking part in their 2015 Creative Leadership Program. The program seeks regionally based young people who have completed Year 12 in the last two years.  Expressions of interest close 7 November. For more information visit the RAV website.

Lesley Hall Arts & Disability Advocacy Scholarship

The Lesley Hall Arts and Disability Scholarship is an annual scholarship offered by Arts Access Victoria (AAV) which recognises the power of the arts to influence social change. This award will support the successful Scholarship winner to deliver an arts project or artwork that will highlight the experience of disability, promote human rights for people with a disability or advocate for social change. Applications close 26 September. For more information visit the AAV website.




CHASS National Forum 2014

The annual Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) forum will take place 8 – 9 October in Melbourne. The theme for this year’s forum is 'Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and the Public Good' to view the forum program of to register to attend visit the CHASS website.

Face The Music, 14 – 15 November 2014

Face The Music is Victoria’s biggest contemporary music conference will take place in November at Arts Centre Melbourne and will coincide with Melbourne Music Week and Australasian World Music Expo (AWME). For more information about the conference click here.


Call for Proposals Open - Classical: NEXT 2015

Classical:NEXT is seeking proposals for next-level artists, projects, initiatives and ensembles to submit an idea for  2015 event. The deadline for submissions is 26 September. For more information click here.

The International Trumpet Guild 2015 Conference

2015 International Trumpet Guild Conference is scheduled to take place 26 – 30 May 2015 in Ohio, USA. For more information about the conference program visit the International Trumpet Guild website.



Executive Producer, Adelaide Cabaret Festival

Adelaide Cabaret Festival is seeking to appoint an Executive Producer. Applications close 10 September. For more information visit the festival website.

Creative Partnerships Australia, Marketing & Communications Manager

Creative Partnerships Australia is seeking to appoint a Marketing & Communications Manager. Applications close 5 September. For more information visit the Creative Partnerships website.

Curator, Vivid Ideas - Vivid Sydney 2015 Request for Quotation

DestinationNSW is seeking to appoint a Curator for the 2015 Vivid Ideas program for Vivid Sydney. Expressions of interest close 5 September. For more information visit the DestinationNSW website.

Moreland City Council Arts Engagement Officer

Moreland City Council is seeking a skilled, enthusiastic and creative person to work in the new Arts Engagement position as part of the Arts and Culture team. Applications close 15 September. For more information click here.

Gorgeous Festival, Event Manager

Gorgeous Festival is an annual boutique music, food and wine festival, celebrating the flavours and creativity of South Australia's Fleurieu Peninsula. The festival is seeking to appoint an Event Manager, applications close 5 September. For more information visit

Australian Chamber Orchestra, Chief Financial Officer

The Australian Chamber Orchestra(ACO) is seeking an experienced Chief Financial Officer to join the Senior Executive Team. Applications close 8 September. For more information visit the ACO website.

Sydney Opera House Business Analyst

The Sydney opera House is seeking to appoint a Business Analyst. Applications close 8 September. For more information visit the JobsNSW website.

ASPA, State Coordinator WA

The Australian School of Performing Arts (ASPA) is seeking to appoint a State Coordinator for a contact position based in Western Australia working with the Australian Girls’ Choir.  Applications close 8 September. For more information click here.

Band / Choral Master, St Peter's Anglican College Broulee

St Peter's Anglican College Broulee is seeking to appoint a part-time Band/Choral Master. Applications close 9 September. For more information click here.


iOrchestra, Project Manager

iOrchestra which is a pioneering consortium-led project based in the South West United Kingdom with the primary objective of engaging new audiences with orchestral music is seeking to appoint a Project Manager. Applications close 8 September. For more information click here.

The Festival Chorus, Musical Director

The Festival Chorus, based in South London, wishes to appoint a new Musical Director. Applications close 30 September. For more information click here.

OAE, Co-Principal Viola

The Orchestra of The Age of Enlightenment(OAE) is seeking to appoint a Co-principal viola. The position will have an emphasis on Classical and Romantic repertoire, but will include Baroque as required. Applications close 30 September. For more information visit the OAE website.
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