Our Music Talks seminar series is now in full swing with two topics coming up: A Music Education session with Richard Gill in Sydney, and An Internet Copyright for Artists session which will be offered in Brisbane and Sydney, details below; and also Melbourne details soon to be announced.
Our enews provides your fortnightly fix of music activities, news, policy, events, opportunities and resources. Share your news, and for more, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest in music from all corners of the country

Chris Bowen
CEO Music Australia





Classical House Concerts for the Digital Age?

Referred to as the ’airbnb of classical music’ US based Groupmuse arrange classical concerts in multiple American cities by matching artists with host presenters, often in private homes Their mission is to bring the “great masterpieces of western music back from the margins of society by organically working them into the social fabric of our world.” They are as committed to creating communities as they are to making music, and as Marketplace reports, they have become rather adept at doing both.



Digital Not so Energy Friendly?

UK Music Hub The Music Tank  reports on some disturbing news about the amounts of energy consumed by the digital content industries. Their previous research has shown assumptions about the energy efficiency of digital music are mistaken, and that streaming an album 27 times uses more energy than is required to make a CD. More concerning are recent projections that the energy required to store data globally is growing exponentially, and that electricity demand for data services may outstrip supply by as early as 2020. Read their full report here.




UK Music: Measuring Music Study Released


Industry lobby group UK Music second annual economic study, Measuring Music, shows the economic contribution of the UK music industry to Britain in 2013.  The report shows a buoyant industry with strong growth, in line with the broader UK economy. Live music attendance and employment is up, and the grass roots sector have benefited from deregulatory initiative the Live Music Act. Quick Facts:

  • 110,000 jobs
  • £3.8 billion annual contribution to the UK economy
  • Almost £2 billion value in annual exports
  • Growth of 9 percent, outperforming rest of UK economy



Neilson Survey - Music is Top Entertainment Choice


In their annual US music survey Neilson has found 93 percent of Americans regularly listen to music. Key findings are:

  • 75 percent actively listen to music, higher than television at 73 percent
  • Listening in the car was the most popular at 25 percent
  • Listening at work or at home doing chores follow, each with around 15 percent
  • Radio is the favoured platform, used by 59 percent of listeners
  • Personal libraries account for 48 percent of listening, followed by on demand streaming services at 41 percent





Our Music - Best or Worst in the World?

Some may have noted the coverage, doing the social media rounds last week, of an article in What Culture citing six reasons why the Australian Music Industry is the worst in the world. So Tone Deaf decided to buy into the debate, with a countering piece citing six reasons why our music industry has never been better. We’ll let you make up your own minds but we know where Music Australia stands on this one! 



Australian Indie Labels Producing Mainstream Success


Of the five titles ARIA-nominated for Album of the Year, four were released on independent labels: Chet Faker’s Built on Glass (Future Classic), Dan Sultan’s Blackbird (Liberation Music), Sheppard’s Bombs Away (Empire of Song/Chugg Music) and Sia’s 1000 Forms of Fear (Inertia). The only exception is Jessica Mauboy’s Beautiful, which belongs to Sony. Moreover, an increasing number of artists are opting for the DIY road, including Courtney Barnett, who started her own label, Milk! Records. Guardian music journalist Monica Tan explores indie’s growing impact on the mainstream.




Carlton Dry Independent Music Awards Winners Announced


On 8 October 2014, winners of the ninth Carlton Dry Independent Music Awards, run by the Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR), took home prizes in fourteen categories. Melbourne songstress Courtney Barnett and Queensland’s Mansfield-based rock group Violent Soho dominated proceedings, each receiving two awards. The former won Best Independent Artist and Best Independent Single/EP (for Avant Gardener), while the latter won Best Independent Album and Best Independent Hard Rock, Heavy or Punk Album. Remi was named recipient of the Global Music Grant.




Anti-smoking concerns snuff out Perth’s Carmen


The extraordinary decision by West Australia Opera to pull Carmen from its 2015 and 2016 seasons comes as a result of a sponsorship deal it has with Healthway, a government health promotion agency. Carolyn Chard, WAO general manager, has announced that her company wants to promote positive health messages and that its decision to drop Carmen was not made under any pressure from the sponsor. Act I is set in a cigarette factory, yet Healthway has an anti-smoking policy in its sponsorship agreements.




ACO’s “persuasive experiments” with Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood


Midway through its European tour, the Australian Chamber Orchestra has attracted plaudits from UK’s The Guardian newspaper for its “persuasive experiments” with Radiohead’s multi-instrumentalist Jonny Greenwood. Performing at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, ACO was described as “fabulous”, and Greenwood’s new work Water, which features paired flutes and Indian tanpura, was praised as “organic and persuasive”. Greenwood wrote the work following a three-month residency with the ACO in 2012. ACO plays Water in its Tognetti's Beethoven national concert tour in late October-November.

Image Caption: Jonny Greenwood with ACO’s Richard Tognetti
Source: Sydney Morning Herald. Photo credit: Edwina Pickles




Jazz Meets Classical in New Song Cycle


Touchstones Song Cycle is a new work by leading jazz saxophonist Andrew Robson that combines jazz improvisation and string orchestra. It sees his own Andrew Robson Quartet team up with the Mitchell Chamber Orchestra, from Bathurst’s Mitchell Conservatorium, in what is described as a “new folk song suite for improvising soloists and string orchestra”. Touchstones Song Cycle is conducted by Richard Gill in a performance at Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Verbrugghen Hall on 19 October. Further details here.  

The Opportunity: Bathurst’s Mitchell Conservatorium are inviting readers to attend as our guest 'music critic for the day' and live tweet their thoughts during the concert, meet the musicians and review the work. Call Christine Sweeney Mitchell Conservatorium 02 6331 6622 to apply




Music Copyright – the Artist and the Internet – Brisbane Session


Presented by:  Music Australia in association with QMusic
6 – 8pm, Tues 18 November 2014, River City Labs

This Q&A/Panel Discussion looks at the latest developments to enhance protection for composers and creators from their content being used on the internet without authority.  Our expert panel explains what is happening here and overseas, unpacks the terms involved, and answers your questions. Attend this seminar to understand what a ‘safe harbour’, a ‘takedown notice’ and ‘web blocking’ is, and the copyright issues involved for musicians and music makers.

Brisbane Panel:

  • Chris O’Neill – Panel Chair, National Team Leader - Writer Services APRA AMCOS
  • Vanessa Hutley – General Manager, Music Rights Australia, Music Rights Advocate
  • Rick Chazan – Manager, GROUNDCONTROL Music Management (AUS)
  • Matt McCormick – McCormick Lawyers

This session is free to attend, bookings are essential.  Register to Attend.




Music Copyright - the Artist and the Internet – Sydney Session


Presented by Music Australia in association with Music NSW
4 – 6pm Wed 19 November 2014, Erskineville Town Hall

Sydney Panel:

  • Michael Smellie, Chair Music Australia, Panel chair
  • Vanessa Hutley, General Manager Music Rights Australia             
  • Lindy Morrison, Artist               
  • Fiona Phillips, Executive Director Australian Copyright Council 

Free for Music Australia Members, and $20 for non-members, bookings are essential. You can book here.




Curriculum Review


The Australian Government has released the Review of the Australian Curriculum commissioned in January. The Review Report acknowledges broad agreement that the arts should be a fundamental part of school education and affirms a commitment to the arts in the curriculum. However it questions whether five art forms (dance, drama, media, music and visual arts) can realistically be included, particularly in primary school years, notes various criticisms of the arts curriculum, and that considerable resources are required for implementation.  The report recommends two art forms be mandatory (recommending music and visual arts) with others offered as electives, that content be streamlined, and increased integration across other subject areas. Share your comments here.


Music Education Advocacy Day in Canberra


On 30 October Music Australia’s music education delegation converges on Canberra to put the spotlight on school music. We will make the case for music in schools at a vital time as the Government reviews the Australian Curriculum. And, we host our School Music Program Music: Count Us In at Parliament House, streamed live across the country, together with:

  • A delegation of 10 people from 5 national organisations working in alliance
  • Music Australia, AMEB, APRA/AMCOS, AMPAG and AMA will all be there
  • A dozen meetings with parliamentarians and officials
  • While 800 school students sing in the Great Hall of Parliament House
  • All delivering 1 message: school music education matters!

Share your music education messages for our elected representatives here.


Music Lessons for Victoria’s Most Vulnerable Youth

An educational program for some of Victoria’s most vulnerable young people will include music lessons. It has been announced that children in the State’s high security welfare facilities will receive lessons in music and other subjects “in a bid to get their lives back on track”. Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge says the program is intended “for children whose education has been disrupted all their lives” and will give them a chance to “believe in their capacity to learn". More here.


Learning Music Industry Ropes Through a Record Label

Decibels Records in Melbourne’s suburb of Northcote offers a learning program for young musicians that probably makes it unique in Australia’s record industry. The youth-run record label, initiated by Darebin City Council in 2011, offers young people a year-long program of tuition that equips them for the music industry. Recent stars of the program, Biddlewood and The Black Harrys will launch their new releases at the Decibels Records Showcase on 18 October as part of Darebin Music Feast. Details here.




Community Groups in Australia Music Use Survey


Music Australia and APRA AMCOS are working together to learn more about needs and opportunities for community music groups. We are conducting a survey to understand the kind of activities community groups undertake. The findings will be used to improve our services and support, and make it easier to access the resources you want and need in the community music sector. Benefits could include easier access to music licenses, improved insurance, and easier access to resources and support. Take part in the survey before 24 October here and be in the running to win a gift certificate for $300 worth of sheet music!


Community Music Victoria Looking for Film Clips

Community Music Victoria is putting together a community music video montage, to be displayed on the organisation’s website and subsequently shared all over the world. They’re looking for both ready-made film clips and groups that are willing to perform for the camera. In CMVIC’s words, submissions need not ‘be first class filming worthy of Cannes’. The only criteria is that they be clear, steady and audible. More information is available here.


Nordoff Robbins Golf Day to Raise Money for Music Therapy

On 16 October, a group of prominent music industry figures and sporting legends will go head to head at the Terry Hills Golf and Country Club to raise money for Nordoff Robbins. The day will start at 7am, with tee-off scheduled for 8am. Participants can enter individually or as part of a team of four – either independently or in a sponsored capacity. Online registration is essential.


Support Act Exceeds $100,000 Pozible Target


Much-loved music charity Support Act wound up its Pozible campaign on 1 October, having raised $145,069 – nearly one-and-a-half times its target goal. 237 supporters joined the ‘Bandwagon’, pledging amounts between $2 and $25,000. Rewards included private acoustic performances from the likes of Washington, Tim Finn and Eskimo Joe, hosted at high-end restaurants; song production with leading producers; and double passes to major concerts.


University Develops Music Therapy for Premature Babies


Kansas University Professor Deanna Hanson-Abromeit is leading an international collaboration that hopes to establish a formalised method for treating premature babies with music therapy. Named Operation Breakthrough, it is currently at research stage. In an interview with Alex Smith, Hanson-Abromeit explained that infants placed in neonatal intensive care are often overstimulated by noise, light and movement. However, music therapy can help to relax the nervous system. ‘We’re really trying to help them at a very basic neurological level organise at staying calm,’ she explains.








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. Applications for the next round of these one-off grants close 31 October. For more information visit the PPCA website. 



ANZAC Centenary Arts and Culture Production and Commissioning Fund

Round 2 of the ANZAC Centenary Arts and Culture Fund is now open for collaborative, commemorative arts and culture projects that engage local communities and produce quality artistic outputs. The Arts and Culture Fund supports 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 30 October. More information here.



National Library of Australia Creative Arts Fellowship

This Fellowship, supported by the Friends of the National Library of Australia, assists professional artists to develop new artistic work creatively using or inspired by the Library’s collections.  The Fellowship, open to artists practising in any art form, offers a grant of $10,000 for a minimum one-month residency at the Library by June 2015 to develop new art-work. Closing 9 November , 2014. Information and application here.







Arts Tasmania is partnering with Pozible to offer an additional investment of up to 50 per cent of a project’s successful crowdfunding target to approved campaigns, capped at $2,000 per project.  The initiative is called Crowbar and it’s to support contemporary and professional arts projects from artists and arts organisations based in Tasmania. Applications close 30 October 2014. To find out more visit Arts Tasmania.



Applications Open ABIF - Queensland

The Arts Business Innovation Fund (ABIF) provides a $1 million investment in 2014-2015 for not-for-profit arts and cultural organisations. ABIF is an initiative of the Queensland Government, through Arts Queensland and the Arts Investment Advisory Board, and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation. The Fund has been developed in partnership with a Consortium of three organisations: Foresters, Positive Solutions, and QUT Creative Enterprise Australia. To find out more information click here.



Core Arts Fund - West Australia

The Core Arts Fund supports regional organisations to coordinate diverse arts and cultural activities.  It provides fundamental financial support to the development of Western Australian regional organisations that undertake annual programs of arts and cultural activities that engage a broad cross-section of their community.  Funding is offered across three categories, Peak, Vital and Key. Applications close 1 November. For more information visit the Country Arts WA website.


Competitions and Awards



Pablo Casals’ International Composition Competition

Applications are now open to submit a new chamber music composition, in any formation for three to six instruments in the Pablo Casals’ International Composition Competition. Applications close 2 November. For more information click here.



2nd European Choir Games 2015

Applications are open to take part in the 2nd European Choir Games taking place in Magdeburg, Germany 5 – 12 July 2015. Applications close 15 February 2015. For more information visit the Interkultur website.





International Songwriting Competition


Applications have been extended until 4 November for the International Songwriting Competition (ISC). The ISC offers over $150,000 in cash and prizes including an overall Grand Prize of $25,000 (US) cash and $30,000 in prizes. Open to both amateur and professional songwriters, ISC offers 22 categories, representing all genres of popular music. More information at the Songwriting competition website.




Australian National Band Championships 2015


Entries are now open for the 2015 Australian National Band Championships. Applications close 19 December. For more information click here.




Electronic Music Conference Showcase


Applications to take part in the Electronic Music Conference (EMC) showcase are now open. Designed to discover the next crop of Australian electronic music talent, EMC Play represents a crucial stepping stone for connecting Australian electronic music artists with some of the world’s biggest talent buyers and A&R Executives. Applications close 17 October.  For more information visit the conference website.





Access Arts Achievement Award QLD


Access Arts has launched the inaugural $10,000 Access Arts Achievement Award.  It is open to all Queensland artists, arts workers or producers who experience disability. Applications close 18 October , for more information visit the Access Arts website.






Educating for life: ASME’s 2015 National Conference


The Australian Society for Music Education’s twentieth national conference in 2015 is Titled ‘Music: Educating for Life’. It runs from 30 September to 2 October in Adelaide and features three keynote speakers: respected conductor and educationist Richard Gill, music technology trainer and consultant Katie Wardrobe, and Professor Graham Welch from University of London’s Institute of Education in the UK. Composer-in-residence Anne Cawrse will work with young composers from each state and territory. Conference website here.



"Plug In" - The Newcastle Music Conference

The University of Newcastle Conservatorium of Music and MusicNSW have partnered once again to present PLUGIN, a free mini conference on 25 October for musicians and industry professionals covering all aspects of performance, production and promotion.  For more information click here.



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.






Music Australia, Program Director


Music Australia is seeking to appoint a Program Director for a 12 month contract to work in our Sydney office. Applications close 31 October. For more information visit the Music Australia website.




Music Australia, Marketing & Program Coordinator


Music Australia is seeking to appoint a Marketing and Program Coordinator for a 12 month contract to work in our Sydney office. Applications close 24 October. For more information visit the Music Australia website.



Adelaide Fringe Festival, CEO

Adelaide Fringe Festival is seeking to appoint a Fringe Director/Chief Operating Officer on a three year contract. Applications close 31 October. For more information visit the Fringe website.



Orchestra Manager

A respected company in the Performing Arts industry has a rare opportunity for an Orchestra Manager to join the team. Applications close 17 October. For more information click here.




University of Melbourne, Lecturer in Music Theatre


The University of Melbourne is seeking to appoint a Lecturer in Music Theatre. Applications close 26 October. For more information visit



Bleach* Festival, General Manager

Gold Coast’s Bleach* Festival is seeking a General Manager to work with the Festival’s Artistic Director. Applications close 24 October. For more information visit the Festival website.



ACO, Artistic Administrator

The Australian Chamber Orchestra(ACO) is seeking to appoint an Artistic Administrator. Applications close 17 October. For more information visit the ACO website.




APRA AMCOS, Music Royalties & Performance Allocation Clerk


APRA AMCOS is seeking to appoint a Music Royalties & Performance Allocation Clerk on a 12 month contract. Applications close 17 October.  For  more information click here.




Opera Australia, Schools Tour 2015 (Victoria)


Opera Australia is seeking opera singers for its 2015 Victorian Schools Tour, which tours to primary schools around Melbourne and regional Victoria. Applications close 6 November. For more information visit the Opera Australia website.



Minnesota Opera, Assistant Director

Minnesota Opera is seeking to appoint an Assistant Director. Applications close 17 November. For more information visit the Minnesota Opera website. 




AICC, Country Executive Producer

The Australian Embassy in Brasilia is seeking applications for the position of 2016 Australia International Cultural Council (AICC) Focus Country Executive Producer, based in Brasilia.  Applications close 3 November for more information click here.

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