Music Forum: May 2012

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Profile: The Con Artists

Several years ago, Wollongong–based conductor and educator David Rooney took on the role of directing a community concert band, the Concord Concert Band (previously Concord 80). Over the course of three years Rooney developed and expanded the group into a lively folk/gypsy/klezmer band, a move away from its concert/wind band roots but very much reinforcing its role as a community music group.

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By Alex Masso
Challenging Voices

The English organization Sing Up develops a voice network to work with children excluded from mainstream school.

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by Phil Mullen
Music Training Has Impact on the Aging Process

Age-related delays in neural timing are not inevitable and can be avoided or offset with musical training, according to a new study from Northwestern University. The study is the first to provide biological evidence that lifelong musical experience has an impact on the aging process.

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by Wendy Leopold
Music Festivals in Australia This issue of Music Forum is focused on Australia's many and veried music festivals.  Music Forum Editor Dick Letts writes: The musical world is driven by passion. The passion is there to hear and see in the performances of the musicians and in the people who present them. With a pub gig, you can guess what it’s about. With a festival, it’s clearer: a lot of program decisions have to be made and there is almost bound to be a philosophy at work, often described in the press by the Artistic Director.  read more
introduction by Dick Letts

Woodford Folk Festival

The Woodford Folk Festival is a six day annual gathering that is the sum of all its people, past and present. For six days, the festival is a temporary community of people from diverse backgrounds who have made the pilgrimage for a myriad of reasons.

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by Amanda Jackes
Four Winds Festival 

"This is an environment that encourages risk, supports innovation, and loves building long term, nurturing relationships with artists."  Prue takes us through the vision and history of one of Australia's leading chamber music festivals.

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by Prue Niedorf

The WOMADelaide festival, held every March in Adelaide’s beautiful Botanic Park, is a unique event which highlights both the importance and the exciting potential of global cultural exchange. In a world of over 7 billion citizens, multiculturalism is inevitable. Events such as WOMADelaide show that it should be cherished and, indeed, celebrated.

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by Courtney Day
Tamworth Country Music Festival

In January, the iconic Tamworth Country Music Festival celebrated its 40th year with possibly its biggest crowd ever and looks set to continue for at least the next 40!  But why is it so successful? Bob from Country Music Bulletin answers the question.

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by Bob Kirchner

Bigsound Live is a unique urban music festival that takes place as part of Bigsound music industry conference, each September. It is the curated showcase event that provides artists with the opportunity to not only perform in front of the who’s who of the music industry but also attracts significant numbers of music fans.

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iby Denise Foley
National Folk Festival

One of Australia’s longest-running festival events, it was founded in Victoria in 1967. After migrating interstate annually until 1992, it settled at Exhibition Park in Canberra where it has established itself as a world-class cultural event with an attendance of over 50,000 each Easter.

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by Sebastian Flynn
Totally Huge New Music Festival

Totally Huge is "intended as an annual celebration for the local new music community as well as a window for the public to see/hear the latest initiatives in music composition, sound art creation and performance practices. The title was deliberately ironic." Tos Mahoney, Artistic Director, tells us all about it.

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by Tos Mahoney
Wangaratta Jazz Festival

From a relatively modest beginning in 1990, the Wangaratta Jazz festival grew rapidly in size and reputation, and was soon acknowledged widely as Australia’s best and most important jazz festival. Through its second decade, the festival has had to survive several financial challenges, but continues to enjoy strong national and international recognition.

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by Adrian Jackson
Adelaide Festival

Elizabeth tells us that there is "no argument, surely, that Adelaide has experienced more operatic adventures, some spectacularly successful, some disastrous, than any other Australian city".  Read more about the Adelaide Festival's role in South Australian Opera.

by Elizabeth Silsbury
Fairfield Brings It On! Each year, Fairfield City Council coordinates the Bring It On! festival for young people. But as Peter Hope, Council’s Youth Officer explains, the community comes together for so much more than a one day celebration….  bring it on (ie. read more)
by Peter Hope
Young People's Participation in Music Festivals

Two researchers report on research which aims to better understand the nature and outcomes of music festival experiences and to explore the extent to which they contribute to the psychological and social well-being of the young people who participate.

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by Dr. Jan Packer and Dr. Julie Ballantyne
Indigenous Festivals

Indigenous festivals are booming. There are well over 100 Indigenous festivals in Australia annually – from small, one-day events with a focus on sport, music, culture, history or a mix of these, to a smaller number of large, complex tourism-arts events such as Garma or The Dreaming.  Dr. Peter Phipps shares his research. 

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By Dr. Peter Phipps
State of the Festivals Report A summary of the State of the Festivals report by Moshtix, based on industry research.  Read more.
from Moshtix
Funding: Festivals Australia About the Federal Government's fundng program for arts festivals. Read more.
Office of the Arts