Community Orchestra Conference 2012
The Music in Communities Network presented its first orchestral-themed event in Sydney on Saturday 22 September, 2012. The event was a success and we thank all of our speakers, supporters and participants. Stand by for a conference report.
Speakers and Panellists
Anne Cahill - Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra
Anne has been a long serving member of the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra and one of its leaders, having held the position of Chair and Vice Chair. She also (literally) wrote the book on community music in Australia and was a driving force behind the Orchestras of Australia Network (TOAN). She continues to play violin in the orchestra and works for Musica Viva.
Christopher Nicholls - Sistema Australia
After twenty-five years involved in high end IT marketing and business development with some of Australia's most highly regarded IT and IT Security companies, Christopher decided to pursue his real love: music and music education. He has witnessed the effect of music on the life of his own children and now sees the benefits of young Australians in the program he designed and implemented, Sistema Australia.
Chris will be joined by Mariangela Martinez Alvarez to discuss El Sistema in Venezuala as well as the Australian program.
Tim Long - Willoughby Council / Willoughby Symphony
Tim was involved with The Orchestras of Australia Network and has had a long association with a fantastic orchestra in Sydney, the Willoughby Symphony. Tim is now Head of Performing Arts at Willoughby City Council and brings us a unique perspective from with a council which provides substantial support to its local orchestra.
Alex Masso - Music in Communities Network
Alex is a jazz drummer by trade and grew up playing every form of community music activity on offer (concert band, musical theatre, community orchestra, pipe band...). He has worked as Event Coordinator for a regional conservatorium and now manages the Music in Communities Network. Alex also conducted the first in a series of research projects for MiCN, focusing on community orchestras.
Tina Broad - Music: Play For Life
Tina has led the campaign to get more Australians making music, with a strong emphasis on schools (Music: Count Us In, Flame Awards), communities (Music in Communtiies Network and Awards) and wellbeing (Making Music Being Well). She brings both a "can do" and a "let's do" attitude to our activities and has a national perspective on the possibilities for community music development.
Australian Music Centre
The Australian Music Centre (AMC) is the national service organisation dedicated to the promotion and support of both the artform of music and the creators and performers of contemporary classical, improvised jazz, experimental music and sound art in Australia.
Ian Coss - Clear Music Australia
Clear Music is a unique business in the publishing industry, working with ensembles, music libraries and conductors to source scores and orchestral performing materials. Ian brings a wealth of experience dealing with the world of orchestral repertoire and music publishing and will join our discussion about Australian music and repertoire support for community orchestras.
Brennan Keats - Wirripang
Brennan's interest in composing developed many years ago and since then he has arranged a number of his father's works, whose composition he greatly admires, but has taken greater interest in instrumental and choral writing and has had a number of works published. In 1987 he and his wife commenced Publications by Wirripang, later to become Wirripang Pty Ltd, specialising in the publishing of books and fine Australian music and especially, establishing a means of preserving the music of these Australian composers so their music will not be lost to future generations. Read more about Wirripang at http://www.australiancomposers.com.au
Andrew is currently the CEO of Wollongong Conservatorium of Music and President of the NSW Association of Regional Conservatoriums, and has had a diverse career in music here and abroad. As a trombonist he performed with the world-renowned Grimethorpe Colliery Brass Band (of "Brassed Off" fame) for 11 years. During this time the Grimethorpe band toured Australia, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, France, New Zealand and Hong Kong, participated in the making of the film "Brassed Off" and won the National Brass Band Championships and the British Open Championships, the two premier band competitions in the UK.
In New Zealand Andrew worked as Musical Director of the Waitakere City ‘Trusts’ Brass and in Australia he has worked as Lecturer in Brass and Musicianship at Charles Darwin University and Orchestra Manager for the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra before taking up the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music in May 2008.
David Griffin - Fisher's Ghost Youth Orchestra
David Griffin became conductor of Fisher's Ghost Youth Orchestra in 2004. David graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in that same year. While a student, David conducted many of the Sydney Conservatorium's finest ensembles, including performances with the Chamber Orchestra, Post-Graduate Players, Saxophone Orchestra, as well as recordings and workshops with the Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Choir, and Brass Choir. In 2006 he was Assistant Conductor with the Early Music Ensemble. In 2005 he conducted the Modern Music Ensemble in four-weeks of workshops of new compositions.
David has a special interest in new music, and is frequently engaged as conductor in the performance of contemporary works. He has also conducted for the Willoughby Symphony Choir, Northern Sydney Youth Orchestra, theatre productions, as well as being a freelance conductor and composer.
Where can you find support for your community music group?
Does your local orchestra have a business sponsor? A partnership with a local school? Local council support? We will hear about some examples of institutions supporting and partnering with community music groups, and look at ways to encourage more partnerships to strengthen community-based music groups around Australia.
Australian music and new music for community orchestras
Recent research by the Music in Communities Network found that more than half of Australia's community-based orchestras commission composers to write new music, and/or have someone within the orchestra write music. With the guidance of several experts we will explore the possibilities for creating more Australian music for community orchestras to play.
What can we learn from El Sistema?
Venezuela's music education program, El Sistema, is now well know for its extraordinary success in providing opportunities for young people, achieving social change, and producing some extraordinary musicians and conductors. Earlier this year the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra appointed Diego Matheuz, an El Sistema graduate, as its chief guest conductor. Meanwhile, Sistema Australia is using the model to create a program in Australia. Christopher Nicholls will tell us all about it and get us thinking about what community orchestras, music educators and professional orchestras might learn from the Venezuelan program. Read more about El Sistema.
Thanks to the Australian Chamber Orchestra and NSW Local Government and Shires Associations for their support of this event. The Music Council of Australia's Annual Assembly immediately follows this event, from Sunday 23-Monday 24 September.