Hello and welcome to the third iteration (which should have been the fourth…!) of the Mackay Chamber Music Festival! I’m so thrilled that after a cancelled festival in 2020, and a terribly quiet year in the arts in general, we’re able to present this “lite” version of the MCMF in 2021. Due to the ongoing uncertainty of international travel and domestic border closures, this year’s festival will feature one stunning recital, alongside workshops and masterclasses with local musicians and members of the community.
I’m devastated to say that now I’m based in Germany, and due to international travel restrictions, I won’t be able to be there in person. However, I’m delighted that my fellow members of the Lyrebird Trio, Simon Cobcroft and Angela Turner will be there to present this beautiful recital. Simon and Angela are both some of Australia’s finest musicians and will be sure to blow you away with their artistry in this carefully curated program.
The MCMF has a strong commitment to delivering high quality music education to the local Mackay community. Local pianists, string players and music teachers will have the opportunity to attend masterclasses and talks held by Simon and Angela, who are both renowned educators, having taught all around the world.
I’m extremely grateful that the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music, and CQ University are on board this year as major sponsors of the festival, and as such, will be the venue of this year’s festival. Thank you so much to Judith Brown and all of the staff at CQCM and CQUniversity who have made this a possibility. The last two years of the festival have completely sold out, so having the Con as our “home” enables us to open the doors to more music-lovers and allow for the growth of the festival. We’re so fortunate to have access to a world-class facility, and hope you enjoy the experience.
Even for a “lite” festival, there is a huge amount of work that has to be done, and I’d like to thank the committee who volunteer to put up with my phone calls and emails most days in the months leading up to the festival! I’m sure there are countless other things you could be doing, but your belief in and time spent on this festival is truly appreciated. Angela Turner has spent countless hours lending her artistic eye and technological prowess to design all of our marketing material, website and content, and I can’t thank her enough for her time and most importantly, friendship.
A special thanks must go to our major festival supporters, donors and sponsors – the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music and CQUniveristy, Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal and Macrossan and Amiet. A full list of supporters can be found on this website, and their generosity cannot be overstated. A special mention must also go to Brian Wilson at Piano Care, who has donated his time and skills for the third year running to keep the piano in top condition. If any locals wish to have their instrument maintained over the weekend, be sure to get in touch here.
We still find ourselves living in strange and uncertain times, but I truly believe that period spent away from live performance has made audiences and performers hungrier than ever for music and culture. I know that this isn’t the same festival as in prior years, and I know we’ll be back to a full program in the coming years. However, I assure you this weekend will still have the same passion and incredible artistry you have come to expect from the MCMF. I hope to find a way to catch some of the weekend from afar, and who knows, perhaps I’ll even “Zoom” in…