Enhancing the musical life of regional Queensland communities

Organisation: Camerata of St John's

Project: Camerata Goes North West

Amount: $20,000

Year of grant: 2012

Many people in regional communities rarely, if ever, hear live orchestras. In July 2012 with the assistance of The John Villiers Trust, Camerata of St John’s undertook a gruelling tour to the regional towns of Mt Isa, Richmond, Charters Towers, Townsville and Ayr. It combined both daytime education workshops in schools and evening performances to the general public.

Over ten days, the musicians:

  • delivered workshops to 1100 students from 21 schools;
  • performed in three aged care facilities to 150 residents;
  • gave seven public concerts to 3,500 audience members; and
  • were heard by thousands more in three radio broadcasts, two of which were broadcast live from the Australian Festival of Chamber Music.

Support for Camerata’s regional tour strongly aligned with the aim of The John Villiers Trust to make available to people living in regional and remote Queensland communities, opportunities to engage in experiences that are commonly available to Queenslanders living in metropolitan areas. In this case it was the opportunity for young and old to experience the joy and pleasure of live orchestral concerts, and for young strings students to engage with and be tutored by professional musicians.

“In my 20 years of teaching I have never experienced such an immediate change in students’ music abilities and attitudes. Camerata of St John’s has formulated an amazing school concert, perfectly timed, good variety… But in saying all this, the overwhelming success came with the lessons. Our students only learn in groups and have access to only one teacher. Due to the costs of leaving Mt Isa, it is rare for students to travel to the coast for lessons. Please congratulate your members on their great teaching skills and patience with our students and send special thanks from a very pleased String Teacher.”

Yvonne Moore, String Instrumental Music teacher, Mt Isa District