a link to the series of 5MBS broadcasts (each one hour long) presented by the SA Guild, on the art of accompaniment. They’re available for download as podcasts for free.
1 December 2016
Dear fellow accompanists and Guild members,
Welcome to the end-of-the year Guild Newsletter!
As you may already know, at the Annual General Meeting on the 7th of August Regis Danillon stepped down as the Guild’s President after 5 years at the helm and I was elected as the new President. We all thank Regis for his many years of dedication and service to the Guild and his leadership of the hard-working committee. I will continue building on his work promoting the Guild and engaging with the music community.
Since the Annual meeting, the Guild continued its sponsorship of local Eisteddfods, in particular donating prizes to the following recipients:
Bundaberg Eisteddfod – split award:
o Jacob King 16 – 18 yrs category
o Sarah Chuey – 15 and under category
Silkstone Eisteddfod –
o 1st Caelan Hamilton, 13 years
o 2nd Oscar Matthews 2nd, 13 years
Goondiwindi Eisteddfod –
o Sam Jessen
Sunshine Coast Junior Eisteddfod –
o Tebany Carra
This year we trialled a new initiative – Accompanying Master Class – at both the Queensland Conservatorium (31 August) and the University of Queensland School of Music (14 October). Tertiary students had an opportunity to work with experienced instrumental teachers and learn more about the art of accompanying. Guild promotional materials were also distributed at these events in a recruitment drive to attract new student members.
The wonderful instrument stickers designed by Joanna Gibson have now been printed and will be distributed through AMEB, various youth orchestras and school bands early in the New Year to make the Guild “the place to go to” when looking for an accompanist.
The committee always welcomes innovative ideas from fellow members – please contact us if you have any suggestions for future initiatives and activities.
We have all worked very hard in the last few months accompanying students for AMEB exams, tertiary auditions and examinations. Time now for a well-deserved break over the summer to re-charge our batteries, rest our fingers, clear our heads and get ready for 2017.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Happy accompanying in 2017!
President Accompanists’ Guild of Queensland.
Please download and print Newsletter January 2017
Dear fellow accompanists and Guild members,
As I lie rather uncomfortably on the bed, with one leg resting on a cushion, I am reminded of the vicissitudes of life and unexpected turns of events which can “throw a spanner” in our daily routine of activities.
In early June, I suffered a nasty home accident when I slipped in the bathroom and did “the splits,” leaving me in pain with a torn hamstring as a result. This necessitated surgical procedure and following a couple of days in hospital, I found myself having to wear a leg brace for 6 weeks and walking around on crutches! Needless to say, this put an immediate stop to my teaching and my school students missed out on lessons for the last 3 weeks of last term (to their joy and relief, I imagine!). Accompanying duties and a couple of small concert engagements were also cancelled and a planned overseas trip during the school holidays was postponed. Hopefully in a few weeks, I will be fully “repaired” and I look forward to a less demoralising time ahead.
There are some important events coming soon, and I urge members to make a note of them and show their support. On the 8th August, the Guild is pleased to present its 3rd Master Class for Young Accompanists at the MTAQ Auditorium. This year we have the expertise of Ms Shelli Hulcombe, a Voice teacher at the Conservatorium, who will help some young pianists develop their skills in vocal accompanying. The repertoire will be varied and interesting. Please make a special effort to come and encourage these young musicians, then stay on for the Annual General Meeting, which will follow the Master Class. Members are being sent all documents relevant to this function, and it is most important that we have a good turn-up here also to guarantee a quorum. All Committee positions will be open, including that of President. Please consider taking an active part in the running of our association – we definitely need some keen and enthusiastic people to take the helm of the Guild, and help it continue to develop and progress on its future path.
The Committee would like to welcome warmly all new accompanists who have joined the Guild recently, and we hope your association will be beneficial and productive. We look forward to meeting you soon at our forthcoming events!
In the meantime, Happy Accompanying and all the best to everyone.
Regis Danillon – President Accompanists’ Guild of Queensland
The Accompanists Guild of Queensland has recently become aware of a surprising and misjudged policy adopted by the AMEB, of introducing recorded accompaniments for use in practical music exams “as an alternative to accompanists”. As an association of professional accompanists, we are very concerned by this worrying initiative, and wish to strongly voice our disapproval of this decision.
While we recognise that recorded accompaniments may benefit students in the preparation and practice of pieces in some cases, the use of recorded “backing” in the actual examination can only provide a disservice to the young musicians. For one thing, we do not believe that “the availability of accompanists has become an issue”, at least in the major centres. All our members are competent and experienced musicians, and always help the soloists to perform at their best.
The AMEB should, on the contrary, encourage the use of accompanists in the examination room by not making it simply optional. How can a nervous young student doing an exam for the first time for instance, feel that he/she is safe and secure when following a tape which will play “at the 100% tempo” without regard for tonal balance, and unresponsive to the candidate’s stage of technical development? In more advanced cases, works which require good musical rapport between solo part and accompaniment can only be compromised and devoid of character and creative interpretation.
There are many other aspects of performance that can be affected without a real, live person, sensitive to nuances of interpretation, and supporting the solo candidate with commitment and sincerity.
We sincerely hope that the AMEB will reconsider their ill-advised decision and disregard this policy to demonstrate a more intelligent and understanding attitude towards ensemble playing, and to maintain some fundamental principles of good music-making in performance presentations.
Accompanists’ Guild of Queensland, Inc.
Read this excellent letter penned by Mr David Miller
Chair of the Accompaniment Studies Unit at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the President of the Accompanists’ Guild of NSW
3rd November 2014
Dear fellow accompanists and Guild members,
Once again, the months are passing by at an alarming rate, and most of us are probably now
submerged in semiquavers and dotted minims, with the exam season in full swing! I hope that
everyone has plenty to do in the weeks ahead, before the starving months of December and
Two important events have occurred since my last contact in July, both of them unsurprisingly
disregarded by the majority of members and poorly attended. I must say at this point that in
my 3 years as President of this association there are accompanists whom I have never met.
Our few functions are a great opportunity to network and meet fellow accompanists. It is just
unfortunate that members have such a reluctance to “show” themselves!
In early August, the second Master Class for Young Accompanists was held at the MTAQ
Auditorium, and attended by 3 of our 61 members (an improvement on last year!). There were
8 young, promising pianists who presented themselves before an appreciative audience made up
mostly of parents and friends. It was wonderful to see our invited flute teacher, Janine
Grantham, play with them some unusual and attractive repertoire and discuss the finer points
of performance, which would also have been of benefit to many of us, professionals.
The Annual General Meeting took place a couple of weeks later and was attended by 12
members. It was preceded by a Special General Meeting in which the revised and updated
Constitution of the Guild was introduced and adopted by those present. There are few
changes which would affect members directly. One of the differences concerns the fact that
members of the executive can now hold their positions for longer than 3 years. As a result,
and lack of forthcoming nominations, the current members of the executive have all retained
their positions for another year, and one new person has joined the Committee. We welcome
Barbara Clifford to our group.
Many members will have noticed that this Newsletter is now headed by a “refreshed” logo for
the Guild. We thank sincerely Jo Gibson who has been working with the Guild to give a cleaner
look to our logo, which is now with well-drawn keyboard keys and without a tail for the “Q”!
The name next to it confirms directly who we are. We hope you like the revised design!
The Committee is now considering ideas for next year so that we can present some interesting
activities. Please let the Committee know of any inspired suggestions you may have.
Finally, a friendly warning to any member who still hasn’t paid their dues at this stage, that
your name has been deleted (or is about to be) from the lists of accompanists on our website
and the mailing list. We hope that we do not “lose” anyone this way! Please remember that
“L’union fait la force “ (unity makes strength). The Guild needs everyone’s support!
All the best from the Committee!
Regis Danillon – President
Accompanists’ Guild of Queensland
AGQ Youth Protection Policy
Statement of Commitment
The Accompanists’ Guild of Queensland Inc. is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people, including those who use our services. The Guild expects its members to always provide a safe and supportive environment, and our members are expected to treat children and young people with respect and understanding and aim to address their concerns at all times.
Members are advised to be aware of legal requirements for “Working with Children Check” (Blue Card).
Code of Conduct
Members of the Accompanists’ Guild of Queensland agree that they will:
Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person, regardless of their abilities, gender, religion or cultural background;
Provide a safe and supportive environment for young people;
Refrain from using abusive, derogatory or offensive language; and
Impart knowledge and skills in a respectful and encouraging manner.