Masterclass for Young Accompanists 2014

Master Class for Young Accompanists August 2014
Words by Juanita Simmonds

On a Saturday afternoon in Brisbane, seven school-aged musicians took a turn at the piano to perform and rehearse live with a professional flautist in a Masterclass organised by the Accompanists Guild of Queensland.

The participants, aged between 12 and 18, are currently studying solo piano but have an interest in making music with others as piano accompanists or associate artists.

The soloist and instructor in this Masterclass was Mrs Janine Grantham, known in Queensland as an orchestral flautist, teacher and AMEB Senior Examiner with many years experience.

The event was open to members of the public, accompanists, and parents of the participants.  The audience observed Janine encouraging and shaping the musical ensemble.  She provided tips on how to work with a flute soloist on issues such as intonation, timing and entries in repertoire as varied as Schumann, Faure and “Blues at Eleven”.

Accompaniment masterclasses and workshops often are run by pianists and can tend to focus ultimately on piano technique.  This Masterclass was innovative in being facilitated by a soloist who can advise the pianist on typical balance problems with their solo instrument while helping to bring the duo together in an artistic and musically satisfying way.

The session was organised by the Accompanists’ Guild of Queensland in response to interest from young pianists wanting to develop their skills of accompaniment.  President of the Guild, Mr Regis Danillon, said that the participants were keen and engaged with Mrs Grantham’s instruction and music making.

“The first accompaniment Masterclass was held in 2013 and was quite successful so we ran it again this year.  I think there is enough of a demand to continue this as a regular event in Brisbane’s musical calendar,” said Mr Danillon.

You can register your interest for the next Masterclass by emailing the Secretary of the Accompanists’ Guild of Qld,

Accompanists Guild of Queensland Inc.

July 2012 Newsletter

12 July 2012

Dear fellow accompanists and Guild members,

It is hard to believe that the first 6 months of the year have already passed by!  Chilly mornings…Christmas in July…the carbon tax … we are well and truly in the second half of the year – and as the wheel of 2012 keeps turning on, your committee is working consistently behind the scenes to make the Accompanists Guild accountable, active and beneficial to all its members.
Already, we have taken some positive steps to ensure higher visibility and awareness of the Guild in the musical community.  As mentioned previously, we have produced and are now distributing some attractive promotional posters.  At present, 23 A3-size posters are being placed in the music department of high-profile schools and in other suitable venues around Brisbane.  A further dozen or so will go to other selected private schools outside Brisbane including the Gold Coast and Toowoomba.  These advertisements should generate some work to all our accompanists, especially at busy auditions and examinations time when instrumental and vocal candidates are desperately looking for pianists!
A number of country Eisteddfods are also benefiting from the generosity of the Guild.  To date, 16 cheques have already been accepted by various Queensland Eisteddfods as prizes for potential “best accompanist” performers.  It is an on-going commitment from the Guild to award these prizes biennially and encourage young pianists to engage in musical partnerships with their friends and peers.
Accompanists do not generally get a great deal of mention on the airwaves, so it was wonderful to hear a couple of months ago an in-depth interview with renowned international accompanist Malcolm Martineau on ABC-FM (and thanks to Juanita for bringing it to our attention!).  Martineau was in Australia as partner to famous American mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, on a concert tour which, most unfortunately, did not include Brisbane.  However, another imminent event which will benefit Brisbane accompanists is the workshop to be given by Lynne Jordan on the 22nd July in the MTAQ auditorium.  Details of this have already been circulated and we hope that we will see many members in attendance.  (Don’t forget to book and pay in advance!)
Finally, the committee would like to welcome new members Heidi Loveland, David McNeven, Amanda Rosenfeld and Tim Li who have recently joined, and to take the opportunity to remind everyone that the Annual General Meeting is fast approaching!  The date has now been set for Sunday 16 September and members will be contacted very soon about this important occasion, when we hope to meet many of you.  Please make a note of it in your diaries!
In the meantime, happy accompanying – and all the best from the Committee!

Regis Danillon
Accompanists Guild of Queensland Inc.


Christine Boughen

Robert Boughen
OBE  MMus(UQ) Hon DMus (Qld) DMus (Cantuar) FRCO FTCL LRSM  LMusA FRSCM

Donald Britton
MA MusB DipEd (Cantab) ARCM Hon FMusA  ALAM (Hons) ARCO

Max Olding
AM MMus (Qld) DipMus (Melb) AMusA FQCM

Diana Harris
QAM  Mus Bac (Melb)  BMus Hons Perf (Adel)  AUA  School Music (Adel)  MIMT
Founder of the Accompanists’ Guild of South Australia

Rita Miles

Val Dickson’s Music Quiz No 1


Valerie Dickson 2011

1. Name 6 long-sitting piano accompanists who have made their mark in Brisbane’s music world. State reasons for your choice.

2. Which prominent Australian ballet instructor inspired Agatha Christie to write her most famous mystery murder, The Mousetrap? How?

3. What became of the Dying Swan in the ballets of: a) P. Tchaikowsky? B) C. Saint-Saens? C) E. Kats-Chernin?

4. How many waltzes did the Strauss family compose? Why?

5. Which piano accompanist featured in the original version of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame?

6. What were the famous last words of: a) P.Tchaikowsky? b) A.Vivaldi? c) M.Ravel? d) W.A.Mozart? e) N.Weir?

7. How many ballet dancers does it take to make a Company?

8. TRUE or FALSE? Ballet pianists suffer from: a) Malnutrition? b) Worn-out fingers? c) Waltzitis (Left Hand)? d) Numb Bums? e) Life’s excesses – booze, drugs, etc? f) Cross-eyes? g) Serfdom? h) Neglect? i) Low pay? j) Caffeine addiction? k) Squint? L) Broken fingernails?

9. Who reputedly said “Oh no, not another xxxxxx ballet” and why?

10. Write ideal job descriptions for a P/T piano accompanist position with the following: a) Q.D.S.E. b) T.Q.B. c) Q.U.T. c) R.A.D. e) Q.S.O.

11. How many musical counts are there in a ballet bar?