January 30 2017 Newsletter

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!

Katie Zhukov,

President Accompanists’ Guild of Queensland.

 

Please download and print Newsletter January 2017

July 2015 Newsletter

AGQ President Newsletter July 2015

 

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

 

March 2015 Newsletter

AGQ President Newsletter March2015

04 March 2015

Dear fellow accompanists and Guild members,

As we are now well into the first quarter of the year, it is an opportune time to communicate to you the Guild’s latest news, projects, activities and aspirations! As you know, we are here to support and help our members, and we hope that the year is already shaping up to be busy and successful for everyone.

At this time last year, we were hectically running around trying to organise our 20th Anniversary Dinner. Sorry to say that there won’t be another one for our 21st, but if you feel nostalgic for that memorable event, and would like to recall some of the good moments we spent that evening, please check the Guild’s Facebook page which is abundant in lovely photos of just about everyone who was there!

After the success of our two previous Master Classes for Young Accompanists, the Committee has been encouraged to present another one this year, which will focus on accompanying for the Voice. We are at present negotiating all aspects of this event which is likely to take place midyear, and members will be notified of all details soon. Once again, we ask you to invite any young interested pianists that you know to apply for consideration.

Members must be well aware by now that the AMEB has recently introduced a policy of allowing recorded accompaniments in the examinations. There has been much outrage, heated opinions and condemnation of this decision, and the musical community has voiced its protests on social media. Without dealing at length on this matter here, we know that this procedure could be quite detrimental to the musical benefit of exam candidates and potentially to the livelihood of accompanists. The AGQ, as an organisation, feels strongly on this matter and has decided to join the chorus of disapproval. We have written a formal letter of concern (which is now published on the Guild’s website) to the Federal Office of the AMEB and are eagerly awaiting their reaction.

Let’s hope that common sense will prevail and that candidates will continue to use “live” accompanists in their exams, regardless.

I hope that members keep a regular check of the Guild’s website. Thanks to the great talent and commitment of Kathy Sander, the website is well-maintained, attractive and relevant, and I would even say, at least equal to the South Australian Accompanists Guild’s website. Theirs, incidentally, has not yet been updated to 2015, while in comparison, nothing can be found on the Guild of the ACT, and the NSW Guild is very minimal with their latest information dating back to 2008! …Bravo Kathy!

I would like to conclude by wishing a warm welcome to the many new members who have joined us since last June. It’s good to see that our Guild is growing in stature and reputation, and I hope that everyone will find their association beneficial.

Well, as Porky Pig says in his “Looney Tunes” cartoons: “That’s all, folks!”

Happy accompanying and all the best!

Regis Danillon – President

Accompanists Guild of Queensland Inc.

November Newsletter 2014

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
January!
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- November 2014 Newsletter

March 2013 Newsletter

6 March 2013

Dear fellow accompanists and Guild members,

I hope I live long enough to see the day when accompanists are treated with the dignity that they deserve! … I played for a number of students in school recitals last year, and hardly at any time was the accompanist properly introduced or acknowledged. Some schools’ extension recitals provided a printed program of items, where I received some thanks in small letters at the bottom of the last page. In one instance, on the occasion of a Showcase Recital by a well-known private school, performers and audience were welcomed verbally but no mention was made of the accompanist, and naturally it would be too much to expect the students to turn around and acknowledge their supporting pianist! At the conclusion of the concert, the Music Director no less, got up to thank people providing the venue, the performers and their teachers, the Mums and Dads who brought refreshments, the people who set up the chairs, and … oh, yes (after a whispered reminder by a teacher present) – there was an accompanist too!

How often has a similar situation happened to you? … We still have a long way to go to attract more respect and recognition. This is one of the reasons the Accompanists’ Guild is in existence and your support and membership is so important!

This year, the Guild’s major initiative will be the presentation of a Master Class for Young Accompanists, which will take place in early August. We have decided to concentrate on instrumental accompanying, and this year will focus on violin repertoire. Selected accompanists will be given the rare opportunity to play with a professional artist who will coach them and comment on their performance. Application forms and details will be released soon but if any member knows already any competent and interested school-age pianists, please contact the Secretary without delay, as the number of participants will be limited.

You would have received recently by email a list of accompanist members of the Guild in a form which can be easily downloaded and printed. Although the website has complete details of all financial members, this is in response to requests for a more compact list of names, and is issued in lieu of the Membership booklet produced a few years ago. Thanks go to Juanita for preparing and producing this list.

We have had a few new members joining us since December last year. We welcome them all, and hope they will benefit from their association with the Accompanists’ Guild of Queensland. To all our members, we wish a successful and busy year.

All the best from the Committee!

Regis Danillon – President Accompanists’ Guild of Queensland

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
President
Accompanists Guild of Queensland Inc.