Reception in Support of the 2017 Queensland Music Festival
Distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. Kaye and I are delighted to welcome you all here this evening.
In the ensuing quarter-century, that inaugural event has morphed into a celebration that reaches out to all Queenslanders. Its past eight directors have cumulatively built a vision driven by imagination, an attitude that anything is possible, and a belief in inclusiveness and the power of communities. The result is an extraordinary record of innovative music projects, staged in 80 regions across the State.
Leading the way in adventurous programming in the twenty-fifteen Festival was James Morrison’s bid for the Guinness World Record title for the World’s Largest Orchestra. What a leap of imagination and faith that was! But when the Suncorp Stadium was filled with a record-breaking 7,224 players, it was clear that this was much more than a record attempt; it was about the power of music to communicate, to connect people.
During that same Festival, Kaye and I were greatly moved by the River Stage concert to mark 101 years since the start of World War I. It was a proud moment for me, as Governor and Festival Patron, to welcome musicians from nations that had been enemies a century before – the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet Band from their command ship, the Blue Ridge, and the members of Germany’s Saxon Wind Philharmonic.
Since the last Festival, QMF as an organisation has embarked on an exciting new venture, adopting the long-running schools program of the former Queensland Arts Council. From next year, QMF’s Youth Touring Program will take artists of every kind to some of the most remote parts of the State to deliver performances and workshops.
Like everything QMF does, it is ambitious and adventurous, but with the continued support of government, sponsors and communities, I share their confidence that it will succeed.
Planning is now well advanced for next July’s Festival, headed by new artistic director, Katie Noonan.
Much has been made of the fact that Katie will be only the second woman to head the Festival and is the youngest ever artistic director, but what is most important is her belief that anyone who talks can sing and that music, particularly singing, brings us together in a way that nothing else can.
Thank you again for being here tonight and for your support of QMF.