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Music Development Program

Our goal

Each year with the proceeds of the Festival raffle, our goal is to share our joy in music and ignite a passion for it in the local community.


In 2015, following a decade of ad-hoc community programs, we wanted to develop a more strategic approach via the Huntington Music Development Program (HMDP).

In 2016, we consulted with local music teachers and young musicians to understand the opportunities / needs in the region and to explore a number of initial ideas. The Huntington Estate Ensemble Challenge was chosen as our first project to pilot in 2017.

The Huntington Estate Ensemble Challenge

The objective is to increase opportunities for talented young musicians to play and perform chamber music, and to inspire students and their teachers by providing access to Australia’s most talented and experienced musicians as mentors.

The 2017 Pilot Program

20 young music students participated in 5 workshops throughout the year culminated in a wonderful performance by a number of the ensembles on stage at the Huntington Estate Music Festival.


We were lucky to have four brilliant musicians as inspiring and generous mentors: Irina Morozova and Dene Olding, Catherine McCorkill and Robert Johnson.


Four Ensemble Coordinators helped keep the young musicians on track throughout the year: Rhonda Watt, piano and woodwind teacher, Mary Mitchell, teacher of violin and music theory, Antony Featherby, wind teacher, and Robyn Godfrey, cellist and cello teacher


We are enormously grateful to Judith James for coordinating the program, and to Irina Morozova (The Ensemble Challenge’s Artistic Director) and Dene Olding who have selflessly volunteered to help, and have invested so much of their time, talent and experience. We are also very grateful to Gavin Tipping and St Matthews Catholic School, which provided the venue for the workshops and of course to the audience for their generosity.

Next steps for 2018

We are in the final stages of developing the program for 2018 and will invite applications in April 2018.

The Ensemble Challenge will culminate in a Community Concert on stage at Huntington on Sunday the 18th November; and a performance on stage for the Huntington Estate Festival audience on Friday 30th November in the morning prior to the main program.

New elements for 2018 will include:

1. A large Ensemble for musicians Grade 6 and below

2. A Mentoring program for local music teachers