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Music Development Program


Are you under 25? Do you call Mudgee home? Do you love reading and performing music?

2018 Program overview

1. Small Ensembles

WHO Young musicians who are fairly advanced in their instrument (Grade 6 or higher). They should be 25 years or younger and call Mudgee home.

WHAT Small ensembles will be formed from the successful applicants. Repertoire and a local coordinator will be assigned. A series of workshops and masterclasses will be held between the end of April through to November with some of Australia's leading Chamber Musicians, culminating in a public performance.


  • To inspire young musicians to enjoy the challenge of performing chamber music
  • To develop their musicianship by providing tutors of the highest calibre
  • To provide performance opportunities

2. Large Ensembles

WHO Young musicians from beginners up to Grade 6 may apply, provided they can read music on the page and love it. Attitude and musicality are more important than AMEB grades.

WHAT One large ensemble will be formed from the successful applicants. A local coordinator will work together with renowned educator, performer and composer Mark Walton OAM for a fun and engaging learning experience. Mark will compose a piece of music for the ensemble to perform at the end of the year.

See the attached document for more information and how to apply.

Our goal

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


In 2015, after 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 and needs of 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

Our 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 mentorship with some of Australia’s most talented and experienced musicians.

The 2017 Pilot Program

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

Mentors & Coordinators

We were lucky to have four brilliant musicians as inspiring and generous mentors: Irina Morozova, 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 Saint Matthews Catholic School, who have 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 Estate Music Festival Opening Weekend on Sunday the 18th November, followed by a performance on stage for the Huntington Estate Festival audience on the morning of Friday 30th November, prior to commencement of 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