On Song




On Song is a songwriting program for young Queenslanders and attracts the next generation of great singer-songwriters. 

Six aspiring musicians (soloists or duos) aged 12-18 will be given the chance to develop their songwriting skills in a one-of-a-kind mentorship with award-winning Australian musician Jack Carty. In addition, winners will receive a RØDE AI-1 Complete Studio Kit to help them hone their craft, as well as the incredible opportunity to perform at a popular Brisbane music venue.


Currently touring internationally, Jack has recorded six full-length studio albums and performed with stellar acts including Bernard Fanning, Josh Pyke, Lisa Mitchell and Matt Corby.

Applicants are to submit a recording of them performing an original song to earn a spot in this unique program to kickstart their career as a singer-songwriter.


Entries will be judged by Jack Carty, as well as critically acclaimed singer-songwriter and Queensland Music Festival Artistic Director, Katie Noonan. On Song was conceived by Katie, who is passionate about creating opportunities that allow Queensland’s next generation of artists to thrive.


Songwriting is all about telling stories. Do you have a story to share? Is there a song in your heart?



On Song Opens

Tue 29 January 2019

On Song Closes

Fri 24 May 2019

Any questions? Email onsong@qmf.org.au!


Submit a video or recording of yourself performing one of your original songs and fill out the online application form.

Entries close: 5pm Friday 24 May 2019


Applicants notified: By Friday 7 June 2019


Register your interest here to receive updates and tips for your submission.


Six finalists will be selected by QMF Artistic Director Katie Noonan & award-winning singer-songwriter Jack Carty to participate in a unique workshop and performance program.


  • One of six mentorships with Australian musician Jack Carty, including two Skype workshops and two one-on-one workshop sessions in Brisbane in July 2019*.  

  • Following the workshops, winners are provided the huge opportunity to perform with Jack Carty in Brisbane*. Each finalist will present a small set of their own material, alongside Jack Carty who will perform a set of his own songs.  

  • In order to help record and share their music with the world, each winner will also receive a RØDE AI–1 Complete Studio Kit with Audio Interface.

*Queensland Music Festival will pay flight and accommodation costs for regional performers and one guardian each to travel to and from Brisbane in July for the workshop program and performance. Brisbane workshops and performance are to take place in the week commencing 8 July 2019 with the performance to take place on 14 July 2019.



Critically acclaimed Australian songwriter Jack Carty writes with an honesty, patience and love of the craft learned through the sheltered valleys and close-knit communities of a rural childhood spent in sleepy Bellingen, NSW. It’s a rare thing that has allowed the poetic London-based traveler to take his quiet truths and breathtaking live show to audiences across The UK, Europe, North America, New Zealand and Australia since he first started recording and releasing original music in 2010.

The nine years since have been fruitful, and Carty has released five full-length studio albums and two EP’s amongst the constant touring, songs on soundtracks, collaborations, festivals and co-writes. Along the way he’s shared the stage with the likes of: Katie Noonan, Josh Pyke, Bernard Fanning, Matt Corby, Lisa Mitchell, Ingrid Michaelson, Dan Wilson, Brett Dennen, Justin Townes Earle and Joshua Radin; and was a recipient of the bi-annual APRA Professional Development Awards in 2015.

Jack’s most recent album ‘Hospital Hill’ (2018) sees him in close collaboration with ex Papa Vs Pretty Bassist Gus Gardiner. It places Carty and his acoustic guitar in a stripped-back setting, accompanied only by a string quartet (which included players from The Australian Chamber Orchestra) and Gardiner’s lush arrangements. 2016’s self-released ‘Home State’ was recorded almost entirely in the living-room of Jack’s one-time Red Hill apartment and debuted at #36 on the ARIA Albums Chart and #1 on the AIR %100 Independent Album Chart.

Jack relocated to London in 2017 and has spent his time since touring extensively, writing and collaborating. He is currently working on a new album, due for release in 2019.

THE SUNDAY STAR TIMES ”The recently married Carty might well have found his happy place” ★★★★

THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN ”A sensational album” ★★★★

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD ”An album of confession and honesty, but also humour and the sublime” ★★★★



  • You must submit your entry by 5pm Friday 24 May 2019.  

  • You may submit on your own or with a co-writer.

  • You must write and perform your own original song for submission.

  • Video Submissions and your song lyrics or sheet music must be uploaded to Dropbox and the file sharing link attached to your Application Form.

  • If you need help with uploading to Dropbox, read a tutorial here [link to “how to” in drop box].

  • Your song should be 2–5 minutes in length.

  • For any further questions, you can contact us at onsong@qmf.org.au  or (07) 3010 6600.




Applicants must be aged between 12 – 18 (inclusive).

Applicants must be currently residing in Queensland.


Applicants agree to allow QMF to publicise each winner’s name and town, and publish photography, video/audio recordings of each finalist’s home town and Brisbane performance.


If selected for the mentorship program, applicants must be available in the week commencing 8 July 2019 to travel to Brisbane with a guardian (if required).


For finalist duos, both participants will be involved in the mentorship and performance experience and, if selected, both participants will receive paid travel and accommodation (if required).


For any further questions, you can contact us at onsong@qmf.org.au

On Song is presented by Queensland Music Festival and Brisbane City Council
Gold Partner
Silver Partner

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Queensland Music Festival 2019