Transforming Lives

Transforming Lives

Queensland Music Festival (QMF) is deeply committed to supporting music throughout Queensland, and has been working with Indigenous communities in the Torres Strait, Cape York and Yarrabah since 2008.


Cape York Instrumental Program

The Cape York Instrumental Program, delivered in partnership with the Cape York Academy (CYA), exemplifies QMF’s commitment to access and excellence in every corner of the State.

In 2012, QMF established an instrumental music program in Aurukun, Hope Vale and Coen on par with schools across the state, through musician residencies and teacher development.

QMF provides artist-in-residences and teacher mentoring sessions at regular intervals throughout the school year. This culminates in an annual week long band camp and a public performance by the combined CYA School Bands. Cairns-based music educator Jane Hopkinson leads the program which is delivered to 50 students across the three schools.

Educational outcomes reported through teacher feedback include:

  • Improved student behaviour and attendance.
  • Improved academic performance; participation in the program is regarded as a reward for achieving academic and behavioural standards at school.
  • Increased likelihood of pursuing further education and training

Yarrabah Band Festival

Yarrabah, located 50 km from Cairns, is the largest Aboriginal community in Australia. In 2012 QMF was invited to help revive the Yarrabah Brass Band, founded in 1910 but dormant since the mid-seventies. Since the core band was re-established, the community has embraced an annual free music festival, produced by QMF, showcasing the talent of the local community together with high-profile artists such as Busby Marou and Thelma Plum and attracting audiences to the community from the whole region.

The Yarrabah Band Festival builds on the proud brass band tradition in Far North Queensland that dates back to the late 19th century. Despite the success with past generations, the tradition had all but died by the 1950s.

The vision is twofold: to establish the event into a major and nationally significant Indigenous music festival; and to use this festival stage as a catalyst for the discovery and development of talented young aspiring musicians in Yarrabah, both at a school and a community level. QMF artists conduct intensive skills development workshops in the months leading into each Yarrabah Band Festival.

QMF will present the fourth annual Yarrabah Band Festival on Saturday 5 November, 2016.

“Your commitment and support to share our vision has resulted in one of our most successful partnerships to date. I hope you recognise your important contribution to the future wellbeing of Cape York’s Indigenous youth.”

Noel Pearson, Chairman
Cape York Academy

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