A Villanova College initiative begun twenty-five years ago continues from Thursday 11 August to Sunday 14 August 2016. This is the annual Queensland Catholic Colleges and Schools Music Festival (described simply as QCMF).The Festival takes place on the final weekend of the Royal National Show (“Exhibition”) in Brisbane. It is the single-largest festival of its kind in Australia.
Whereas the first festival in 1991 attracted a total of twelve schools and colleges delivering 43 ensembles, the latest annual festivals have welcomed over 100 schools and colleges from various locations throughout Queensland and interstate, bringing with them 450 separate ensembles with a total of over 12,000 student performances receiving comments from nationally recognised adjudicators. When tallying family members, teachers and friends attending the performances, the estimated total of participants plus visitors was 20,000 (which includes performers and visitors counted more than once because they appeared at more than one venue).
A distinguishing and much appreciated characteristic of the Festival is that it aims to be positive and non-competitive, while still providing recognition to outstanding performances. There is a conscious effort to provide performers with an opportunity to showcase their talent within an environment where the quality of their respective performances is adjudicated on the basis of musical expression and the age, maturity, experience and passion of performers.
Every performing ensemble is adjudicated by encouraging music performance experts, sourced locally and from interstate. Musical and choral directors receive positive and constructive comments both on paper and in digital audio recording, allowing this to be an educational experience for all involved. The adjudicators for each section have the task of not only providing constructive feedback, but also of awarding every ensemble either a gold, silver or bronze rating based purely on whether they feel a performance has been especially refined, moving, inspirational or otherwise significant.
There is no ranking or placing within any category, and each category has its own gold, silver and bronze awards, depending on the adjudicators’ impressions. While adjudicators and patrons alike appreciate musical excellence, the true gift of the festival is the opportunity it affords young performers to be the best they can be with the knowledge that their performances are appreciated and adjudicated accordingly.
With a tight schedule of performances, the Festival makes simultaneous use of four venues at Villanova College and two more at St James’s parish church and hall less than a kilometre away. An all-year QCMF Committee plans the event and during the days of the festival there are usually about 7,500 volunteer roles to be fulfilled.
The College Principal, Mr Mark Stower, commented in a recent issue of the Villanova Newsletter that Villanova stood ready to welcome these musical guests, their friends and their parents.The engine room for much of this QCMF enthusiasm and activity is the music staff of Villanova College, led by Mr Michael Jones, Director of Misic.Fr Peter Wieneke OSA, Villanova College Chaplain, will be celebrating Mass with the QCMF and Villanova Community on Sunday 14th August, in Goold Hall commencing at 7:30am. All are most welcome to come and participate in this liturgy.
QCMF Website: http://www.qcmf.com.au