By Rita Crews and Julie Spithill
Music Teachers' Association of NSW 1912 - 2012
This publication documents the achievements of the
outstanding professional care and dedication
provided by the Association celebrating 100 years.
The publication is now only available as PDF
ISBN 9781876829 26 1
By Rita Crews and Jeanell Carrigan
Biography of Dulcie Holland co-authored by Rita Crews OAM and Jeanell Carrigan AM
This wonderful Australian woman composer deserved to have her life and music celebrated much earlier, not twenty years after her death. But now it is been written by two musicians: one who knew Holland and had the opportunity to discuss her music with her; and one who has come to know Dulcie Holland from playing many of her remarkable compositions. Fortunately, there are detailed interviews available, giving a very good insight into Holland’s thought processes and providing an absolute wealth of information.
Holland was such a modest woman that she probably would have thought her music - and her life - was not worth writing about. She was always described as having an engaging and outgoing personality. She considered herself to be first a pianist, then a composer and thirdly a teacher, but composed music well into her eighties.
Her compositions, numbering at least 330, included music in all genres except opera, though her musical play Jenolan Adventure, was certainly a work of drama for the stage. Documentary films, chamber music, works for orchestra, instrumental solos, many keyboard works and at least thirty songs are all part of her immense contribution to Australian composition.
She is undoubtedly best known for the numerous musicianship and theory textbooks that she wrote over many years. Even the catalogue listing at the National Library mentions that “Holland’s name became synonymous with music theory in Australia.” Despite the obvious advantages of being the Australian expert on music theory, it has meant that Holland herself and some of her more serious compositions have been overlooked by musical critics.
It is a tragedy that a biography and discussion about Holland’s music has taken until now to be written. She is certainly a composer who deserves to be celebrated. In her own words:
But after many years of writing music, simply because I had the urge to do so, I have reached the strong conclusion that music is greater than the sum of all those who contribute to it, and that instead of adding to the volume of music that has been composed, it would be much more valuable to make new converts for music, to share my enthusiasm for it with those possibly as yet unaware, and to stimulate them to find out more of its mysteries and delights. I have had first-hand opportunities to observe how young people develop, how their tastes may be formed, and their imagination fired, and ultimately how their lives can be enriched by a knowledge and love of music. To encourage others along these lines has become my mission in life, and I dare to hope that my influence for good may continue long after my earthly life ends, thus adding significantly to the quality of life in at least one small part of this world.
Composing is very difficult. It needs a lot of concentration and dedication to get things just right. I feel I’m a missionary in music in a way. [Dulcie Holland. 'Contemporary Music Review', 1994, Vol. 11]
https://youtu.be/9WpdT2cehzA Presented by Dr Rita Crews for KCC Music Professional Development
By Jeanell Carrigan
A Guide to the Composers and Repertoire
This book aims to give an overview of the piano music and those composers who called Australia home, in the 100 years 1850-1950.
The composers who wrote the music are presented alphabetically by surname, discussing pertinent biographical details, influences on their style and their contribution to music generally and piano music specifically. Each work listed will give a date composed; date published (if either of those facts are to be discovered); duration (approximate); difficulty grading; provenance of the score; availability of any recordings and a brief description of stylistic characteristics. In some cases, there is a reference to the composition but if no score could be found for discussion or grading there will be ‘NS’ placed in the record.
If a picture tells a thousand words, then a sound recording does even more than that. This book could fill its pages with descriptions of style and individual characteristics of composers but by adding sound files (sample recordings) wherever possible it is hoped that there will be a greater insight into each composers’ musical language and most importantly, a good idea of what the music sounds like.
The book is available in two versions:
1. Hard copy with QR codes of sample recordings scattered throughout. Using a smart phone these codes can be scanned so as to listen to the recordings.
ISBN 97818768294745. Use "Add to Cart" above - $55.00.
2. Digital download with more than 250 sample recordings digitally linked to most composers' works. Online (internet) accesses is required in order to link to the recordings.
By Patrick Thomas
One Poet's Odyssey
When one thinks about things in Australia today, it’s plain that in many ways we are well off compared to some other nations, and have right to feel blessed. After all, we have relatively stable governments; banking, commercial and financial systems that work; judicial and educational ones too. There are internal political flaws, of course, but mostly things are managed pretty well, though the Australian “she’ll be right mate” and often lack-lustre attitude must, at times, lessen our country’s reputation and international competitiveness. ....now, one’s memories of lost things and personalities from yesteryear recalled between the following covers. Bring it back, please!
I hope you enjoy sharing some of those recollections with me. Patrick Thomas, August 2017
Foreword by Larry Sitsky AO
Sadly, this was to be Patrick's last book of prose. Patrick passed away in August 2017.
ISBN 9781876829 50 6
By Christina Whiteley
Music for piano was composed in 1915 by Joseph Bernard commemorating Gallipoli 1915. Historical and pictorial introduction, and performance notes by Christina Whiteley. This 30 page book is a unique document as it presents a form of home entertainment from years long gone, and as such, may be considered an historical document as a reminder of Australians participation in World War I.
By Patrick Thomas
Unashamedly anecdotal material which includes career experiences, stories of people who were of influence, backstage dramas, the perils of travel and a range of incidents which occurred along the way for the author. An interesting and at times, hilarious read!
ISBN 978 1 876829 25 4
By Roy Agnew
Biography of Roy Agnew: Composer, Pianist, Teacher
by Rita Crews and Jeanell Carrigan
Foreword by Emeritus Prof. Larry Sitsky AO
AVAILABLE AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2022
Robert (Roy) Ewing Agnew (1891-1944) was a man who dominated the musical scene in Sydney in the first half of the 20th century and his creative talent was admired and recognised by fellow musicians in Australia and abroad. He is remembered as a brilliant, virtuosic, and flamboyant performer who graced the musical stage in England and Australia, and as an important and influential teacher in the private sphere of his home in Ashfield; for many years at Kambala School for Girls and in the last year of his life as a staff member at the NSW Conservatorium of Music. He was celebrated as a composer of great originality who was led to “abandon the limitations of key and tonal relationships.”
This book aims to ‘break the drought’ of apathy towards a composer who bridged the gap that many had not dared before between the compositional trend of the conservative ‘English pastoral style’ and the modern language of Europe. Agnew dared to be scandalous!
Audio downloads (under development)
- Chapter 5:
- Sonata Poeme (fragment)
- Sonata Ballade (fragment)
- Chapter 6:
- From Australian Forest Pieces:
- When Evening Shadows Fall
- By a Quiet Stream
- Forest Grandeur
- From Rural Sketches:
- The Shepherd on the Hill
- A Starry Night
- From Youthful Fancies:
- The Gurgling Brook
- The Sunlit Glade
- A Sleeping Child
- From Holiday Suite:
- The Party
- March of the Soldier Ants
- From Contrasts:
- A Child’s Dream
- Chapter 7:
- Poem no. 1 from Two Poems (1922)
- Poem no. 2 from Three Poems (1927)
- Prelude no. 1 from Four Preludes (1925)
- Prelude no. 4 from Four Preludes (1925)
- Prelude no. 1 from Three Preludes (1927)
- Prelude no. 3 from Three Preludes (1927)
- Chapter 8:
- Deidre’s Lament
- Album Leaf
- Two Pieces: Meditations, Looking Back
- Drifting Mists
- Rabbit Hill
- An English Dance
- A Country Lane
- Chapter 9:
- Chapter 10:
- A Sleeping Child
- Chapter 11:
- Prologue of The Breaking of the Drought in the piano version.
ISBN 978 1 876829 84 1
By Jeanell Carrigan
Early twentieth century Australian women composers and their piano music.
By Lorna Menzies-wall
An excellent resource book, it is comprehensive, accessible, appealing, written in a humorous style making it delightful and knowledgeable reading. Copyright 2015.
By Phillip Wilcher
Once more in the back of Phillip's mind when working on this project is Thomas Kelly and the magnificent organisation (The Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation) that has evolved as a consequence of Thomas' untimely and tragic death. To quote Phillip again, charity - when exercised with clarity - never fails; that the practice of such charity - the voluntary giving to those in need that sees our humanity at its best - reflects the beauty of divine beneficence.
By Phillip Wilcher
By Phillip Wilcher
Poems from a child's perspective
To see the world through the eyes of a child is to accept of Love Life’s innocence. The universality of such a wide-eyed view, it speaks to the inherent wonder of all things, of which we are all a part, and to which should we all aspire. Coupled with this ideal, the simple honesty of all who seek but to know, is the notion that words are something more than symbols inasmuch as in Music do symbols denote a sound; Melody their liquid state.