The MCAA Committee met via Zoom videoconference on Thursday, 26th November 2020. The committee heard reports on current negotiations seeking to confirm that the rescheduled 2021 Sydney Festival have been settled with the Sydney Town Hall, other venues, the Saturday night dinner and all guest artists.

All the above have been confirmed in principle for the weekend of 30-31 October 2021. Final documentation is being processed in several instances including the City of Sydney grant that had been awarded in respect of the proposed 2020 Festival that must now be resubmitted and considered for the rescheduled festival. The Sydney Organising Committee under the supervision of VP Peter O’Driscoll (Cantorion Sydney MVC) and Tom Coghlan (Sydney Male Choir), in conjunction with Secretary Brian Buckley (Wagga City Rugby MC), have progressed arrangements. The Musical Director, Paul Jarman, all other guest artists and the Willoughby Band have confirmed their availability to join with us in 2021.

I was most pleased and reassured by the number of ordinary members of MCAA member choirs who took up the invitation to observe and participate in the recent MCAA Committee meeting, about 20 members in addition to the 10 committee members. This augurs well for the future direction and organisation of the Association and is so easy to conduct via a platform like Zoom. The upcoming MCAA Annual General Meeting proposed for March 2021 will be conducted via Zoom and, again, all members of MCAA member choirs are entitled to observe and participate other than in formal votes on any proposal.

Attached for the information of those who have not already received it, is the latest advice from the Australian National Choral Association (ANCA) regarding the NSW Government’s easing of some restrictions affecting specific choral activities. Arguably, this is some progress towards the MCAA’s ability and desire to offer our Festival in October 2021 in Sydney. To that end, your committee will continue to monitor restrictions, social distancing expectations and availability of credible vaccines to assist in determining the viability of a 2021 Festival.

Things do seem to be looking up! A quick check around all the choirs represented at the recent meeting showed that most choirs have resumed practices at least online. One choir is continuing to experience challenges in resuming but our New Zealand member (Wellington MVC) has resumed without any restrictions or disruptions. Of course, all were gratified to know that our Melbourne friends have been able to move around more freely and start to think of life as (Covid) normal.

I will attempt to personally contact a relevant person of authority in every member choir before Christmas. A silver lining to come from the disappointment of having to defer the 2020 Festival is that several choirs unable to participate in 2020 have indicated their availability to participate in 2021 which then augurs well for the proposed 2024 Festival to be held outside the Sydney/Melbourne/Canberra triangle. Nothing established or confirmed yet – but watch this space!J

On behalf of the Committee of the MCAA, I wish all members and their musical staffs a joyous and safe festive season and a revamped recovery on all fronts in 2021.


Neil Fleming

MCAA President

4th December 2020