The MCAA Committee met on Friday, 4th February 2022 via Zoom in accordance with its commitment stated in the previous Bulletin to reconvene during the first week of February 2022 to exhaust the possibility of establishing a date later in 2022 for the planned but several-times-deferred festival in Sydney.

The Committee discussed numerous aspects of the Covid-19 situation as it is likely to affect our proposed large choral singing activity in an indoor venue for both performers and audience. It continues impossible to clearly plan. No consistent national policy exists and different jurisdictions apply different and regularly changing policies.

The Committee noted varying impacts upon member choirs as 2022 has begun. A few choirs continue strongly in both memberships and rehearsal practices whether in person or online. Other choirs have experienced reductions in membership and especially in rehearsal attendees. One choir’s Musical Director left recently at short notice. Other choirs reported circumstances that might be summarized as being organisations undergoing redevelopment.

The Committee was not surprised to hear from member choirs outside NSW and the ACT that their chances of participating in any interstate activity in 2022 were remote at best. Nevertheless, at least two choirs have made their own plans to travel interstate and they await further developments whether those plans materialize.

The Committee closely considered the latest advice from the Sydney Town Hall regarding its booking, deposit and cancellation policies. In the spirit of sustaining hope and positivity for the MCAA, the Committee decided to book one of the few remaining available dates late in 2022 for our festival. Whilst the Committee is conscious of the challenges across states, territories and New Zealand, and the forecast from the Chief Medical Officer that a further spike in Covid instances should be expected in winter concurrent with the next flu strain (he hopes he is wrong – bless him!), this will provide a prominent goal for choirs to work towards. By the middle of 2022 at the latest, the Committee will convene to determine the viability of the festival so that financial penalty is not incurred.

The Committee resolved to book the Sydney Town Hall for Sunday, 30th October 2022, i.e. members should plan the weekend of 29th – 30th October 2022 for rehearsals and concert performance in Sydney.

The Sydney Organising Committee, continuing under the direction of Vice President, Peter O’Driscoll, will reconvene to set initial plans in place.

To that end, on behalf of the Committee, I wish you all a happy New Year with better and improving outcomes. I encourage you all to dust off the “Red Book” repertoire and presume that we will be performing in Sydney in October. Please note that, subject to health advice at the time, in mid-June 2022 the Committee will survey member choirs regarding their intention to participate in the Sydney festival or not, and if so, accurate numbers of choristers attending. I ask all choirs’ Secretaries to plan this action and pursue it seriously and as accurately as possible because, obviously, the number of choristers on stage will be one of significant elements in determining the viability of the venture.

Neil Fleming


6th February 2022.