December 2023 Newsletter

Dear fellow accompanists and Accompanists’ Guild members,

I am truly honoured to be writing this Newsletter as your new President. I am very thankful to my Committee who have given me so much support since the appointment and here are their names:
• Kathleen Clifford (Secretary)
• Dr Sarah Stranger (Treasurer)
• Julian Wade (Committee Member)
• Maree Kilpatrick (Committee Member)

The total number of members stands at 75 and we would like to welcome our two newest members: Ho Ying Renee Tai and Nicholas Green.

At our last AGM in October this year, we were delighted to honour Sue Witham, as well as Kevin Power, by presenting them with Life Membership. Our heartiest congratulations to them both! For the interest of members, please see the biography of Sue Witham. (Kevin Power’s biography was circulated earlier this year.)

I would also like to highlight some of the points we discussed during our last AGM:
• AMEB has withdrawn AMus in accompanying due to lack of interest and difficulty with repertoire.
• Amount for Eisteddfod awards has been increased to $100 and will be given out every year due to lower take up.
• We have also received thanks from the Treasurer of 2023 JCU Cairns Eisteddfod for our generous sponsorship of Most Outstanding Junior Accompanist Award which was given to Mari Hardes.
• Rita Miles’ funeral service was in October this year and I was honoured to be able to attend the service and pay my respects and send condolences to her family on behalf of the Guild. Many past Presidents of the Guild were there and I was privileged to meet them and introduce myself to them. Rita was the 3rd past President of the Guild and her impressive biography has been emailed to Guild members on October 5th, 2023 by our Secretary.
• One of my own ideas which I believe will unify our Guild members and encourage everyone to get to know each other is by having a piano 4-hand playing day where we could all play delightful piano duet music with one another. I have worked out all the details on how this could work but I need to seek your response on this proposal to know if the majority is keen to participate. It is more of a fun social event and there is no expectation on anyone to play at performance level, though I know many of you have excellent sight-reading skills!
• As we are seeking to recruit a new Committee member to assist with Guild matters, we encourage any interested members to send in a self nomination for this role.

I would like to conclude this year by thanking everyone for their hard work in all that they contributed to our communities as wonderful accompanists. Sending you all warm wishes for a Joyful Christmas and Happy New Year!

Best wishes,
Laura Tiong
President of AGQ

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