Applications now open for Ngarra-Burria: First Peoples Composers program

Applications are now open for Ngarra-Burria - First Peoples Composers, a new artist development program.


Ensemble Offspring
Members of Ensemble Offspring with program participant Elizabeth Shepherd. Image by Elizabeth Jigalin.

Applications are now open for Ngarra-Burria - First Peoples Composers, a new artist development program.

Ngarra-Burria is delivered by a partnership between Moogahlin Performing Arts, the Australian Music Centre, ANU School of Music, and Ensemble Offspring, with funding support from APRA AMCOS, and in-kind support from EORA College of TAFE.

Ngarra-Burria are Dharug words meaning to hear, to sing, and this program is intended to build bridges for First Peoples musicians to step forward, further develop their composing skills, and connect with the art music sector. The program was initiated by Aboriginal composer Chris Sainsbury, and the words 'art music' here refer to the vast spectrum of contemporary classical/new music, contemporary original jazz and improvisatory practice, experimental practice, including sound art and installation, computer music, and more.


What the program offers

In 2019 the program provides for its participants:

  • The opportunity to write work/s for recording and performance by Ensemble Offspring, one of Australia's leading new music ensembles, with the potential for other leading groups to also be involved.
  • Periodic face-to-face mentoring sessions with program facilitators, developing the work/s
  • 2 workshops with the performers during the year, developing and refining the work/s
  • Involvement in ANU School of Music sessions around mid-year
  • Attending rehearsals, recording, and a performance recital in Canberra, followed by a performance in Sydney
  • A modest honorarium is provided, along with travel costs to attend workshops/recording session.

Who can apply

For the 2019 program we will be seeking First Peoples musicians not identifying as composers, but who might be working in other areas of music - musicians with 'runs on the board' who can demonstrate:

  • some level of activity or accomplishment in the music scene (6-10 years minimum);
  • good musical skills, coupled with the desire to compose;
  • an ability to read music at least at an intermediate level, and a willingness to develop this further

Mature-aged musicians are most welcome to apply.

You will be working with leading classical and/or jazz musicians, conductors, composers and more. If you play jazz, or a classical-type instrument, or have written for a choir or for an instrumental group of some kind, or composed music for dance, theatre, or film, then this may be for you. This is not a program that would suit singer-songwriters.


Applications and enquiries

To apply, please complete and submit the application form by midnight (AEDT) on Sunday 4 November 2018. In addition to your personal details, you will be asked for a brief outline of your musical background (up to 300 words) and a statement about why you would like to participate in the program (up to 300 words). Please contact us at the numbers below if you have questions about filling in the form.

If you have further questions about this program, please send an email with the message subject Ngarra-Burria or call the AMC on 02 9935 7805 or toll free: 1300 651 834.


Program partners

Ngarra-Burria First Peoples Composers is a partnership between Moogahlin Performing Arts, ANU School of Music, the Australian Music Centre through the AMPlify artist development frameworkEnsemble Offspring, and Eora College, with financial support from an APRA AMCOS music grant.

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