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Annual Report

  • Year: 
  • Please describe your organization’s activities over the past year, including concerts, commissions, collaborations, publications: 

    The AMC’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan describes the organisation’s mission “to represent Australian art music through our online services, enabling universal access to our resources, whilst advancing the interests of Australian creators and their music.

    Our organisation’s values include excellence; authority; leadership; legacy; generosity; and collaboration. These values inform and shape our role as a service organisation, and a touchstone for how we conduct the many relationships that we have across the sector, with our constituents, and beyond.

    The AMC maintains the largest, most comprehensive single collection of materials and information relating to Australian art music creators and performers, covering the spectrum of contemporary classical music, improvised jazz, experimental music and sound art.

    Our services include:
    - Publishing services for composers and other content providers;
    - Distribution and retail services for artists, music publishers, and record labels;
    - Education services for Australian teachers and students;
    - Project management: of artist development projects, promotion projects (such as the Art Music Awards), and production projects (education resources, books, and recordings); and,
    - Promotion and advocacy, for artists and their work, and for the sector.
    2018 presented another busy year for the AMC, with a diverse range of activities undertaken alongside the ongoing business activities on our online presence, serving our diverse audiences.

    Key achievements in 2018 include:
    • Development and launch of ECHO beta, a new learning platform for delivering education resources to teachers and students, and a tool to develop new audiences, harvesting content from AMC data and external providers, including artists, content partners (such as ABC Classic), and social media platforms.

    • Undertaking a busy schedule of promotion and artist development projects, including the delivery of another successful Art Music Awards in partnership with APRA AMCOS; celebrating the success of the inaugural Ngarra Burria:First Nations Composers as part of our AMPlify artist development projects.

    • Increased international activity: continuing our collaboration with Sounds Australia in hosting Australian delegates at Jazzahead in Bremen, and Classical:NEXT in Rotterdam; enhancing our close relationships with other members of the Europe Jazz Network (EJN), and developing a project (and securing funds) to enhance Australian jazz in Europe over 2019-2020; enhancing Australia’s ongoing involvement and presence in the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) and the International Association of Music Information Centres (IAMIC).

    • Continuing to build reserves, now at 28.6% of annual expenses, exceeding the industry benchmark of 20%, and providing more sustainailbity for AMC operations.

    Details of these achievements, and all AMC activities in 2018, are outlined below.


    In 2018 the AMC’s operations continued to divide across 4 sectors: Documentation, including the library collection, and education services; Transactions, including wholesale and retail services, facsimile score production, and membership services; Marketing, including communications, and marketing and promotional activities; and Finance and Administration, including governance, and technology systems. Project activities occur across these sectors.

    2.1.1 Overview

    The AMC collection includes: scores, recordings, books, biographical and analytical materials, in hardcopy and digital formats.

    In addition to the extensive information and content presented on the AMC website, the AMC continues to provide its various services such as the information / reference service available via toll-free telephone, emails, and online. This provides access for students, teachers, researchers, broadcasters, composers and performers, other libraries and the general public. AMC Members borrow library materials for perusal or study through the library loans service, either physical loans of recordings and published materials via mail, or onsite collection; or increasingly, via digital library loan (see below).

    Usage statistics are outlined in the table below:
    2017-2018 COMPARISON (YTD) Previous five years
    2017 2018 % change 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
    Total enquiries answered 3099 2,913 -6 2532 2051 2600 3191 3099
    Physical Loans
    Books & other materials 10 12 20 48 25 20 20 10
    Recordings 218 221 1 634 382 293 293 218
    Scores 214 192 -10 627 369 289 261 214
    TOTAL 442 425 -4 1309 776 602 574 442
    Digital Loans 1921 1994 4 1938 1773 1867 2359 1921
    Items produced for sale 4000 3798 -5 2830 2870 3839 3177 4000
    New Items Catalogued 1266 1160 -8 758 990 956 1156 1266
    Hire of Parts 24 21 -13 20 17 24 20 24

    • The 2018 figures include:
    109 requests from secondary students (136 in 2017; 141 in 2016),
    70 from tertiary students (62 in 2017; 88 in 2016),
    700 from secondary teachers (712 in 2017; 721 in 2016),
    238 from studio teachers (298 in 2017; 242 in 2016)
    140 from academics (194 in 2017; 124 in 2016),
    227 from professional performers (251 in 2017; 258 in 2016),
    136 from composers (160 in 2017; 160 in 2016),
    178 from arts organisations (165 in 2017; 186 in 2016),
    25 from media (23 in 2017; 31 in 2016),
    557 from the general public (536 in 2017; 592 in 2016),
    371 from overseas (380 in 2017; 414 in 2016),
    162 from commercial suppliers (162 in 2017; 234 in 2016)

    The AMC offers an online service, the Digital Score Library, through which AMC members can download scores for study and perusal purposes. Unlike the loan of physical scores, the Digital Score Library can also be accessed by AMC members who are resident overseas.

    Each score borrowed is watermarked on every page with the name of the member and the expiry date of the loan, and the files become invisible on the loan expiry date. Whilst performers, teachers and students may print out loan scores to try out, we highlight the obligation that they must purchase or hire materials for any performance. The AMC has also been working with examining bodies such as the AMEB to ensure that reproduced copies such as these are not used in exams, ensuring that the rights of composers and creators is being protected.

    The table below shows usage over a 5-year period:

    2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
    Digi Scores Available 10,563 10,671 9,969 9,677 9,269
    Digi Scores Borrowed 1,994 1,921 2,359 1,912 1,773
    Unique Digi Borrowers 318 308 299 257 251
    Loans of Physical Materials 424 437 562 571 741

    Other factors that have an impact on these figures over the period shown include the increase in online samples available on the AMC website, and the extensive curated lists of works suitable for High School performance, which enable users to go directly to purchase the work, rather than undertake perusal of a range of repertoire via loans.

    2.1.2 The AMC Collection and Artist Representation The AMC Collection
    The scope of the AMC collection is primarily “art musics” as articulated in both the AMC’s Business Plan and Representation Policy, and covering notated composition; electroacoustic music and electronica; improvised music, including contemporary jazz; sound art and installation sound; multimedia, web and film sound and music; and related genres and techniques.

    This scope is complemented by the many other genres represented in the collection of products (CDs, publications) available for sale through the AMC’s retail activities.

    As part of AMC’s relocation from The Rocks to Ultimo in 2013, the physical collection has been in storage at Paul Davies Heritage Architects in Balmain, who has generously offered space under arrangements affordable for AMC. The logistics of regularly accessing materials from Balmain remain complicated, however the completion of the digitisation project in early 2015 means many more materials are available for digital library loan. AMC Representation Policy
    The AMC’s Representation policy requires applicants to fulfil a range of criteria before admission, rather than admission based on the outcome of a peer review process. The criteria includes the number of professional performances, broadcasts, independent commissions, publications, commercial CD releases and the like, and has been compiled to further embrace artists actively involved in a diverse range of contemporary artistic practice, and those whose works have achieved an appropriate level of utility in various contexts. A category of Pedagogical Representation is also provided for, with differing criteria, recognising those composers working primarily in the field of education.

    A significant feature of the policy relates to the embracing of the terms “creative artist” and “improviser”, in addition to the term “composer”, which reflects much of what occurs in contemporary practice, and how artists define themselves. Included in the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan is a goal of activating a modern definition of the term “composer”, and in 2017 a series of commissioned articles for AMC’s online magazine Resonate sought diverse perspectives on what it means to be an Australian composer, teasing out the complexities of how contemporary creative practice continues to challenge categorisation and terminologies.

    In addition to the question of terminology, the AMC Representation Policy provides for Affiliate Representation, to be granted at the invitation of the Board, enabling those who have contributed to commissioning, or promoting, or performing Australian repertoire over a significant period of time to be included in the AMC’s collection.

    AMC offers 2 rounds of applications for Representation each year.

    2018 Representation
    In 2018 two rounds (2 rounds in 2017) of applications were processed. 55 artists who had expressed interest in applying were invited to apply in these 2 rounds (71 in 2017; 62 artists in 2016), and of these, 28 applications were received (40 in 2017; 25 in 2016).
    25 artists have been offered Representation following an assessment of their applications (39 in 2017; 24 in 2016).

    The successful applicants in 2018 are:

    Notated composition/ concert music Huw Belling, Luke Byrne, Heidi Chan, Stephen de Filippo, Melissa Douglas, Tamara Friebel, Brooke Green, Martyn Hancock, Ben Hoadley, Mark Holdsworth, Dobromila Jaskot, Mark John McEncroe, Kirsten Milenko, Anne Norman, Antony Pitts, Jack Symonds, Margaret Tesch-Muller, Cassie To, Geoffrey Tozer, Callum Watson.
    Experimental/non-notated composition Bree van Reyk
    Jazz and Screen Me-Lee Hay, Ellen Kirkwood, Bob Sedergreen, Guy Strazz
    Pedagogical Nil

    The success rates indicate that composers are only lodging an application when they are confident that their application will meet the eligibility criteria. The lower rate of applications received from those invited is largely due to some composers finding that they have difficulty in meeting the criteria, and deferring applying until further career development or success is achieved.

    In 2018 the AMC Board approved a proposal that the participants in the 2017-2018 Ngarra Burria: First Nations Composers program (Rhyan Clapham, Brenda Gifford, Tim Gray, Troy Russell, and Elizabeth Sheppard) be invited to accept Associate Representation status with the AMC. The is being implemented during 2019.

    2.1.3 Catalogue
    At 31 December 2018 there were 40,620 items in the AMC catalogue (40,620 in 2017; 39,354 in 2016), an increase of 1,160 (1,266 in 2017; 1,156 in 2016).
    In general, there has been a significant increase in these figures in recent years, a direct result of the utility of our online system, and the capacity for artists to upload works to the AMC database through the Represented Artist interface, the Contribute website.

    The AMC takes great pride in the quality and depth of the data recorded in the catalogue, which has developed into a major asset, providing users with highly detailed search functionality. The AMC’s catalogue data is highly regarded by the National Library of Australia’s national bibliographic database, Libraries Australia, which imports the AMC’s data to make it available to libraries around Australia.

    Since 2001 the AMC has been registered as a publisher with the National Library of Australia to assign ISMNs to music works. The International Standard Music Number (ISMN) is a unique number used to identify music publications. It is used to identify a particular piece of music or item, such as an instrumental or vocal part, whenever information about music publications needs to be recorded or communicated. An ISMN is for print, microform or braille formats of music publications, whether available for sale, hire, gratis, or for copyright purposes only.

    The ISMN Agency has sole responsibility for assigning publisher identifiers and an ISMN for all music titles published in Australia, on behalf of the International ISMN Agency located in Berlin. Details of all publishers registered with the Australian ISMN Agency are sent to the International Agency for publication in the printed Music Publishers' International ISMN Directory. The Australian Agency supports on-line searching of Australian publishers.

    In 2018, the AMC assigned 551 ISMNs to scores (532 in 2017; 454 in 2016). To December 2018, ISMNs assigned by the AMC totaled 7,198.

    These activities of data creation and sharing, and ISMN assigning are important tools in promoting Australian artists and their works.
    2.1.4 Education Services
    The AMC has played an important role in the development of education resources pertaining to Australian music for over 2 decades, enabling teachers and students to increase their knowledge and understanding of Australian music, and its creation and presentation.

    In 2018 a new resource kit Moving on: the music of Brian Brown was released. This kit, prepared by Victorian educator Lorraine Milne, introduces senior secondary students to this seminal composer and improvising musician, often described as the father of modern Australian jazz.

    The AMC will continue to develop education resource materials as human and financial resources permit, and will only continue to do so if outcomes are at least cost neutral.

    ECHO –
    In 2018 the AMC developed and launched ECHO, a new online learning platform offering new perspectives on artists and their works, drawing on content from the AMC’s database, from other content partners (including artists, organisations such as ABC Classic, and social media platforms), providing Australian music resources to students and teachers, and more broadly to diverse audiences.

    Currently in beta, the platform provides an exciting model of how the AMC’s content can be contextualised by other complementary online content, and via a curatorial process, audences can explore artists and their works, themes, and subjects that influence and shape Australian music making. It represents a major achievement and its impact will shape the AMC’s strategic and business direction into the future.

    The AMC will continue to develop the platform over time, and new content is being developed to add to it at regular intervals.

    2.2 TRANSACTIONS – Sales and Membership

    The AMC’s Transaction activities through sales and membership are primary income streams for the organisation, with sales income providing royalty returns to artists and copyright holders.
    2.2.1 Facsimile Scores
    The AMC in 2018 continued to make available for sale and hire unpublished works from the library collection, enabling access for performers, encouraging performance of this repertoire, and providing composers with royalty income from sales (15% for scores produced from a hard copy master and 25% for those produced from a digital master), and hire fees for orchestral performance materials (65%). Formal licence arrangements with certain publishers (Boosey & Hawkes, Ricordi London, and Faber Music) enable copyright controlled works to be commercially available in this way (within Australia and New Zealand Territories) through the AMC (exclusively), with royalties returned to the publisher.

    During 2018, 3,798 facsimile scores were produced (4,000 in 2017; 3,177 in 2016). See under Retail / Wholesale activities below for details of published and unpublished score sales.

    During 2018 performance materials for 21 existing orchestral works were hired from the AMC for performance (24 in 2017; 20 in 2016) - several of these transactions were with overseas presenters. These transactions vary greatly from year to year, dependent on programming policies of programmers and presenters, and the number of performances of published works, or of newly commissioned works, which are usually not managed by the AMC.
    2.2.2 Retail / Wholesale Activities
    The AMC continues to be active in providing access to a broad range of Australian music products. In addition to facsimile scores, materials available through the AMC’s retail activities include recordings, published scores, books, educational resources, and other materials, representing the largest collection of Australian music products available anywhere.

    2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
    Products available 26,241 28,568 26,912 26,864 25,127
    AMC inventory value $4,527 $4,608 $7,929 $9,008 $10,253
    Total sales $135,053 $160,315 $114,796 $108,830 $98,772

    • Products available as at 31 December each year
    • Inventory values significantly reduced from ~$150k over last decade
    • 80% of all sales are for AMC produced product; 17% from 3rd party suppliers under drop-ship arrangements; and 3% from existing physical inventory.
    • 63% of all sales transactions take place online (54% in 2017; 67% in 2016)
    Decrease in 2017 reflects additional large orders from libraries in that year.
    • 2018 sales made up of 2,518 customer orders from 1,979 unique customers (2,560 orders from 1,958 customers in 2017; 2,321 orders from 1,883 customers in 2016)

    Since 2010, content from 3rd party suppliers (publishers and record labels) is only sold under drop-ship arrangements, where the suppliers deliver directly to the customer in response to orders lodged via the AMC website.

    Suppliers with formal dropship arrangements with the AMC include Tall Poppies, Move Records, Rufus records, Wirripang Publications, Rimshot Music, and Devirra (formerly Alfred Publishing), amongst others.
    The AMC continues to work with significant suppliers such as ABC Classics and Jazz (who are bound by restricted or exclusive arrangements with distributors) to make products available for sale.

    Total sales for 2018 were $135,053 ($160,315 in 2017; $114,796 in 2016), a decrease from the 2017 figure, which was boosted by large orders placed by institutional and State libraries. 80% of sales are of AMC produced products (providing a royalty flow to creators), 17% are from 3rd party suppliers, and the remainder from inventory holdings. And 63% of the total sales income is from online sales on the AMC website.

    In 2018 internally produced products performed exceptionally well, particularly facsimile scores, which reflects the usefulness of the “Repertoire Navigator” functionality on the AMC website to performers, teachers and students seeking repertoire to purchase and perform. During 2018 AMC began making a significant number of newly lodged scores available for sale as downloadable scores, and this is reflected in the sales figures. AMC will be expanding sales of digital facsimile scores over time, which will add further revenue opportunities in our most lucrative product segment.

    Selected 2018 sales figures are detailed in the table below.

    2018 Sales $ 2017 Sales $ 2016 Sales $ 2015 Sales $
    External CDs (from other suppliers) 9,441 9,219 8,279 8,662
    Internal CDs (AMC labels) 522 632 620 452
    MP3 downloads 728 849 718 606
    External Scores (published) 15,521 13,834 13,188 10,861
    Internal Scores (AMC facsimiles hard copies) 84,976 110,185 74,414 77,779
    External Books (from other suppliers) 3,910 3,473 2,281 699
    Internal Books (AMC produced) 188 327 453 435
    External ebooks 129 172 157 n/a
    Internal ebooks 24 138 140 n/a
    Internal Education Kits (AMC produced) 10,388 11,046 11,670 8,258
    Digital Score downloads (sales) 8,878 10,222 2,802 1,643
    DVD (from other suppliers) 24 26 105 95
    2.2.3 Membership
    In 2018 there were 1,210 financial members across individual, institution, and secondary school student members (1,189 in 2017; 1,156 in 2016). Of these, around 73% live in metropolitan areas, 22% in regional areas, and 5% are overseas.

    A larger community of some 8,105 non-financial members (8,335 in 2017; 6,294 in 2016) continues to interact with the AMC at various levels. Non-financial members are defined as those having held membership at some stage over the past 5 years, and who are still engaged with the AMC in other ways.
    Membership income in 2018 realised $108,319 ($100,644 in 2017; $101,601 in 2016) representing an increase on 2017 figures, a result of the additional staff resource of a p/t Membership Manager addressing various membership incentives (see under 2.4.2 below).
    These income figures do fluctuate from year to year according to the mix of institution / individual members. Membership renewal rates remain consistently around 73% - with the majority of lapsed members being students no longer requiring AMC services.

    Membership Services
    In 2018 the AMC’s membership services greatly benefited by a new p/t position of Membership Development Manager, Liz Wilson, who greatly extended the organisation’s capacity to interact more directly with AMC members, and enhance the membership offer.

    Various initiatives were implemented through the additional capacity that the new position provided, from concert ticket giveaways and the highlighting of member events around the country, to refining internal processes and communications relating to members. Sadly AMC was not able to continue this position, as strategic priorities for business in 2019 required more investment in content generation activities, however many of the initiaives implemented in 2018 are continuing in 2019.

    During 2018 the AMC continued to publish through the online Resonate Magazine, news and blog items, feature articles, and interviews, recognising the important contribution that this publication makes in the documentation and discourse of the Australian music scene.

    This content is highlighted through the monthly AMC eNews , which for AMC members also includes the Composer and Performer Opportunities Listing, compiled from a range of sources including our IAMIC colleagues around the world. AMC eNews reaches a larger audience beyond AMC members, a population that is steadily growing – it was sent to 5,367 recipients in December 2018 (4,988 in Dec 2017; 4,652 in Dec 2016), a 7.6% increase on the previous year.

    The Australian Music Calendar provides a vital promotional tool for composers, performers, and presenters, and a useful reference tool for audiences. Statistics from the Australian Music Calendar listings are provided in the table below.

    2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
    No. of event listings 1,090 1,210 1,062 1,031 980
    No. of works performed 2,716 2,754 2,551 2,316 2,290
    World premieres 473 387 545 462 431
    Australian premieres 16 14 7 9 10

    Events are lodged in the AMC database via an online form, submitted by composers, performers or presenters. AMC staff also log significant performance events not submitted, particularly international performances. Direct links from performance data to “work” pages (including audio/score samples) and “artist” pages are a feature of the website, enabling audiences to preview works being performed. (This also applies in reverse – “work” pages and “artist” pages feature links to performances).

    2.3.1 Overview
    AMC approaches its communications activities in a strategic way, co-ordinating general website content, Resonate magazine content, email campaigns to members and subscribers, newsletters to Represented and Associate artists, and social media postings, to ensure maximum reach and impact.

    AMC communications and marketing greatly benefited from the new p/t position of Membership Development Manager, and Liz Wilson, worked closely AMC Editor Anni Heino on a range of co-ordinated and targeted communication campaigns.
    2.3.2 Communications
    In 2018 particular highlights of AMC communications activities covering promotion, advocacy, and news included:

    • Reports and articles on AMC social media channels and on Resonate about women composers, including features and blog articles (about the work of, for example, Sandy Evans, Andrea Keller, Ellen Kirkwood, Cathy Likhuta, Sonya Holowell, Christine McCombe, Lisa Cheney, Andree Greenwell, Holly Harrison, Vicky Hallett and Cathy Milliken), and the promotion and coverage of current opportunities, as well as coverage of two agenda-setting speeches in 2018: the acceptance speech by the Australia Council Don Banks Award-winner Liza Lim and the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address by Cat Hope.

    • The introduction of the Ngarra-Burria: First Peoples Composers program as an independent artist development initiative in its own right, as separate from the AMC’s AMPlify framework (during the pilot stage and year 1 of the program), and related coverage.

    • Artist connect bulletins are periodically issued to AMC Represented artists on matters relating to opportunities and online content. In 2018, these bulletins focused on the potential and increased exposure for individual artists of the online music education platform ECHO.

    • AMC’s online magazine Resonate included feature articles about Australian female composers (see above), as well as a number of artists active overseas (Thomas Meadowcroft, Greg Schiemer, Nicholas Vines, Douglas Knehans). The blog provided promotional opportunities for individual artists as well as groups and projects. Some of the most engaging social media content in 2018 had to do with the passing of conductor Richard Gill.
    2.3.3 Marketing and Promotions
    The AMC’s marketing activities play a vital role in maintaining our relationships with our diverse constituency, and beyond. Many clients are recognising the richness and specialist nature of our constituency base, and approach us for advertising or cross-promotional opportunities, and we have ongoing relationships with various networks that provide a diverse range of avenues for promotional activity.

    Examples of some of these in 2018 include:

    • Exchange relationships, including with AMEB, and ASME;
    • Advertising relationships, including with prizes including Melbourne University’s Maggs Award;
    • Content sharing arrangements, including with The Music Trust;
    • Promotional materials tailored to meet specific interests at conferences and in-service training courses, in the education sector and beyond.
    • Attendance, presentations, or representation on panels at conferences and other events, and presentations also made to students at tertiary institutions around the country.
    Access through various networks, and mailouts to their members, including those such as state Music Teachers Associations; AMEB and ASME; the major symphony orchestras’ education programs; and the Regional Conservatoria in NSW

    Through its relationship with APRA AMCOS, AMC enjoys access to their various communication channels, which in addition to the APRA AMCOS website, include APRAP, and Chalkboard, a newsletter specifically aimed at the primary and secondary education sectors.
    2.3.4 AMC Web Page
    Webpage statistics can be summarised as follows:

    AMC public website
    2016 %Change 2017 %Change 2018 Per day
    Visits (Sessions) 315,678 -4.7% 300,807 15.9% 348,808 956
    Unique users 209,444 -1.1% 207,181 17.5% 243,540 667
    Pageviews 1,079,055 -3.1% 1,045,753 13% 1,182,436 3,239
    Local / international
    Countries 73%/27%

    218 64%/36%

    207 59%/41%

    Search engines
    Referring sites





    AMC’s website continues to rank very highly in search results in Google and other search engines – composer name searches generally result in AMC listings appearing in the top 3, whilst unique work title or product title searches generally placing AMC as number 1 in search results. Such “visibility” is a direct result of the emphasis that AMC places on creating high quality metadata relating to people, works, and products.

    Content in the AMC database contributed by AMC Represented Artists continued to expand in 2018. The ongoing addition of new works by Represented Artists, submitted through the online artist interface ‘Contribute’ provides users with continually updated data, and enables composers to manage their catalogue in AMC’s database, and in 2018, 99% of collection submissions were lodged in this way (99% in 2017; 97% in 2016).
    2.3.5 Social Media
    During 2018 the AMC continued to develop its engagement with audiences on social media, reinforcing its presence with regular postings on facebook and twitter, strategically managed in regards to content and regularity. The tables below summarise our activity.

    2015 2016 2017 2018
    Followers 2,002 2,508 2,806 3,658
    No. visits/impressions 328,765 352,186 499,474 698,416

    AMC Twitter followers represent a small but well-targeted, engaged audience, including new music practitioners, educators, and key arts organisations including from other artforms.

    2015 2016 2017 2018
    Followers 2,347* 2,817 3,042 3,131
    Impressions 193,489 203,755 227,500 204,100
    Engagement average 1.63% 1.7% 1.8% 1.8%
    Clicks 1,022 (2.8 per day) 916 (2.50 per day) 910 (2.5 per day) 861 (2.4 per day)
    Retweets 599 (1.64 per day) 487 (1.33 per day) 445 (1.22 per day) 415 (1.13 per day)
    Likes 497 (1.36 per day) 657 (1.8 per day) 733 (2 per day) 1,009 (2.8 per day)
    Gender of followers 49%f / 51%m 55%f/45%m 47%f/53%m 62%f/38%m

    2.4.1 Governance Overview
    In 2014 the Board developed and adopted a new Board Charter, and Corporate Governance Statement, taking into account the organisation’s new structure, new Board structure, and refined the relationship with APRA AMCOS in providing accounting services. Various governance matters are addressed as part of Board meeting agendas, and there is an ongoing review of policy development.
    Policy development in 2018 saw the Board develop and adopt a Conflict of Interest Policy, which includes a register of any conflicts, real or perceived, identified at every Board meeting. The Board structure adopted in 2015 continued to develop in 2018, with one new Board member appointed in the second half of the year (3 new members in 2017), and 2 Directors retiring. Board Meetings and Membership in 2018
    In 2018 there were 7 Board meetings (5 in 2017; 4 in 2016; 5 in 2015).

    Membership of the Board during 2018 was:

    CHAIR: Genevieve Lacey
    Freelance musician/artistic director
    Director since December 2013 Company Secretary: Chris Gardoll

    Prof. Margaret Barrett
    Head of School, University of Queensland School of Music.
    Director since December 2013
    Brad Cohen
    Conductor; Artistic Director, West Australian Opera; Founder and Creative Director TIDO Music
    Director since December 2017

    Deborah Cheetham AO
    Soprano; actor, composer, playright
    Director since December 2017
    David Francis
    Executive Director, Four Winds Festival
    Director since December 2015

    Jana Gibson
    Head Membership Services, APRA AMCOS
    Director since December 2018
    Prof. Cat Hope
    Head of Music, Monash University
    Director since December 2015
    Retired December 2018

    Sally Howland
    Former Head APRA AMCOS Member Services
    Director since December 2013
    Retired December 2018

    Benjamin Northey
    Associate Conductor, MSO
    Director since December 2013

    Martel Ollerenshaw
    Arts Administrator, Creative Producer
    Director since August 2017

    2.4.2 Organisation Change Management and Staffing
    In recent years the AMC’s core structure included 2 staff members full-time, and a range of part-time and casual staff, some working remotely, totalling 4.9 f/t equivalent. With the high workload demand on the existing structure, a new part-time position of Membership Manager was established in late 2017, running through to December 2018, bringing the staffing to 5.1 f/t equivalent. It was discontinued from December, as business imperatives identified content generation/curation as a priority area for further business development.

    The AMC’s Strategic Plan includes a goal of “Investing in organisational capacity”, and ongoing reinforcement of the AMC’s staffing as resources allow is a priority. As the AMC’s financial sustainability becomes more secure a more proactive approach becomes more possible.

    AMC staff do outstanding work, hold substantial coporate knowledge, and show outstanding loyalty to each other, to the organisation and its ideals, and to AMC constituents.
    2.4.3 Finance
    The 2018 financial results are available in other documentation provided. The Company generated a surplus of $16, 223 (surplus of $25,232 in 2017; surplus of $64,681 in 2016).

    With this 2018 result the AMC has built further on its reserves, which at the close of the reporting period total $211,560. This represents 28.6% of 2018 expenses, far exceeding the 20% accumulated reserves benchmark mandated by the Australia Council.
    2.5 PROJECTS
    2.5.1 ARC Research Project - MARS

    The AMC is an industry partner with APRA, Western Sydney University, and Waikato University in NZ, in an ARC Linkage Grant (2015-2019) project, of $645,000, which will develop MARS – the Music Affect Recommender System. Led by Prof Roger Dean at the MARCS Institute, this project will support users in discovering music based on their own individual preferences. Importantly, this aspect of AMC’s IT infrastructure development is designed to foster ‘cultural omnivores’ – providing recommendations to users which encourage the discovery of new works, artists and genres. This research will be integrated into AMC’s IT infrastructure, and provide a significant leap forward in engaging audiences with Australian Art Music.
    2.5.2 AMPlify: Art Music Plus - Artist and Repertoire Development
    The AMC has historically been involved not only in initiating and presenting composer development projects, but also in providing advice and encouragement to other organisations and institutions who express an interest in investing in this area. 2014 saw the initial implementation of AMPlify (Art Music Plus), AMC’s artist development framework that emphasises cross-genre and/or cross-artform elements in each incarnation, the development of new repertoire, and engagement with new audiences as essential elements.

    Over 2015-2017 AMC entered into a partnership with APRA AMCOS’s Song Hubs artist development initiative for AMPlify TRANCE, pairing art music composer Piotr Nowotnik with Trance artist MaRLo to create new repertoire, and provide a range of other outcomes; AMPlify Germany, pairing art music composer Julian Day with German jazz pianist Julia Kadel, seeing the artists collaborating online over some months, and Julian Day spending time in Berlin with Julia Kadel developing work that was presented at 3 events in Berlin, with further editions planned for future festivals in Europe and North America.

    In 2017 under the AMPlify umbrella, the Indigenous Composer Initiative, a pilot partnership between Moogahlin Performing Arts, Eora College, Australian National University School of Music, Ensemble Offspring, and AMC, was successful in securing funding from APRA’s Cultural Grants Program. The project saw 5 Indigenous composers (Troy Russell, Rhyan Clapham, Tim Gray, Brenda Gifford, and Elizabeth Sheppard) preparing works for performance and recording in 2017.

    In 2018 the project was successful in receiving funding again from APRA, and it was re-branded as Ngarrra Burria: First Peoples Composers, with the same 5 composers writing new works for a different combination of Ensemble Offspring musicians.

    As in 2017, the works were recorded at ANU for future release; a concert presentation also took place in Canberra alongside the recording. Due to storm damage, the Sydney performance was moved from Eora College to the ABC in Ultimo, and this was recorded for broadcast/podcast, alongside extended interviews with the composers.

    This project has resulted in a number of successes, and has opened doors for the participating artists. The performance of works from the 2017 program was repeated in April 2018 at the Biaime’s Ngunna Festival in Brewarrina in Western NSW. Participant Brenda Gifford was subsequently commissioned by the Canberra International Festival of Music for a new work for their festival opening concert, and also commissioned by Ensemble Offspring to work with them for the SOH Baby Proms series; Rhyan Clapham won the Peter Sculthorpe Fellowship for 2018 and plans a series of new works to record; Elizabeth Sheppard is composing choral work for various contexts, including for choirs in Western Sydney; Troy Russell has an artist residency in Blacktown in 2018, collaborating with a choreographer on a new work for dance; and Tim Gray continues to write for film.

    In addition to this, in 2019 the composers have been commissioned by Sydney Living Museums to write works in response to an exhibition that they are mounting in late 2019 exploring music in colonial Sydney.

    Ngarra Burria continues in 2019 with a new group of composers – Eric Avery, Marcus Corowa, James Henry, Sonya Hollowell, and Nardi Simpson.
    2.5.4 AMC Publishing
    AMC publishes from time to time CDs, books and education resources. In 2018 the AMC released Moving on: the music of Brian Brown, providing teachers and students with a range of approaches to improvisation in the classroom. (See 2.1.4 above).

    Other publication projects are underway for release in 2019.
    2.5.5 The Art Music Awards, and Paul Lowin Prizes Art Music Awards
    The 2018 Art Music Awards returned to Melbourne after the Sydney event in 2017.

    The awards attracted 230 nominations across the categories (234 in 2017; 205 in 2016; 191 in 2015; 197 in 2014), and national and state panels were convened to assess them, selecting a shortlist of finalists and identifying the winners. The event, held in August, was again highly successful, and stimulated much positive feedback.

    The winners of the National and State/Territory awards represent a diverse range of music creation, presentation, and promotion, of the highest quality:

    2018 Art Music Awards – winners

    Vocal / Choral Work of the Year: Biographica, by Mary Finsterer; libretto by Tom Wright
    Jazz Work of the Year: American Counterpoint, by Matthew Sheens
    Instrumental Work of the Year: Cantor (after Willa Cather), by Lisa Illean
    Orchestral Work of the Year: Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra, by Paul Stanhope
    Performance of the Year: Eighth Blackbird’s performance of Lobster Tales and Turtle Soup, by Holly Harrison
    Award for Excellence by an Organisation: Tura New Music for 30 years of promoting Australian art music
    Award for Excellence by an Individual: Carl Vine AO for 2017 activities
    Award for Excellence in Music Education: Young Music Society Inc. (ACT) for 50 years of youth music activity
    Award for Excellence in a Regional Area: Big hART for Acoustic Life of Sheds
    Award for Excellence in Experimental Music: Chamber Made for Between 8 and 9 (Chengdu Teahouse Project) with lead artists Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey
    Award for Excellence in Jazz: Sandy Evans for rockpoolmirror

    2018 State and Territory Awards
    NSW State Award, in the category of Excellence in a Regional Area: Tyalgum Music Festival for the 2017 Tyalgum Music Festival
    QLD Award, in the category of Excellence in Experimental Music: Vanessa Tomlinson, Leah Barclay and John Ferguson for 100 Ways to Listen
    SA Award, in the category of Vocal/Choral Work of the Year: Anne Cawrse for On Earth as in Heaven
    TAS Award, in the catebory of Orchestral Work of the Year: Maria Grenfell for Spirals for clarinet, bassoon and chamber orchestra
    VIC Award, in the category of Excellence by an Organisation: Move Records for 50 years of recording and release of new music
    WA Award, in the category of Performance of the Year: Louise Devenish, Leah Scholes and Vanessa Tomlinson for Never Tilt Your Chair Back by Kate Neal Paul Lowin Prizes
    The AMC manages the Paul Lowin Prizes on behalf of Perpetual, and they are awarded every 2 or 3 years, depending on interest earnings on the trust’s capital investment. The prizes include $25,000 for an orchestral composition, and $15,000 for a “song cycle”. A song cycle as defined in the prize rules includes works for single or multiple voices, and also works that may be considered music theatre works.

    The prizes were last awarded in 2016, and will be offered again in 2019.
    2.5.6 International Promotions and Market Development Classical: Next and Jazzahead
    Since 2015 AMC has been involved in a partnership with Sounds Australia, developing the Australian presence at two important industry showcases: Jazzahead in Bremen, held each April; and Classical:NEXT in Rotterdam, held each May.

    In 2018 Sounds Australia again took out a display stand at Jazzahead and at Classical:NEXT, providing support to the Australian delegates. A diverse delegation of some 14 Australian delegates attended Classical:NEXT (20 in 2017; 30 in 2016). The Sounds Australian stand again hosted a reception for other delegates, and again made an impact. Australians were involved in Project Pitch sessions, Networking sessions, and Conference panels, and our presence continues to develop in a very positive way.

    Other successes achieved at C:N in 2018:

    • Curator and Producer Matthew Hoy was appointed to the 2019 C:N jury, maintaining an Australian presence there following Marshall McGuire in 2018, and Genevieve Lacey in 2017.
    • London based Australian pianist Belle Chen was successful in being selected for the C:N Showcase program, the first Australian to be so honoured
    • Aura Go and Matthias Shack-Arnott were selected as the Australians participating in the C:N Fellows Program, which sees emerging artists and arts workers attending the event, and being mentored by a C:N veteran. Fellows are supported by funding from APRA AMCOS and the AMC. (Previous Fellows were Kaylee Melville and Leah Blankendaal in 2017)

    Australia’s involvement with Jazzahead in Bremen continues to develop, and provides a platform for Australia’s artists to engage in a larger marketplace, and expand their networks. Sounds Australia has been present there for several years now, and Australian artists have attended for some years.

    In 2017 AMC joined the European Jazz Network as a member, and AMC Director Martel Ollerenshaw is on the EJN Board. In partnership with Sounds Australia the AMC has been successful in securing Australia Counci project funding over 2 years 2019-2020 to undertake a market development project for Australian jazz in Europe, emulating the great success achieved at Classical:NEXT at Jazzahead, and exploiting (in the best possible way) the relationships with other EJN members.

    AMC’s international promotions and advocacy more broadly will continue to be a priority, and the ongoing relationships with Sounds Australia, APRA AMCOS, the Australia Council, and other key stakeholders, are vital in achieving appropriate international outcomes for art music repertoire and practitioners. International Association of Music Information Centres (IAMIC) and the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM)
    In 2018 the AMC continued to enhance its relationships through IAMIC and ISCM, and actively participate in the further development of these networks. Through these relationships, opportunities are created for Australian artists, through collaborations and exchanges, and by the sharing of information relating to the international music landscape.

    As a prominent member of IAMIC, AMC is invited to attend the annual conference each year, and the IAMIC Spring meeting held alongside Classical: NEXT.

    This network is an important one for the AMC, setting benchmarks for AMC to measure itself against, and benefiting from the sharing of information and experiences on the functioning of a music centre. AMC leads this network in regards to digitisation and online activity, and achieves the highest level of earned income of any Music Information Centre (MIC), at above 49%, well ahead of Canada (22%) and Slovakia (20%). Most MICs (including New Zealand) only manage to achieve 5% or less of earned income against their subsidies from government or performing right society sources.

    As the Australian National Section for ISCM, AMC submits 6 works each year to be considered for inclusion in the annual ISCM World Music Days Festival, the largest international festival of contemporary music.

    At the 2018 ISCM Festival in Beijing the Australian submission included works by Lisa Cheney, Bruce Crossman, Andrew Ford, Gordon Kerry, Nicole Murphy, and Margery Smith. The work by Bruce Crossman (a 1-act opera) was selected in the festival program (1 Australian work performed in 2017 in Vancouver; 2 Australian works performed in 2016 in Korea).
    Bruce represented Australia as the First Delegate in the ISCM General Assembly.

    3. SUMMARY

    In 2018 the AMC provided a large and diverse audience with access to the music created by Australian composers, improvisers and sound artists, through a diverse range of activities. As outlined in our EOI for 4-year Organisation Funding to the Australia Council, the outcomes from our activities are many and varied as shown by selected highlights in this list:

    · first edition of Ngarra Burria First Peoples Composers Program (partners ANU, Mooghalin Arts, a 2-year program leading to skills development, mentoring, commissions, recordings, performances)
    · appointed first Indigenous artist to AMC Board (Deborah Cheetham)
    · partnered with APRA-Songhubs, Monash University (Summers Night Female Composers Program), Sydney University (Composing Women initiative) creating opportunities and advocacy for female creators
    · 63% of AMC board female, with female Chair (Genevieve Lacey); 66% of staff female

    Created international pathways
    · joined Europe Jazz Network
    · lead delegations with Sounds Australia/APRA to Classical:NEXT: 3 Australian showcases (out of 9 total) in 2019
    · hosted 72 delegates, 6 early career fellowships, 1 ongoing international jury position (Classical:NEXT), 1 mentor position

    Created work
    9 new works created in 2019 out of Ngarra Burria: First Peoples Composers Program

    Increased public recognition
    · Art Music Awards: 22% increase in nominations, building community, profiling sector via national television, print, radio, online promotion, social media

    Piloted new digital infrastructure
    · launched ECHO beta, a platform for content curation/harvesting, focussed on education and audience development

    Increased information for public use, sales, loans and revenue for artists. In 2018 we:
    · generated $166k sales, 2,419 loans, and royalties creating $41,250 revenue for artists
    · responded to 2,193 enquiries
    · published 149 articles
    · registered 243,540 web visitors and 1.2 million pageviews: 22% increase in web traffic

    Strengthened financial position:
    · 26% reserves, exceeding required 20% (up from 2013 deficit)
    · 11% sales and 21% earned income increases
    · decreased reliance on Australia Council investment (35% in 2018)

    Over the last three years we have effected transformative change in the structure, operations and thinking of the AMC. Our vision of the AMC as the central service organisation for Australian music, nationally and internationally, can now be effected in a sustainable, bold manner. We are regarded internationally as an exemplary model for a service organisation, always responsive to our community and forward looking in our programs, planning and operations. We are confident and optimistic about our future. We know our work is essential in the continuing flourishing and sustainability of our art music community.

    The continuing survival of the AMC is indeed a testament to the many who contribute to the organisation. First and foremost, the committed staff, who have such passion and care for the work that they do, and whose contribution to Australian music continues to be truly significant, and inevitably under-acknowledged. I thank them for their outstanding work in 2018, and the loyalty to the organisation and its cause that they continually demonstrate, and more broadly, loyalty to the sector.

    The often unseen work of the AMC’s Board of Directors must also be acknowledged. We are grateful for what they bring to the organisation, the skills and expertise that they offer, and the significant support that they provide to AMC’s management and staff, both directly and by example.

    Similarly, the role that APRA AMCOS plays in assisting the AMC and its work, which shows a great respect for the value of the AMC’s work, and what it brings to the sector. The ongoing daily support of the APRA AMCOS staff, in various ways, is gratefully acknowledged.

    The support of the AMC’s key funding partners is vital. The Australia Council and APRA AMCOS’s essential support of AMC to continue its important work on behalf of Australian music is critical to our survival, and this support is gratefully acknowledged.

    There are many in the Australian music community who contribute to the scene in so many ways, through the work that they do. The composers, performers and presenters, the educators, and the many others who assist in the work of the AMC as a national service organisation for Australian music, is gratefully acknowledged. They are at the core of what the AMC represents and we celebrate them all.

    John Davis, CEO
    May 2019

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