About the Mackay Chamber Music Festival

The 6th Mackay Chamber Music Festival is back in 2024 – a weekend of inspiring concerts, masterclasses and workshops, featuring some of the finest classical musicians from around the world.

Welcome to the 2024 Mackay Chamber Music Festival! 

The more I experience and play music, the more I realise how it has the capacity to both express what it means to be human, and also at the same time radically alter human lives and experiences. That’s what the 6th edition of the Mackay Chamber Music Festival is all about – life-changing music which expresses what words cannot!

As usual, we’ve got a fantastic line-up of musicians, including for the first time an entire chamber orchestra! Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra is renowned for their captivating performances, inspired programming and ability to connect with their audiences. Camerata will present a thrilling “Four Seasons Reimagined”, reflecting the power and beauty of nature, in particular the ever-changing seasons in different parts of the world. Be sure to get your tickets quickly!

Our Festival Artists are some of Australia’s best musicians, and for the first time at the MCMF we welcome the trumpet! Brass lovers, be sure to come along to hear one of Australia’s finest trumpeters, Timothy Francis, astound you with his lyrical and brilliant playing. I’m particularly looking forward to the final concert of the festival – a collaboration between the Lyrebird Trio, Camerata and our Festival Artists – featuring some of the largest works we’ve ever presented at the festival.

Over the course of the past five festivals we’ve reached hundreds of students, teachers and music lovers through our ever-expanding education program, and this year we continue this trend. Local students, either as individuals or in school or community groups, will have the opportunity to participate in numerous workshops, masterclasses and rehearsals facilitated by our Festival Artists. Having Camerata in Mackay also greatly increases the festival’s educational reach, with players from the orchestra presenting specially scripted musical shows for residents of aged care facilities as well as kindergarten students. It’s vital for everyone in our society to have access to high quality arts and arts education, and I’m proud to be able to contribute to the amazing arts community in Mackay through these educational activities. 

Many of you will remember fondly the late, great, Anne Thompson. Anne was a powerful contributor to the Mackay music scene for many years, and changed the lives of countless young people (myself included) through her gift of teaching. An ardent supporter and committee member of the MCMF from its conception, Anne tragically passed away shortly before the first festival in 2018. Alongside the Thompson family, it is a great honour to launch the inaugural “Anne Thompson Memorial Scholarship”, designed to encourage and foster a love of music for local piano students, just as Anne did.

Details about all of our education activities and this scholarship are all available here on the website. 

The Australian Digital Concert Hall is back this year to ensure anyone with an internet connection can enjoy the festival’s performances. If you are one of our live audience members, you’ll get to experience the world-class performances in a world-class facility – the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music. CQCM and CQUniversity continue their support of the Festival as major sponsors, and I can’t thank Judith Brown and all the Conservatorium staff enough for making this a possibility.

The festival performances are sure to blow you away once again, with emotionally charged performances by some of Australia’s finest musicians, and we can’t wait to share these life-changing musical moments with you!

Yours in music,



A perfect getaway for families, couples or the single traveller, The Mackay Region can offer natural experiences, fun-filled adventures or pure relaxation with a backdrop of gorgeous scenery and amazing sunsets. Whether it’s inland, on the coast or in the City Centre, see nature come to life with unique and rare experiences in The Mackay Region.
Fall asleep to the sound of waterfalls and wake up surrounded by lush rainforest. Enjoy sunrise with wallabies or sink your toes in the sand at a secluded beach. These are just some of the unique and magical moments you will experience when you visit The Mackay Region.
Explore Australia’s largest sub-tropical rainforest with a visit to Eungella National Park and allow Finch Hatton Gorge to take your breath away. Find a secluded fishing spot to soak up the sun or head out on an exciting ocean adventure to one of the many surrounding islands.
Escape the crowds and discover untouched beaches and islands. Indulge in fresh, local produce at one of the many, friendly restaurants and eateries that offer superb hospitality. Take in the beautiful blue-water views of the Pioneer River. 
Visit any time of the year and you will be able to immerse yourself in the local history and culture and experience exciting entertainment with an extensive choice of events that are unique to The Mackay Region.
So what are you waiting for? Escape the crowds and find your own slice of paradise with a visit that will bring you closer to nature and leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated in The Mackay Region.


For more information, please visit The Mackay Region - https://www.mackayregion.com

In 1989 the Queensland Conservatorium of Music established a regional campus in Mackay to deliver tertiary music courses and support the vibrant performing arts community already well-established in Central Queensland. Providing a focal point for professional performance training in classical music, jazz, popular music, drama and music theatre, the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music (CQCM) was incorporated into CQUniversity in 1996.

In 2001, CQCM moved to a purpose-built facility at CQUniveristy's Mackay Ooralea campus cementing our commitment to being a major performing arts training centre attracting students from all states of Australia and overseas.

Since then, the Conservatorium has established industry partnerships with many of Australia's most experienced professional performers, theatre directors and agents, as well as links with international artists, producers, directors and performing arts organisations contributing to its current national and international status.

The MCMF is incredibly appreciative to CQCM for their generous support as Principal Sponsor of this year’s festival. Special thanks must also go to Judith Brown and all the Conservatorium staff for making this event a possibility in such a beautiful space.

Management Committee:

President and Artistic Director – Glenn Christensen
Vice- President – John Christensen
Treasurer - Marty Burkett
Assistant Treasurer – Jan Whelan
Secretary – Vicki Christensen
Community Engagement Officer – Belinda Rooney [engagement(at)mackaycmf.com.au]

Members – Prof. Judith Brown, Ros Burkett, Tricia Casey, Lauren Christensen, Carmel Daveson, Sam Torrens, Marilyn Arnold, Sarah Rozekrans, Kurt Wilk, Kristen Pengelly, Chelsea Jansen


Festival Supporters:

Festival Manager - Sam Torrens
Resident Piano Technician - Brian Wilson
Resident Interior Designer - Lauren Taylor Design


Mackay Chamber Music Festival wishes to thank the following sponsors:


Central Conservatorium of Music




Queensland Government logo

With funding support from the Gambling Community Fund 



FinePrint Music Printing & Typesetting


Australian Digital Concert Hall

Lauren Taylor Design

Brian Wilson Piano Care

Australian Cultural Fund








This year's festival is is supported by Creative Partnerships Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund. 

Please visit our page on the Australian Cultural Fund to make a tax-deductible donation to the festival - every dollar raised through this ACF project will be matched with a funding ‘boost’ up to $5,000 from Creative Australia!

The Mackay Chamber Music Festival is sincerely grateful for any contributions of support. All contributions will assist the delivery of the sixth festival, as well as supporting its return and growth into the future.

Sponsorship packages can be discussed on a case by case basis. Please get in touch with us if you wish to discuss an offer of support.

Thank you.