About the Mackay Chamber Music Festival

The 5th Mackay Chamber Music Festival is back in 2023 – a weekend of inspiring concerts, masterclasses and workshops, featuring some of the finest classical musicians from around the world.

Welcome to the 2023 Mackay Chamber Music Festival! 

It’s almost unbelievable to me that this year is the fifth version of the festival! What started as a little dream has really grown wings and is starting to fly!

This year’s brilliant line-up of musicians will deliver some spectacular performances of a huge range of repertoire. I believe it’s important to program works which are relevant to the audiences of today – so we’ve programmed brilliant works by living Australian composers Anne Cawrse, Elizabeth Younan, Harry Sdraulig and Paul Stanhope, alongside classic works from Schubert, Mozart and Mendelssohn. There will be music to inspire, challenge, move, excite, and most importantly, it will leave your hearts and souls lifted.

The artists that you will hear over the weekend are absolutely at the top of their field, working with major orchestras and ensembles in Australia and overseas. You’ll get to see and hear from some familiar festival favourites, as well as some sensational newcomers to Mackay. I’m thrilled that the extraordinarily fun, quirky and inspiring Arcadia Winds are joining us this year – don’t miss your chance to hear the best wind instrumentalists in the country!

For me, the best part of this festival is the feeling of community – I get to work with amazing musicians and music lovers on and off the stage. The connections that this festival has developed through our wonderful committee, local community groups, and with our audiences is something really quite special.

It’s also so rewarding to be able to give guidance to our young (and young at heart) musicians in the Mackay region through our extensive education program. This year we’ll give masterclasses for pianists, string and wind instrumentalists, a workshop for piano teachers, rehearsal visits and workshops with the Mackay City Strings and numerous local school groups, as well as a Q&A session with our artists. 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. 

Following on from the success of live-streaming the festival in 2022, 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.

I want to thank all the incredible people who make this festival possible. The committee of the MCMF are so dedicated to ensuring this festival is a success, and I couldn’t imagine this without them – thank you! A big thank you to Isobel Gillman and the Friends of the Con – your work is crucial to the ongoing success of the Conservatorium and its students, as well as the Festival, and it’s so appreciated. A special mention must also go to Angela Turner from FinePrint for her wonderful work with designing websites, programs and advertising material (as well as playing a mean piano). Genius technician Brian Wilson at Piano Care has also donated his time and skills every year since the festival’s inception to keep the pianos in top condition and sounding amazing, so he deserves a huge thank you.

I find it so thrilling that Mackay has its own classical music festival – and it really is for the people of the Mackay region. I believe that regardless of where you live, you should have access to wonderful music and music education, so please spread the word of the festival – we love playing for you, talking with you, and spreading the joy and wonder of live music to as many people as possible!

Please enjoy the weekend’s festivities and community vibes – we’re all so thrilled to be back in Mackay!




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, Fr. Stephen Hanly, Sarah Rozekrans, Kurt Wilk, Kristen Pengelly


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




Mackay Regional Council and Queensland Government logo

This project was made possible by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, provided through Regional Arts Australia, administered in Queensland by Flying Arts Alliance.



Mackay Regional Council and Queensland Government logo

The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Mackay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.



FinePrint Music Printing & Typesetting


Australian Digital Concert Hall

Lauren Taylor Design

Brian Wilson Piano Care

Australian Cultural Fund








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

Please visit our page on the Australian Cultural Fund to make a tax-deductible donation to the festival.

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.

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