23/07 — 01/08/2021
June E-newsletter
Holiday at Home
In this month's newsletter we're excited to share some of our new digital activities including a curated Spotify list, a video message from Kathryn Stott and the first video in our AFCM Video Stories series - combining concert recordings with memorable Festival images. This first one is set to a beautiful ABC recording from last year's Church Concert.
As we're getting used to the new 'normal' which includes restaurant meals in our own homes and fabulous digital concerts, we're pleased to let you know that here at AFCM HQ we have some superb digital concerts of our own planned for later in the year - so stay tuned! 
With restrictions starting to lift and the ability to start travelling again, our fabulous sponsors at Travel Associates have put together some amazing packages available for travel throughout Queensland. 
We hope you enjoy our newsletter!
Warm regards,
The AFCM Team. 
Image: Travel Associates 

 Pianos in the Tropics
Here’s a test for many AFCM pianos are there in Townsville? Answer – none. The Festival doesn’t own any pianos, however, each year we needs about nine of them.
The Civic Theatre is the only place in Townsville with a concert standard piano, so this means AFCM needs to ship the pianos up to Townsville each year, and back again. They come from Sydney no less, because even Brisbane can't supply that many instruments.
Each year, AFCM with huge help from our valued partners Theme and Variations, ships the instruments from Sydney. But, why so many? Well, it's not just a matter of concerts at the Townsville Civic Theatre; we also have concerts at The Pavilion at The Ville and other venues like St James Cathedral, plus we need a number of rehearsal pianos. AFCM rehearsals take place next to the Civic Theatre in the Pit Building (where the V8 Supercars operate out of each year). Each of the six rehearsal rooms needs a piano, tuned each day and used all day for rehearsing.
Pianos are one of the logistics challenges for our Production team. Not only must they be shipped safely, stored securely, used carefully and tuned each day, they must be moved occasionally too! You may have noticed a the Festival Finale concert we have two pianos on stage? This means the piano at The Pavilion needs to be transported after the final Concert Conversation. Meanwhile, all remainig pianos are being packed away in the truck, and then at 11.30pm after the finial concert, the last pianos are uplifted and the boys set off for the long drive to Sydney.
There’s one last thing...Townsville is not a good climate for pianos. For six months of the year it is too humid and hot. One thing you see in the tropics when you open the lid of an old piano is...mould! That often means the end of that piano. They are remarkable machines, tough and well built, but a simple bit of humidity could ruin a $300,000 instrument forever. So we say thank you to our good friends at Theme & Variations for the valuable work they do each year. 
A Message from Artistic Director
Kathryn Stott
This past three months has been a hard time for everyone right around the globe. Australia and New Zealand have been very fortunate in containing the virus, and we are extremely grateful for that.
In the UK, where our AD Kathryn Stott is based, they’ve been doing it particularly tough. Only just the other day, they were finally allowed to venture out on longer walks away from home. Kathryn and her pooch Archie made the most of it, recording this message for us along the way…
AFCM Video Stories 
Festival Memories
Whilst we’re unable to bring you a Festival this year, we can still bring you beautiful music and wonderful imagery. With thanks to ABC Classic, who record a number of concerts each year, and Festival photographer Andrew Rankin, we’ve been able to create our AFCM Video Stories series.
Each month we’ll choose a piece of music played at a Festival concert and put some Festival imagery to it – so not only can you enjoy listening, but you can enjoy reminiscing the magical times enjoyed in Townsville.This first AFCM Video Story shares images from last year’s Festival and music from the Sunday night church concert, a beautiful piece by Charles Koechlin, Épitaphe de Jean Harlow, Op.164. We hope you enjoy it!
Self Drive 2 Night Glamping Package
Mitchell Grass Retreat, Longreach 
If you’ve always dreamed of visiting Australia’s heartland in Outback Queensland, it’s time to grab your kit and head for the bush! Stay at the stunning Mitchell Grass Retreat and experience the best that Longreach has to offer with an Outback Aussie Tours’ Longreach Legends Pass from Travel Associates. Package Includes: 
  • 2 nights accommodation in a Luxury Ensuite Tent
  • Gourmet Breakfast Basket delivered daily 
  • Gourmet Nibbles Platter with Bottle of Wine or 6 Pack of Craft beers
  • Complimentary Port & Chocolates
  • Drover’s Sunset Cruise including Smithy’s Outback Dinner & Show and return transfers from Michell Grass Retreat
  • Entry to Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame
  • Entry to Qantas Founders Museum
*Two complimentary swags provided for 2 adult, 2 children families. *Self-drive package excludes flights from Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton. If you wish to fly or travel by train to Longreach please contact your Travel Associates Adviser for more information. *TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY
Delightful Debates 
A new Music Discovery?
Finding the positive in every negative is what keeps us going; and through this terrible time the human spirit of increasing connections with family and friends is indeed a positive through the negative. We want to increase our connection with you too, so along with the Video Stories series, we are also today launching AFCM’s Delightful Debates.
We‘re keen to chat with you about a whole bunch of topics. In this first one, we want to hear about your positive that’s come out of this…are you listening to more music during lock down? Have you discovered a new piece? A new favourite artist or composer that we should know about? Please jump onto the AFCM Facebook page and share your thoughts.
Donate Now 
We are grateful to all those who have so thoughtfully and generously made donations from their 2020 ticket purchases. We are also grateful to our artist supporters all of whom have stayed with ‘their artist’ for next year. The connections your donations and support make with the Festival are part of its great legacy of fine music and friendship. Please contact me at any time for information about supporting the Festival.
Sincere thanks, Sue Hackett Philanthropy Manager Tel: 07 4771 4144
The Ville is Opening 
It’s time for a post-isolation revival in tropical Queensland.
Warm up in luxury this winter with a stay at The Ville Resort-Casino.
That trip overseas might be cancelled but you can soak in some rays and a poolside cocktail or two at North Queensland’s hottest resort, and help support the Queensland tourism industry. Book our Fresh Start Hotel Package and stay from $169 per night including breakfast for two.
Spotify - Music in Lockdown
Whiling away the hours in isolation has enabled us all to listen to more music. So we’ve created an AFCM Spotify account so that we can share playlists with you. This first playlist is our Artistic Director Kathryn Stott’s ‘go to’ music selection – of course there’s some Fauré in there, but also some Yo Yo Ma, Silk Road Ensemble, Tine Thing Helseth (who performed at AFCM in 2018) and a piece by our favourite quartet in residence, the Goldner String Quartet.

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