2009 - What A Year

2009 was one of our busiest years ever which kept us on our toes.

We had The Archies & Friends exhibition, the Dame Joan Sutherland Award winner’s recital, the Kayo and Chitaru Asahina recital at Mykonos, and of course, we have the NFA Biosphere Cultural Concept, which will be ongoing.

Dame Joan Sutherland Award

Joan Sutherland Friends Society

Pictured L to R: Doug Cremer, President Joan Sutherland Friends Society, NSW, Meg Lawrence, Richard Bonynge

Due to the economic downturn, sponsorship proved difficult to arrange for the 2009 competition, but with the approval of Dame Joan, we have now made the event  a national bi-annual festival. Dame Joan suggested that this format, similar to those in Europe, was appealing, giving entrants greater opportunity to become performance-seasoned prior to competing for the award.

Our next finals will be held on Thursday 24th June 2010 at The Good Shepherd Lutheran Hall. The judges will be Marilyn Richardson, James Christiansen and Brad Jarrett.

Read more: Dame Joan Sutherland Award

Vale Margreta

We  mourn the loss of   Margreta Elkins, A.M, D.M. Greta lost her long and hard fight to cancer last year.

Greta Elkins

She had an amazing career; made her debut in Brisbane at 17, won a State Government Scholarship;  toured Australia extensively with the National Opera Company of Australia; travelled to England where she lived for 20 years, joining the Royal Opera Covent Garden;  enjoyed an international career, singing with opera companies, and in concert, throughout the world; returned as Artist in Residence with the Australian Opera before being invited to join the Academy for Performing Arts in Hong Kong as Head of Vocal and Opera Studies; part-time lecturer with the Queensland Conservatorium,   Foundation Member of the Board of Governors of The Australian Institute of Music, Honorary Ambassador of the Mater Hospital Trust, Honorary Life Member of Opera  Queensland and was only one of three Honorary Members of the Dame Joan Sutherland Society, the others being Dame Joan and Richard Bonynge.

We are honoured to have had her as a Judge of the DJS. Award for so many years.

Iain's Strauss Ball

Inspirational musician, Iain MacLean, who has had his  own orchestra for many years and is also the chairman of the standing committee Schools Instrument Fund and the Rick Farbach Jazz Scholarship for a Young Musician, had a recent holiday at Club Nambour Hospital and was then upgraded to the Prince Charles resort in Brisbane at their (doctors) insistence.

Prior to this short adventure Iain was ensconced in the running (and playing) of the ‘Sounds of Strings’ a Philharmonic Orchestra of huge appeal and tremendous talent.

Due to the intense commitment of time and energy Iain’s musical career dictated, it proved impossible for him to humanly continue, so he has hung up his Superman costume for the time being and will now direct operations from the comfort of a more reasonable stage.

The Strauss Ball has now been postponed till 2010, when we will all look forward to a quick whirl to the strings of Mr Iain (Maestro) McLean.

Thanks Iain.

Newsletter - Spring / Summer 2008

Stunning conclusion to the Dame Joan Sutherland award with Guest Judge Lisa Gasteen.

newsletter4Over 200 opera buffs crammed into the Lutheran Centre in Noosa last Wednesday night to watch Sydney counter tenor Russell Harcourt win the much coveted $15,000 first prize in the 2008 Dame Joan Sutherland Award and also the very popular People’s Mayoral Choice award which is selected by an audience vote.

Second prize of $4,000 went to Baritone Josh Rowe from Brisbane and the $1,000 Cheryl Smart encouragement award went to Soprano Anna Lucy Whitehead from Melbourne. Special guest Dr Richard Letts AM presented the prizes along with guest judge international soprano Lisa Gasteen and Cheryl Smart.

Close competition...

newsletter5"This year the competition was very close” said Meg Lawrence, Noosa Federation of the Arts Chairman. “Never before have we had such a range of voices and talent and the judges found it extremely difficult to select the winners. It is wonderful to see the competition evolve into a truly national vocal competition with with such outstanding gifted performers and judges.”

The Dame Joan Sutherland Award National Vocal Competition has launched several international singing careers including Mirusia Louwerse who is currently touring as lead soprano with Andre Rieu.

The Award, open to opera singers – females aged 20-32 years and males aged 22-35 years was judged by Marilyn Richardson, James Christiansen, Brad Jarrett and special guest judge, Lisa Gasteen.

The Dame Joan Sutherland Award National Vocal Competition is part of the Noosa Longweekend.

Pictured top: A jubilant Russell Harcourt, counter tenor, winner of $15,000 2008 Dame Joan Sutherland Award and $500 Peoples Choice Mayoral Award

Pictured right: Dr Richard Letts AM (left), Russell Harcourt and International Diva Lisa Gasteen - Guest Judge at the Dame Joan Sutherland Awards 2008

The Famous NFA Christmas Party

This is a notorious NFA production. Noosa notables all come out of the woodwork for this event to enjoy our traditional ham and entertainment.

This year’s finale is at the beautiful home of NFA member Hugh Coriat, perched on top of the range at Panorama Drive, Doonan. We have chosen 4pm to commence festivities so that we can take advantage of the glorious views from Cooloola to Coolum (with champagne in hand, of course!).

Come and join us in an elegant and magical musical afternoon.

Please book for catering purposes by phoning Pat Hahn on 07 5473 0809

Schools Incentives

As usual we have given incentive awards to year 12 students at Noosa District High school, Good Shepherd Lutheran College and Sunshine Beach State High.

One of our recipients from Noosa District High School was Samuel Hubert who received an OP score of 1.

School Incentives

We continue with our school incentives for Year 12 Graduations at Sunshine Beach High School, Good Shepherd Lutheran and Noosa District High.

Also, The Rick Farbach Jazz Scholarship for a Young Musician at Immanuel Lutheran College, Maroochydore.

Cultural Award For Iain

newsletter6Congratulations to Iain MacLean, Chairman of the Schools Instrument Bank for being one of three finalists in the whole of Queensland for the Regional Achievement and Community Arts and Cultural Award.

Not only is Iain Chairman of the Schools Instrument Bank, supported by Colleen Docherty, but he has established a 20 piece orchestra, Sounds of Strings” which he has offered to NFA as a fund raiser next year.


Pictured: Iain and committee member Anna Abbott.

Membership - What does it mean, and How can it help?

Members are the life-blood of any association, not only for moral but also  financial support.   Without you we could not exist.  The contribution we make to our community - our schools incentives, Dame Joan Award, Schools Instrument Bank, Anthony Camden Fund, Rick Farbach Scholarship would not exist—none of these would exist without your help.
Now we’ll need even more support for our biosphere concept


March—The Lipman Harp Duo
June—Dame Joan Award

New Visual Art Award

While we are on awards, Selma Smith has sponsored the NFA Most Promising Artist Award for Visual Art at the Noosa TAFE campus.

The winner was Kim Murray (pictured center) with judge Christine Ballinger (right) Director of the Noosa Regional Gallery and Meg Lawrence, Chairman NFA.

Surprise, surprise!

While Selma Smith was busy sponsoring an award at the recent TAFE Exhibition, the lady herself was awarded a prize for her stunning paintings. Congratulations from us all, Selma.