The WWAF committee thanks everyone who attended our 2022 Festival. Attendees from near and far enjoyed four days of engaging, immersive and thought-provoking events. We look forward to welcoming guests back to the event over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June 2023.

Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra

Tickets are now sold out for this event and we are taking names for a wait list incase there are any cancellations.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

CANCELLED EVENT – Sarah Krasnostein

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Sarah Krasnostein is no longer available to speak at the planned Words & Ideas event on Saturday 11 June as part of the Woodend Winter Arts Festival. All ticket holders will be issued a full refund and the WWAF committee apology for any inconvenience caused.

Media Release


Woodend Winter Arts Festival 2022

Friday 10 June – Monday 13 June

The Woodend Winter Arts Festival (WWAF) will deliver a thought provoking and engaging program of events when it returns to the charming village of Woodend over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, from 10-13 June, 2022.

The event will kick off with a vibrant fireworks display featuring free live performances. Other highlights include two incredible concerts by world-renowned ensembles – Ensemble Gombert and the Australian Romantic Classic Orchestra. A fascinating discussion with best-selling author Sarah Krasnostein, a political dissection with Sean Kelly and the screening of ‘A little bit Mongolian‘ a film by award winning documentary film maker Michael Dillon, accompanied by a harmonic singing session with Dean Frenkel.

According to Artistic Director and Founder of the Festival, Dr Jacqueline Ogeil, this year’s event will run at a reduced capacity, with bigger and bolder things planned for 2023.

“The festival committee made the decision to play it safe this year and present a scaled-back version of the event. This decision was made in light of reduced venues due to renovation works, along with the ongoing Covid situation and the risk involved with both our talent and guests potentially having to cancel at the last minute.”

“That being said, we still have a fantastic line-up of events, designed to cater for the young and old and everyone in between. Attendees can expect to have their minds challenged, whilst also having the opportunity to experience world-class classical music in Woodend. We also have our much-loved free community fireworks event happening, which includes an expanded program of free performances,” said Dr Ogeil.

The WWAF 2022 Program includes the following events: 

Fireworks display & live free performances

WWAF will kick off with a vibrant fireworks display at Woodend’s Buffalo Stadium. This free event will be a fun evening out for the whole family and will include live entertainment from the a cappella vocal ensemble Melbourne Octet and Japanese drummers Wadaiko Kindo, various food vans will also be onsite, selling tasty treats on the night.

When: Friday 10 June, from 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Where: Buffalo Stadium, Woodend

Tickets: entry is free and no bookings are required

The Sounds of Vienna with the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra

The Sounds of Vienna will fill Woodend’s St Ambrose Church when the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra performs Schubert’s Octet. Attendees will be transported to the early days of the 19th century Vienna as this highly acclaimed ensemble performs what is recognised as Schubert’s finest works..

When: Saturday 11 June, 2:30pm

Where: St Ambrose Catholic Church, Woodend

Tickets:  $45 Full Price / $40 concession / $25 Child

Words & Ideas: “Not waving, drowning” with Sarah Krasnostein

WWAF’s words and ideas program, established by Sheila and Don Drummond, continues this year with best-selling author Sarah Krasnostein leading a fascinating discussion about the mental health crisis in Australia. Krasnostein argues that we live in a society that often punishes vulnerability, but shows we have the resources to mend a broken system. She will examine whether the system can be fixed, and whether the patterns of the past will persist into the future.

When: Sunday 12 June at 10.30am

Where: Community Centre, Woodend

Tickets: $20 per person

The Art of a cappella: Ensemble Gombert

Regular performers at WWAF and recognised as Australia’s finest chamber choir, Ensemble Gombert will delight the audience with a selection a capella classics from throughout the centuries, ranging from Bach through to Brahms.

When: Sunday 12 June at 3pm

Where: St Ambrose Church, Woodend

Tickets: $45 Full Price / $40 concession / $25 Child

A Little Bit Mongolian: Film & Throat Singing Performance

Award winning local filmmaker Michael Dillon will introduce his international award-winning film A Little Bit Mongolian. The film captures the story of a 12-year-old Australian horse rider who dares to race with local Mongolian children, winning over the respect of the locals and in turn becoming a little bit Mongolian. Michael will be joined by Dean Frenkel, who will wow the crowd with a display of harmonic throat singing. The audience will then be invited to become a little bit Mongolian themselves as Dean talks them through the art of throat singing, encouraging them to see what their own voices are capable of.

When: Monday 13 June, 10.30am & 2.30pm

Where: St Ambrose Catholic Church

Tickets: $35 per person 

Words & Ideas: Election Dissection with Sean Kelly and Sally Warhaft

Sean Kelly, author of The Game: A Portrait of Scott Morrison, a columnist with The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and former adviser to Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd, will be in candid and entertaining discussion with acclaimed broadcaster, writer and anthropologist Sally Warhaft. The audience is encouraged to join in, with plenty of opportunities for questions.

When: Monday 13 June at 10:30am

Where: Community Centre, Woodend

Tickets: $20 per person

Ticket are on sale via the Woodend Winter Arts Festival website woodendwinterartsfestival.org.au

MEDIA CONTACT: Please direct any queries to WWAF publicist Madeleine Blake, MBPR, madeleine@mbpr.co | 0400 262 505

Australian Romantic andClassical Orchestra standing with their instruments on stage with a purple background

The Festival

The Woodend Winter Arts Festival is an annual celebration, showcasing the very best of classical music from Australia and internationally, along with a lively literary and visual arts program. The event takes place across various venues in the charming village of Woodend in the Macedon Ranges. Come and join us for a weekend of world-class music and thought-provoking discussions. 

The Program

V/Line Replacement Coaches

Please note that the Bendigo, Echuca and Swan Hill lines, will have coaches replacing trains from the evening of Friday 3 June to last service Wednesday 29 June 2022.

More information is available on the V/Line website.

Fireworks Volunteers

New WWAF volunteers who are also our Fireworks subcommittee:

L-R – David Rivers (new committee member and Tourism lead), Greg Hayward (Fireworks Co-Ordinator), Jacqueline Ogeil (Founder, Artistic Director of WWAF), Angela Whiteley, Volunteers Co-ordinator.

The fireworks will go ahead in rainy weather.

Woodend Program for 2022

Our program is now live for 2022. Download the program flyer or check out our program page for dates and tickets!


Friday 10 June – Monday 13 June

Fireworks will go ahead for the first time since 2019!
 With a smaller edition of the Festival taking place over the Queen’s birthday long weekend.

(L to R): Acting Principal of Braemar College Michael Horne, WWAF committee member Jane Monk, WWAF Founder/Director Jacqueline Ogeil, Hon Mary-Anne Thomas MP, Minister for Regional Development, Mayor Jennifer Anderson, Peter Dearsley, Manager Regional Operations – Loddon Campaspe, Regional Development Victoria.

The Woodend Winter Arts Festival is the successful recipient of a Regional Community Event Fund grant. This funding will go towards hosting the ever popular fireworks display in the heart of Woodend on Friday 10 June. The fireworks will light up the sky from 6:30pm at Buffalo stadium, with quality entertainment and food vans for everyone to enjoy beforehand. This will be a free event for the community. Being outdoors, it will also be a Covid safe event. WWAF would like to acknowledge the support of the Victorian Government for this grant which makes the fireworks possible.

In light of continued Covid-19 uncertainties, combined with the news that WWAF’s main festival hub, the St Ambrose Hall, is currently out of action due to significant renovations works at St Ambrose School, the Festival committee have decided not to stage a full festival in 2022. As a not-for-profit volunteer organisation, WWAF relies heavily on ticket sales to pay its performers and to cover other operational expenses.

The WWAF committee is not discouraged by this news and have resolved to spend this year strengthening and rebuilding the Festival’s support networks, with a view to coming back stronger and more resilient in 2023.

In addition to the fireworks, the reduced WWAF program for 2022 still has multiple events to get excited about! Highlights include a concert from the Australian Romantic Classic Orchestra performing Schubert; a Michael Dillon film “A little bit Mongolian” with Dean Frenkel teaching throat singing; Ensemble Gombert in concert; and the Sheila Drummond Memorial lecture. The Festival’s school incursions program will also go ahead with the Australian Romantic and Classic Orchestra.

The full program will be launched soon. Keep an eye on the Woodend Winter Arts Festival website, woodendwinterartsfestival.org.au for further details.

We are looking for volunteers to help out over the long weekend. Please email us to indicate your interest for the June Queen’s Birthday long weekend, and areas that you are interested in helping out with. WWAF has held 18 years of Festivals.

Afternoon Jazz with the Melbourne Octet

Join us for a programme of acapella jazz!

2pm, Sunday 3rd April

Much of the repertoire in this programme was written in a period of history that saw recovery from a war and a devastating pandemic followed by the rule of several dictators across the world, mass unemployment, discrimination against and persecution of various groups, and unrest in international relations. Nearly a century later, the world has a disturbingly similar set of circumstances. 

The lighthearted, slightly naughty, uplifting songs of this period were an escapist remedy for the times. Sumptuous harmonies, witty lyrics and cheerful melodies are an excellent distraction for the times we are now in.

The programme:

  • Let’s Misbehave 
  • Dayton, Ohio
  • It Don’t Mean a Thing  if it Ain’t got that Swing
  • Blue Moon 
  • Dream a little Dream of Me 
  • Night and Day 
  • The Girl from Ipanema
  • The Teddy Bears’ Picnic 
  • Tea for two 
  • Begin the Beguine  
  • The Way You Look Tonight  
  • Beyond the Sea
  • Soul Bossa Nova

The Melbourne Octet

The Melbourne Octet was formed with the aim of presenting contemporary works to audiences both in Australia and internationally, as well as familiar, well-loved repertoire. We bring a combined experience in ensemble singing that allows us to explore rarely heard works, and we aim to provide a platform for Australian composers and arrangers.

The Octet is made up of professional voices; regular soloists or chorus in opera, oratorio or jazz, all with a love for eight part harmony.

  • Elspeth Bawden
  • Kristy Biber
  • Helena Ekins
  • Christopher Roache 
  • Anish Nair
  • Timothy Reynold
  • Mitchell Relf
  • Jerzy Kozłowski 

Tickets for this event are available via Trybooking