WWAF 2021

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

Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra

We look forward to seeing you at WWAF 10th – 13th June 2022.

WWAF continues to reflect, regroup and evolve during COVID.

We will see you in 2022.

Be sure to check this webpage for updates, join our mailing list and keep the Queen’s birthday long weekend free.

June 10 – 13, 2022

We would like to thank the Macedon Ranges Shire Council for their support.
Keep safe.

WWAF 2021 – Words & Ideas with Barry Jones

Delighting Daphne – online with Davide Monti & Maria Cleary

Join us this week at the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall

7pm, Thursday 26 August.

We were thrilled when the opportunity came up for Delighting Daphne – the online event created for this year’s Festival by Arparla (Davide Monti, violin and Maria Christina Cleary on harp) to be a part of one of Melbourne’s newest concert venues – the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall. This is an initiative we can get behind as it provides a way to support artists and performers right now, with so many options to help get you through this lockdown (and any to come).

This isn’t just a concert, this is a tour of an extraordinary 16th century Villa Verita Fraccaroli in Verona, Italy. Tickets are just $24.

To book your tickets please visit the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall website.

This performance was made possible by the support of Culture Ireland.

Woodend Winter Arts Festival cancelled.

We didn’t want this to happen – but who did? We’re so sorry Festival fans, but we just can’t have our final fling this weekend due to the extended Melbourne lockdown. We are beyond sad to end the 2021 WWAF so abruptly, but most of our performers for this weekend are from Melbourne. You can see our problem!

All ticketholders are being contacted directly by email and will be refunded (unless they advise us they prefer to donate their ticket price). If you have queries, you can contact us on woodendwinterarts@gmail.com

Meanwhile, any chance you get, please support the artists – the performers, musicians, writers and creatives everywhere – whenever and wherever you can.

We’ll take a bit of time to recover from our disappointment and look forward to putting our energy and our hope in 2022.

Woodend Winter Arts Festival postponed.

The Woodend Winter Arts Festival has been postponed until the 21st-22nd August due to the announcement of lockdown.

Should you no longer be able to attend the event, please contact us via email for a refund at woodendwinterarts@gmail.com. As we have volunteers working behind the scenes we appreciate your patience and will endeavour to process refunds as soon as possible.

We are sorry for any disappointment caused but hope you are able to join us in two weeks time for a wonderful weekend of music and art.

A Little Bit Mongolian – slightly delayed due to restrictions

This event will be delayed by some weeks until the restrictions allow for singing indoors by the audience. All ticket holders have received information and as soon as the new date is confirmed, information will be sent to all ticket holders. We hope it will only be a matter of a few weeks until we can safely hold this event.

Delighting Daphne – online with Davide Monti & Maria Cleary

We are delighted to bring you a special on-line performance and virtual tour presented exclusively for WWAF by Davide Monti & Maria Cleary. Your ticket allows you to watch the performance until 11 August and be transported to an Italian villa through the beautiful integration of music, architecture, and art. This project is supported by Culture Ireland.

Use Google Chrome for best results with logging in and viewing the on-demand performance.

A ticket is $15 and you can then watch this at home with the account that you used to buy your ticket. A perfect way to spend an evening! Once you have bought your ticket, you can watch the performance immediately. If you wish to log in later, after you’ve bought a ticket, instructions are here.

Festival contingency plans

Our festival contingency plans were designed for this current eventuality 

When planning for a future Festival in this new Covid era, the eventuality of what is now happening was central to our thinking. This year’s Covid-cautious festival was planned with potential snap lock downs in mind and how these would impact on us logistically, artistically and of course, financially.

This was the thinking behind reducing the number of events, as you see in our current program, and why we decided to have additional event days over the winter months from May until August.

It is also the rationale behind showcasing smaller ensembles, featuring Victorian artists, using less physical infrastructure, and sadly why we are not using a grand piano or featuring the piano in the concerts this year, nor our popular fireworks. Our one-hour events with no interval have now been adopted at the safe way to program in these times.

As we reminisce over what WWAF was, we see this as an opportunity to reimagine WWAF and improvise around our former jam-packed festival model.  Restrictions become opportunity. And more than ever we all value live performance, live discussions, a sense of community and interaction, and visiting the beautiful Macedon Ranges. It is worth waiting for – stay posted to our social media and website for regular updates. 

We are still planning to proceed on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend with all our Covid cleaning and spacing in place, assuming events are allowed to return after the one-week lockdown. If the lockdown is extended then we will move our events to the weekends we have already tagged for future events (10-11 July and 7-8 August), and will consider an additional extension to September if needed.  

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our supporters including Visit Victoria, Macedon Ranges Shire Council and St Ambrose Parish, my volunteer committee for working against the odds since our fateful meeting on the 14 March 2020 when we first had to defer the 2020 festival, and a special thank-you to our Festival Manager Irene O’Duffy who has been working so hard behind the scenes.

Keep well and look to the arts for inspiration!

Jacky Ogeil
Artistic Director, WWAF

PS: Remember we have a flexible ticketing policy, so that if you are sick or are required to quarantine, or if any dates are changed and they don’t suit you, you can transfer to another event or request a refund before the event. You can read more about our Covid-safe procedures on our website.

Inaugural Sheila Drummond Memorial Lecture

Barry Jones will present the inaugural memorial lecture at this year’s festival.

Sheila and Don Drummond have been the curators of the literary program of WWAF since its inception. More recently they had turned their efforts to a Words and Ideas format.

From its inception, the Words and Ideas part of the Woodend Winter Arts Festival was designed to bring to the wider community the opportunity to hear prominent keynote speakers and discuss issues important to our country and its region. It has proved to be a popular forum, proof of a wide general community interest in  matters of general political, social and economic concern.

As a result, some of Australia’s best minds on the subject have come to the Macedon Ranges to speak and now we welcome Australia’s most loved and well known public intellectual Barry Jones.

A world-première performance

A very special event for 2021 as John O’Donnell gives the first performance of his edition of the original version of Bach’s Art of Fugue. Published in December 2020 by the new European imprint Lyrebird Music, this is the first-ever publication of the first version of this work, of which Bach made a fair copy in 1742. At this stage it was a complete work in twelve movements, lasting a little under an hour. This will be the world première of the original Die Kunst der Fuga. Prior to the concert (at 10am), a free lecture will give a demonstration of the working methods of a musical sleuth and an insight into Bach’s compositional processes as revealed in the fair copy of this work and its subsequent revisions.

Details about the concert here.