The Monash Youth Music Festival, which was known as the Waverley Music Eisteddfod from 1979 to 2018, is an annual music festival held over two weeks in August in the City of Monash, Victoria, Australia. The Volunteer Committee runs around 40 music events, catering for a wide range of young musicians. The first Waverley Music and Dance Eisteddfod started in a very small way, but gradually expanded with new sections such as school choirs, vocal solos and instrumental competitions. The Waverley Music Eisteddfod grew to become a successful, prestigious and vibrant part of Melbourne's cultural calendar.
The Waverley Music Eisteddfod was established in 1978 by Councillor Howard Friee and his piano teacher wife, Frances..
Mr Howard Friee
L. Howard Friee JP served the City of Waverley dutifully as Councillor from 1971 until his tragic death in 1986.
L. Howard Friee JP served the City of Waverley as Mayor 1976-1977, and was a Councillor from 1971 until his tragic death in 1986. His love of music was displayed as a church organist. During that time, Howard with his piano teacher wife Frances, had a vision to give the city a premier music eisteddfod on par with those of the cities of Dandenong, Footscray, Mordialloc, Manningham, Hawthorn, Brighton and Ringwood.
Howard co-founded the Waverley Music and Dance Eisteddfod in 1978 with Frances. Howard and Frances worked tirelessly for an entire year, seeking sponsors and volunteers, and organising the competitions. Prizes in his name are still offered in a piano section and the Choral Excellence Award.
Upon Howard's death, his wife Frances continued on as President.
Mrs Frances Friee
Frances was a founding member of the Waverley Music and Dance Eisteddfod in 1978, which became Waverley Music Eisteddfod after 3 years. Upon the death of her husband, Howard, in 1986 (co-founder of the Eisteddfod) Frances became President for the next 21 years, retiring at the end of 2007 (29 years in all).
Her many artistic pursuits included studying voice, singing in the Church choir, and teaching piano. Encouraging young people in music with prizes in her name are still being offered to young pianists. Her skills in calligraphy were appreciated in the certificates presented.
A Memorial service to Frances' life was held at the Uniting Church, Mt Waverley, on 11 May 2019. She will be long remembered for her love of music and community involvement.
We have continued Howard and Frances Friee's vision to this day to offer one of the last remaining eisteddfods in Melbourne. To acknowledge the historical ties with our local Council and the continued support of the City of Monash, we changed our name to the Monash Youth Music Festival during our 40th anniversary year.
We honour the name of our founders, Cr Howard Friee and Mrs Frances Friee, by continuing the following awards:
The Howard Friee Award for Piano Solo (18 Years and Under)
The Howard Friee Memorial Trophy for Choral Excellence
The Frances Friee Piano Scholarship (12 to 14 years, one piece from the Baroque or Classical periods)
Mrs Jennifer (Jenny) Boyle
Mrs Jennifer Boyle was elected as Secretary of the Waverley Music Eisteddfod in 1981. She worked tirelessly in that capacity for the next 31 years, plus one year as Sponsorship Coordinator - a staggering 32 years in all. Her diligence and dedication was deeply appreciated by everyone.
Jenny's ability to structure and organise all the sections across the Eisteddfod was legendary, being able to draw up the intricate roster freehand, and from memory without missing a section!
In Mrs Jennifer Boyle's honour, we hold the annual Jennifer Boyle Memorial Award for the Vocal Solo, 15 years to 18 years, generously donated by the family of Mrs Jennifer Boyle.
Our Festival Patrons
Keith and Karolee Jones, long-time committee members of the Waverley Music Eisteddfod, have been honoured as patrons of the Monash Youth Music Festival.
Mrs Karolee Jones
Karolee started as a prospective committee member of the Eisteddfod in 1982, then joined the committee as Piano Registrar in 1983. Karolee held that position for the next 34 years. In that time she also acted as Secretary for two years.
Mr Keith Jones
Keith was a ‘silent’ worker for many years coordinating the Eisteddfod Schedule and Program, before joining the Committee in 2008, when he served as President for the next 3 years. Keith remained on the Committee for 10 years.
Their dedication and tireless service to the Waverley Music Eisteddfod was much appreciated, and to our delight, they have both rejoined the Committee, and are active members to this day!
Will you join us?
The Monash Youth Music Festival is run by the Waverley Music Eisteddfod Inc Committee, a committee of dedicated volunteers.
Do something for your community - why not join our Committee? It's fun and very rewarding. No experience is necessary at all, just a willingness to help.
Go on - contact us today to see how you can help!