Monash Youth Music Festival aspires to be a wonderful celebration of music for youth by offering all musical children a valuable and memorable performance experience in choral, ensemble and solo competitions that they want to return to each year.
This major youth music festival in the City of Monash, Victoria Australia, held on the lands of the Wurundjeri People, draws well over a thousand young musicians from all over Melbourne each August to compete in over forty events including Ensemble and Choral competitions, solo competitions and non-competitive music events.
Musicians new to competitions and eisteddfods can enjoy the thrill of performing in front of a warm and appreciative live audience in our non-competitive “Mini Recital” sections.
VCE Music students can also benefit greatly by taking part in the VCE Recitals sections - to perform in front of an audience and to receive valuable feedback from highly qualified adjudicators.
— Zhang Lee
“We have learned a lot from the WME, and kids become loving the music and enjoying all the activities.
Thanks WME for all the hard work they put in, well done! We really appreciate your contribution to the community.
Please support them. Thank you very much indeed.”
Why don't you support our "Music Superstars of the Future" and join our Committee?
The Waverley Music Eisteddfod
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.
2018 was our 40th anniversary year, and we celebrated with a new name - the Monash Youth Music Festival and we have continued to organise music events for youth with choral, ensemble and solo competitions and non-competitive mini recitals for the enjoyment of young musicians of all standards, no matter where they are on their musical journey.
Pre 2020, over 1,000 children and young adults have participated in the Waverley Music Eisteddfod each year with delightful piano, vocal, strings and wind solo performances and magnificent ensemble and choral events.
Our dedicated Committee is now planning our 43rd Monash Youth Music Festival in 2023, because we believe in the importance of music and the valuable experience that only live performance can bring! We provide a stage, and a warm and appreciative audience and every entrant receives a detailed critique from highly qualified music educators.
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 dutifully 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 Howard Friee's name are still offered to this day, namely:
The HOWARD FRIEE MEMORIAL AWARD – awarded to first, second and third placings in the Piano Solo, 18 years & under section.
The HOWARD FRIEE MEMORIAL AWARD FOR CHORAL EXCELLENCE – awarded to the most impressive choir across all the choral sections.
Upon Howard's death, his wife Frances continued on as President.
Mrs Frances Friee
Mrs Frances Friee was undoubtedly the bedrock of the Waverley Music and Dance Eisteddfod in 1978 and after three years, the Waverley Music Eisteddfod. 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 to this day. 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!