Welcome to Sydney, Australia’s largest and most diverse city, situated on one of the world’s largest natural harbors. The city’s Harbor Bridge and distinctive Opera House are well known around the world, as are nearby sandy beaches, and the picturesque Blue Mountains, which lie to the west. The Gadigal Band of the Eora nation are the traditional owners of the land now occupied by central Sydney, and Aboriginal people have lived in this area for more than 30,000 years. Sydney is home to a large Aboriginal community, including descendants of the original Eora nation. Sydney’s population is more than 4.2 million, nearly half of whom are immigrants, and about a third of whom speak a language other than English at home. This diverse population has enriched the city’s cultural life and is reflected in the broad range of festivals, museums, music and art events, and restaurants found in the area. Sydney offers the best of global food traditions, as well as vibrant and inventive hybrids that have characterized the Australian food scene in the last several decades.
The Sydney Conservatorium, our host for the conference, is the oldest and among the most prestigious music schools in Australia. It is located close to the Royal Botanic Garden, which was established in 1816 and features a collection of plants from Australia and the Pacific region. This area is significant in Aboriginal history, having been home to indigenous people into the 1840s. It was also the site of protests against government policy relating to indigenous people from the 1930s onward. The Royal Botanic Garden recognizes this rich and complex history, offering tours that highlight Aboriginal Heritage as part of its official programming. The Museum of Sydney and the Art Gallery of New South Wales are also nearby the Conservatorium, as is the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. The Ferry terminals at Circular Quay lie to the west of the Opera House, and the district known as The Rocks is a little further west.
In assembling the program for this conference, the program committee has sought to reflect the vibrancy and diversity of our host city. We have chosen a diverse range of papers and presentations that balance a focus on local Australian and global topics as well as multiple interpretations of the conference theme of indigeneity. Topics include nation building, indigenous music making, new approaches to music teaching, and cross-cultural interactions of many kinds. We have also planned several performances of new music by CMS composers.
For more information about the history, culture and dining in the area visit these useful links.
Gillian M. Rodger
Program Chair, 2017 CMS International Conference