Caroline Almonte Recognised for Pianistic Excellence

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Melbourne pianist Caroline Almonte has won the Excellence in Classical Music Award in this year’s Australian Women in Music Awards, which were announced at Brisbane’s Powerhouse on 9 October. This award, one of 15 that celebrate the achievements of women in the Australian music industry, recognises female classical musicians in their mid-to-late careers who have demonstrated musical excellence throughout their careers.

A most deserving winner, Almonte has one of the most impressive records of any of Australia’s concert pianists. In 1992 she won the Keyboard section of the ABC Young Performer’s Awards in which year 1992, and she took out first prize at the International Chamber Music Competition in Trieste with violinist Miki Tsunoda in 1999. She appears frequently on stage both as a soloist and in a chamber music capacity, In the latter capacity having collaborated with such figures as soprano Yvonne Kenny, violinists Sarah Chang and Daniel Hope, and cellists Ralph Kirschbaum and Pieter Wispelway.

On staff at the University of Melbourne, Almonte is a highly sought-after teacher and has made a very substantial contribution to music education. This has seen her work with the Australian Youth Orchestra, Melbourne Youth Orchestras, AMEB and give many teacher workshops. Through her numerous recordings in the AMEB Piano Series, she has been an inspiration to thousands of young pianists around Australia.

Congratulations Caroline, a much loved accompanist for the Herald Sun Aria at Royal South Street.

PEOPLE’S CHOICE VOTING 2019 Royal South Street Hour

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1 FOLLOW this page (bonus points if you message the page with “I am voting for (name)” = 10 bonus points per page. EG like/follow and message all 4 pages below = 40 points).
2 Like/love performer’s post = 1 point
3 Leave a comment = 3 points
4 SHARE the post with as many as you can = 5 points per share
You will find posts on all of these pages:
1 Join Spreaker for free
2 Follow SwitchOn Youth Radio’s station via
3 PLAY podcast 1 play = 1 vote
4 LIKE the podcast (click on heart) = 1 vote
5 MOST IMPORTANTLY COMMENT on podcast = 20 bonus points if you FOLLOW SwitchOn Radio’s STATION or just 1 vote for non-followers
Three RSS Hour performers from the 2019 Spring Season on Music Matters National radio show will be chosen by popular vote to perform a festive song from any culture of their choosing, on the RSS Hour End of Year Special live-to-air. All three winning People’s Choice RSS Hour performers will also be invited to open the 2020 Season of the Royal South Street Hour on Music Matters Radio to be held 4-5pm Sunday 2nd Feb 2019 live-to-air 94.1fm 3WBC – rebroadcast nationally. This radio show is broadcast on numerous stations across Australia, plus 4 times per month on Funky Kids Radio, which in turn is streamed on over 12 platforms such as TuneIn, My Tuner etc around the world, reaching a very wide global audience. Each RSS Hour People’s Choice Winner will receive a prize pack valued at $185 including video/audio & podcast AV pack of their interview/performance, photos and RSS Hour Spring Season award certificate. The overall winner will be invited to be the opening act at the VICTORIA HAS TALENT CHARITY CONCERT at Box Hill Town Hall on Saturday evening 14th December. Tickets available here – we’d love to see you there!

2019 Grand National Eisteddfod

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The 128th Royal South Street Society Eisteddfod for 2019 closed on the 2nd November.  During its open season it ran for 97 days in 8 different venues around Ballarat, covering 15 separate disciplines and over 5,500 performances.  Thank you to every competitor, every audience member, all our wonderful sponsors and donors, and every single fabulous volunteer, without all of you we would not have an Eisteddfod.

Keep an eye out for news of our 2020 Eisteddfod.


Australian Calisthenics Competition 2019

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We are already 1/2 way through this amazing competition.  The Seniors, Inters, Tinies, Graceful Girls and Solos all entertained us over the last two weeks with their incredible performances.  Congratulations to all those that competed.  This week we are being entertained by the talented young sub-juniors, come and watch these beautiful performers and show them your support.

Guide Books

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The Debating, Pianoforte and Speech & Drama Guide Book is now available. Pre-purchased books through Stardom are currently being posted out. They can also be purchased on our website in our SHOP or at our office in Eureka House.

Closing Dates for Entries have been extended.

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Due to the timing of school holidays and public holidays we have decided to extend the closing date from the 26th April to the 12th May.

For competitors who have already entered this will mean they can also amend or add to their entries up to the 12th May.

This excludes Calisthenics and does not effect disciplines that have a later closing date for entries; e.g. Mi Sound, Herald Sun Aria and The Arts For All.

Mi Sound Update

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Showbiz Cinema’s Mi Sound has a new venue for 2019!

We will now be presenting music in the vibrant atmosphere of the Hop Temple, Armstrong St North, this September where our musicians will be able to perform to the regular patrons of this business.  The Hop Temple is in the centre of the Ballarat CBD, nestled among a number of restaurants and other vibrant businesses – so your musicians will have the opportunity to engage with a diverse audience through the day and into the evening.

Whats Showbiz Cinemas Mi Sound you might ask?

This is a special section of the Royal South Street Eisteddfod for students who are doing VET Music performance (2nd year) or VCE Music performance (solo or group).

It is NOT a competition.

The students have the opportunity to perform a full 20 minute set. We have an experienced VCE / VCE VET assessor providing critical feedback based on the exam criteria so students have the opportunity to fine-tune those last minute aspects of their performance before the exam.  Students also receive access to a showreel which they can use to see how they look on stage and possibly use for promotional purposes.

Whens Showbiz Cinemas Mi Sound on?

Grab your diaries.
Showbiz Cinema’s Mi Sound is on from Wednesday September 11 until Friday September 13.

We can have 7 performances between 10am and 2.30pm and 8 sessions between 3.30pm – 8.30pm each day.

We are limited to 42 performances over the 3 days, so it is important to register your students as soon as possible.

Showbiz Cinemas Mi Sound performances

Showbiz Cinema’s Mi Sound is about students presenting a performance to an audience in an authentic industry context. It can be any context (not necessarily directed specifically to an audience in a bar!).  It’s not just playing your instrument or singing.  Students MUST engage the audience as though it is a real show – ready to take on the road.

How to register for Showbiz Cinemas Mi Sound

Registrations are open no at the Royal South Street website.  You’ll be directed to the Stardom booking system.  If you’ve had students performing at Showbiz Cinema’s Mi Sound previously (or in other RSSS section) you’ll probably know the drill.  But if you’re short on time or experience, just call the RSSS office on (03) 5332 1054 and they’ll happily organize the registration.

Then what?

Once you’ve registered, you’ll need to head over to the Showbiz Cinema’s Mi Sound page of the RSSS website and download the relevant documents.  My Sound Production students will be managing the audio and stage under the fantastic supervision of Rex Hardware and Shobana Sebastian – both with extensive experience in live sound.  As Showbiz Cinema’s Mi Sound is the Sound Production students’ major assessment in live sound and stage management, they will need information about each performance.  Additionally, each performance is introduced to the audience and a detailed Industry Statement needs to be provided for the announcer.

The following documents need to be completed and returned to David Santamaria by the following dates:

–          Mi Sound Gig info sheet (Monday May 13, extension to this date is available if required)

–          Mi Sound Explain performance (Friday July 19)

–          Mi Sound stage plan (Friday July 19)

–          Mi Sound Terms & Conditions (Friday July 19)

There are also other important docs on the web page to inform you of the following:

–          Mi Sound backline.  We provide a 5 piece drum kit, 2 guitar amps, bass amp, keyboard amp and a full FOH PA system with a 4 way foldback.  Performer need to bring music stands if they are being used, along with keyboard stands and (of course) their instruments.

–          Mi Sound Criteria sheet.  This explains to the students the areas in which they will be critiqued and given feedback.

–          Mi Sound Hop Temple stage & location.  This provides students with the dimensions of the stage & floor performance space, along with how to get to the venue & parking options.

–          Mi Sound preparing for the Gig.  This is a document regarding aspects of the performance requirements, such as if sheet music needs to be provided, use of backing tracks, and other performance notes

–          Mi Sound Special Conditions.  This has due dates for provision of documents and other aspects of the section which is read in conjunction with other RSSS performance conditions.

We look forward to another year of fabulous performances by VCE Music, VCE VET Music performance and other suitable musicians in September.

Oh, and don’t forget, if students or their parents are staying overnight in Ballarat at any time through the year, our sponsor – Showbiz Cinemas in Delacome – is a great venue to watch the latest movies.


South Street will be back in Her Majesty’s Theatre in 2019

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Will South Street be back in the theatre in 2019 has been the burning question since the theatre closed in December 2017.

Well, the answer is yes!

The resoration and safety works are at this point in time progressing very well with Nicholson Construction working to a July deadline.  So our intention is to have the Victorian Band Championships, Choral, Freemasons Festival of Bands and Strings, Energetiks Dance and CommBank Calisthenics back on the famous raked stage this year.

Show your support for Her Maj by supporting our petition as we lobby Canberra for an extra $5m to fully complete the upgrade, sign up at

Entries Open March 18th