Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams has been named Artistic Co-Director of the ASPIRE International Youth Music Festival, which will take place in July 2019 on the Gold Coast. The Founding Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of The Metropolitan Orchestra, which is based in Sydney, will join composer and conductor Sean O’Boyle at the helm of the festival for its second iteration, following the inaugural festival in 2017.

Sarah-Grace Williams, AspireSarah-Grace Williams. Photo: supplied

“The ASPIRE International Youth Music Festival provides young musicians the opportunity to compete, hone skills, and connect with like-minded peers from around the world,” Williams said. “Sharing these experiences with an audience and in front of globally recognised adjudicators opens young minds to new opportunities, creates pathways to future possibilities, and raises aspirations for all involved. That’s why I am so thrilled to be the ASPIRE Co-Director for 2019.”

A Churchill Fellow, Williams was honoured for her contributions to music and the community with the Chancellor’s Leadership Alumni Award by Western Sydney University last year and has conducted the Queensland, Adelaide, West Australian and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Bangalow Festival Chamber Orchestra, Australian Concert Orchestra, Queensland Music Festival, and Southern Cross Soloists among others.

“We are honoured to have someone of her calibre, with pioneering spirit at the helm in the Artistic Co-Directorship role,” Festival Founder Jamie Wansey said.

The ASPIRE festival, a competition, is open to secondary schools in Australia, New Zealand and around the world in the sections of concert bands, orchestras, choirs and jazz bands. It also offers masterclass, workshop and performance opportunities.

The 2019 ASPIRE International Youth Music Festival will be held on the Gold Coast July 17 – 20

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