APRA AMCOS has introduced two new mentorships for female screen composers. Both provide mentoring and financial assistance over three months and, while one is aimed at television, the other is dedicated to film.
The first will give the recipient an opportunity to work alongside Jay Stewart, composer for numerous television shows, including My Kitchen Rules, The Block, House Rules, Reno Rumble and Channel 7 News. Eight times, he has topped the Screen Music Awards category for Most Performed Composer — Australia. The mentee will spend March-May 2018 in Sydney working with him on a score for a television series and receive $5,000 towards living expenses.
“Creating music for television requires not only an obvious talent for composition, but a unique understanding of the demands of this media. After 15 years as a full-time television composer, I hope to be able to impart some specific insights to assist a young composer sustain a career in this field,” said Mr Stewart.
The second, developed in partnership with the Australian Guild of Screen Composers, will connect the recipient with an established film composer for six mentoring sessions and provide he/she with $4,000 for travel and living expenses.
APRA AMCOS developed the mentorships in response to the publication in April 2017 of Australian Women Screen Composers: Career Barriers and Pathways, a research paper prepared by Dr Catherine Strong and Dr Fabian Cannizzo. It showed that female screen composers, who comprise only 13% of APRA AMCOS’s screen composer membership body, are less likely to:
- achieve a sustainable career
- gain access to fair opportunities
- win professional accolades
Other programs developed by APRA AMCOS to address gender inequality in the music industry include the Emerging Jazz Composer Mentorship administered by SIMA, the National Women Composers Development program administered by Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Women Composers Project administered by Soundstream in partnership with Decibel. Initiatives in the metal and pop music fields will be launched soon.