Eda Ritchie shares why she chooses to support the Centre’s Learning & Access program.
Eda was the founding chair of the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, was a board member of Moyne Health Services and the Australian National Maritime Museum, and chairwoman of Rural Ambulance Victoria. She is always doing her best to be an active member of her local community.
"I see voluntary and philanthropic work as a necessary element in society in bridging the gap that government cannot cover."
With only 26% of funding coming from government, Melbourne Recital Centre relies on philanthropic support to bring to life one of its key programming areas: Learning & Access. This program helps to share the music by offering high quality music and learning opportunities to people from all walks of life.
I remember the excitement for the fact that a recital centre was going to be built. There was a big gap in this area (we needed a performance space for about 1000 people). Watching it being built was exciting, and having friends involved with the funding of it, with the building of it, with the engineering of it gave me an understanding of what was going on. As a music lover it was something we were looking forward to greatly. When the Melbourne Recital Centre first opened, I came as often as I could!
I come from and live in the country. I understand how difficult it is for country people to have access to beautiful music. That’s why I think the ability to send our live music out to the country is very exciting and I know it will be greatly appreciated. Additionally, now that the quality of musical recording is so high, making well-recorded music experiences available online can also be incredibly exciting. I was delighted to be involved in setting up the Mary Vallentine Limitless Stage Fund, which seeks to make possible projects like the recording and digital broadcast of music programs for children and/or older adults, Local Heroes concerts and new music commissioned by the Centre. ON DIGITAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR MUSIC EDUCATION AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF YOUNG ARTISTS
I think the Centre’s digital platform is a wonderful tool for music teachers, and a wonderful opportunity for young people to hear music of a very high standard. The Centre’s Accelerando program really looks after some very talented young people, but there are many out who don’t get that opportunity, and the challenge is going to be ‘how do we take it to them?’. That’s where the Centre’s digital project comes in.
I would say donating to Melbourne Recital Centre is a wonderful opportunity to support musical learning and access. These programs bring young people in to hear music at the Centre and send music out of the Centre and into our community, especially to older people and people facing other barriers. I think most people are keen to support wellbeing in some form and make an impact with their giving. By supporting Melbourne Recital Centre, you are supporting wellbeing. Your gift is about inclusion, it’s about support, it’s about education, it’s about shared experiences.
The Centre’s Learning and Access program provides ticket and transport subsidies, bringing children and adults facing disadvantage into the Centre to experience music, often for the first time. The program also shares music out into the community in aged care facilities, though regional touring, high-quality online recordings available for school music programs, and more. These activities are supported by tax-deductible donations of $2 or more - anyone can support Learning & Access, just like Eda.