SWOT Analysis of Amateur Chamber Music

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Strengths

  • Musicians associated with Amateur Chamber Music Society range from amateurs through to professional instrumentalists.
  • ACMS holds a 3-day music camp annually and we engage several professional musicians as tutors for these camps. The camps attract in excess of 100 amateur musicians. Instruments include a mix of strings, wind and piano.
  • ACMS holds chamber music playing days regularly throughout the year. These are held in Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra. We engage professional musicians as tutors for these events.
  • Members of ACMS perform in monthly concerts that raises funds for a neighbourhood centre in Sydney.
  • ACMS has a membership of about 400. Most of our members are in Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra.
  • Amateur chamber music making has a great impact on the musical lives of those involved. There is an atmosphere of “bon homie” when ACMS members meet at chamber music concerts (such as Musica Viva, Australia Ensemble, Australian Chamber Orchestra).
  • Costs of the society are kept low.
  • The intake process for ACMS includes a self-grading assessment tool that includes sight reading as a criterion. Thus new players are assessed fairly and players of similar levels of ability play together. 
  • ACMS has an extensive sheet music library covering a wide range of chamber music.

Weaknesses

  • Activities tend to be limited to Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra. Smaller societies function in Adelaide and Melbourne, though there appears to be little activity in Western Australia, Northern Territory or Tasmania to our knowledge.
  • Distribution of information on amateur chamber music making relies on word of mouth or internet search.
  • ACMS has tried some contemporary Australian composers but has found the accessibility of this music can be difficult for amateurs.
  • The society is organised on a user-pays basis.

Opportunities

  • Advertising of chamber music events occurs within the ACMS as well as outside of this society.
  • The model used by ACMS for its organization has spread to the UK. The ACMS were inspired to form from a similar society in the USA but has developed differently.

Threats

  • ACMS rely on the generosity of a small number of educational institutions to let out their premises for playing days at quite nominal rates. If this is to change, this could be a threat to the playing days.

Author

Judith Mitchell on behalf of the Amateur Chamber Music Society. Submitted 28 March 2008.

Updated: Julian Dresser and Susan Reid, on behalf of ACMS. Submitted July 2017

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