COVID-19 UPDATES

UPDATE – March 24

This evening the Community Music Programme’s Executive met via video conference to discuss the ongoing situation with COVID-19 and how it impacts upon our wonderful programme. 

From the outset let me assure you that every member of the Executive along with the Conducting Team are devastated that we are unable to make music at this present time. 

However, we must adhere to the state and federal government’s instructions regarding social distancing and the gathering of people.  

After much discussion, it has been decided that the UTCMP will remain in recess until Monday July 26, which is the commencement of Term 3. It breaks our hearts to do this as we all love making music with our friends and colleagues. However, we deeply value our members and your health and safety will always be our priority. It is with this motivation we came to our decision.

Whilst we cannot meet together to make music, I have asked your conductor to remain in contact with you and to provide information on what to practice and what to listen to. They will be in touch shortly.  

With a community spirit and some innovation and resourcefulness, we hope to be able to weather this crisis, find new ways to connect musically and finally rejoice once more in the beauty of music and music-making in our beloved Community Music Programme. 

Stay safe, practice social distancing, but stay close to your instrument and music!

Kind regards,

Stephen King
Musical Director
University of Tasmania Community Music Programme


UPDATE – March 16

Over the last 24-hours, I have been monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19 and as you are no doubt aware of the situation and information are constantly changing.  With the current state of unknown and unrest within the wider community and the predicted increase in cases over the coming weeks, I have made the difficult decision to put the UTCMP into recess for two weeks commencing today.   

Your conductor will be in touch with you over the coming days to provide you with specific practice tasks for the next two weeks.  They will also inform you when your rehearsals will recommence.

Our primary focus is the health and wellbeing of all of our community, and we are taking a proactive approach to ensure that everyone is safe.  The programme’s executive will continue to monitor the situation and be in contact as and when necessary.  

Kind regards,

Stephen King
Musical Director
University of Tasmania Community Music Programme


The situation across the globe regarding COVID-19 is changing rapidly. The dynamic nature of the transmission of the virus and the corresponding responses from Governments means that we must all be flexible in order to adapt to new situations as they arise and/or are thrust upon us, at times with little notice.

There are some basic precautions we can all take to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19 within the UTCMP. It is important that we, as individuals and as an organisation, remain proactive and continue to monitor medical advice and implement new procedures as circumstances demand. Basic hygiene, washing hands with warm water and soap, sneezing and coughing into a tissue or elbow and social distancing, is still being promoted as the best forms of slowing the spread of the virus. In the context of the Community Music Program, this means that playing someone else’s instrument should not occur. People who rent one of the programme’s instruments can rest assured that they are cleaned thoroughly before being rented. When using communal instruments, such as percussion/mallets we recommend that handwashing should occur prior to rehearsal, eating, drinking or touching your face. Members are also encouraged to self-isolate and practice their music at home if they feel unwell – please let your director know if you are self-isolating as they will be able to email let you know what to practice.

Whilst being sensibly proactive, it is also important to maintain perspective on this situation. All of the measures we are adopting are designed to maintain our community’s health and are in line with the University’s guidelines – https://www.utas.edu.au/alerts/coronavirus-update. As you are no doubt aware a member of the University community is currently in isolation on the Newnham campus and the University has been advised by Public Health that the risk to others is low.

The UTCMP Leadership is monitoring the situation closely and will act in accordance with the University’s guidelines and directives. At present, we are still holding all rehearsals, tutorials sessions and performances. If there is a change to our regular sessions, we will contact all members of our programme immediately as the health and well-being of our members is our primary concern. As soon as practical the programme will provide hand sanitiser for members who may wish to use it prior to rehearsals. We will be providing antibacterial wipes for use with percussion instruments/mallets. In the interim, there is a wall-mounted hand sanitiser pump on the wall of the southern corridor of the Auditorium that can be used, and we strongly urge you to wash your hands in warm soapy water for 20-seconds prior to rehearsal.

For further information and points and contact please read the Health Department’s website pertaining to COVID-19 (https://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/…/infectious_diseas…/coronavirus).

Kind regards,

Stephen King
Musical Director
University of Tasmania Community Music Programme