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ANNUAL WORKSHOP 2019: "The Way the Wind Blows"

in an Island Paradise

View of Function and Restaurant Building at Amaroo

View of Function and Restaurant Building at Amaroo


The North Queensland Recorder Society usually holds an annual weekend workshop to develop the recorder playing and ensemble skills of both members and visitors. For 2019, it will again be a special residential one on Magnetic Island but this year at another wonderful venue Amaroo on Mandalay Avenue in Nelly Bay. Amaroo has two functions rooms for our use, a restaurant, bar, lovely pool and ample accommodation all set in lush tropical gardens.

Aerial View of Amaroo on Mandalay Ave

Aerial View of Amaroo on Mandalay Avenue Relative to Nelly Bay Harbour and Ferry Terminal

Photo of Ruth Wilkinson with recorders

Workshop Leader: Ruth Wilkinson

We are delighted to have the hugely popular Ruth Wilkinson from Melbourne as our lead tutor. This is her fifth time with us and she is well-known to Armidale participants and music students at the University of Melbourne. Ruth's specialty is baroque music and gives many such concerts playing recorder or viola da gamba. See for more information.

Photo of Ryan Williams with recorder

Supporting Tutor

Ryan Williams from Melbourne will be supporting Ruth Wilkinson. Ryan, a graduate of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music is well known to as a tutor to participants at the Orpheus Recorder Workshops since 2016. Find out all about him here:

Theme: The Way the Wind Blows.

Ruth says: “Bring your recorders to this island paradise where we will work together to find a common sound exploring music which reflects our daily lives from a piece about fresh straws 13th century Paris through the centuries to contemporary Australia. There will be music for all levels of player which will be challenging and enticing. You will make new recorder friends and will enjoy making music in a relaxed and unique environment bathed by gentle breezes. Music that reflects our daily lives.”

Provisional Schedule

The main programme is on Saturday and Sunday 13 and 14 July 2019. There is an informal get-together on the evening of Friday 12 July 2019. Below is a provisional timetable based on the one for 2018.

Date, Time Event
Friday 12 July
6:00pm-7:00pm Registration and Informal Dining
7:00pm-8:30pm Let's Make a Start: all together session so people can get to know one another.
Saturday 13 July
9:00am-9:30am Warm-up
9:30am-11:00am All Together Recorder Orchestra.
11:00am-11:30am Morning tea
11:30am-1:00pm Separate Group Sessions: beginner/intermediate and advanced.
1:00pm-2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm-3:00pm Special Session with Ruth.
3:00pm-3:30pm Afternoon tea
3:30pm-5:00pm All together Recorder Orchestra with Ruth and Ryan.
6:00pm Dinner
Evening Ruth and Ryan will provide music for people who might want to form smaller groups. They are happy to work with people who find themselves adrift and want an organised group.
Sunday 14 July
8:45am-9:00am Warm-up
9:00am-10:30am Separate Group Sessions: beginner/intermediate and advanced.
10:30am-10:50am Morning tea
10:50am-12:15pm All Together Recorder Orchestra.
12:30pm-1:00pm Performance
1:00pm End of Formal Programme

Workshop Fee and Registration

The workshop is now (8 May 2019) fully subscribed so we are not accepting any more registrations.


The accommodation consists mainly of single-story, motel-style units in blocks of six arranged on either side of the pool and restaurant-function room building. See here for photos of different types of rooms. Some of us stayed here for the 2018 workshop in Arcadia and can recommend them.

View of Typical Accommodation Block

View of Typical Accommodation Block with Six Rooms.

Standard prices start at $110 per night for a double room. Amaroo has offered workshop participants a discount of 10% but to get this you will need to make your own bookings with Amaroo either by phone 07 4778 5200 or by email rather than by booking through internet agencies.


The restaurant serves breakfast and dinner and we shall probably arrange for lunch platters for a modest per person amount as we did in 2018. There is also a barbecue area which we can use and there are cafés and restaurants within walking distance (less than 1km). The rooms have kitchenettes so you may choose to provide your own breakfasts - there is an IGA supermarket at the Ferry Terminal and a Foodworks on Sooning St at the Nelly Bay end of Mandalay Ave (below).

Map of eating places and food shops close by

Map of Nelly Bay: 4min is the Time to Drive from the Ferry Terminal.

Getting There

Amaroo is 1.4km from the Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal at Nelly Bay. Ferries run regularly from the Sealink Terminal in Townsville to Nelly Bay and the connecting buses from the Nelly Bay Ferry Terminal to Picnic Bay stop right outside Amaroo. Visit the Sealink website for the ferry timetable. Here is a pdf of the bus timetable. Amaroo has a courtesy bus and will collect guests from the Ferry Terminal - easier than taking the bus with luggage.

The Wildlife

The gardens at Amaroo naturally attract plenty of wildlife. As well as Blue-winged Kookaburras, Bush Stone-Curlews ("Curlews" in North Queensland) and Agile Wallabies, you may be lucky enough to spot a Koala. The National Park walking trail to Arcadia which starts at the northwestern end of Mandalay Avenue is worth investigating if you have time before or after the workshop.

Blue-winged Kookaburra waiting to be fed

The Local Birds, such as this Patient Blue-winged Kookaburra, are Accustomed to Being Fed.

Contact Details and Information

RADF Funding

The North Queensland Recorder Society gratefully acknowledges the generous funding provided by the Regional Arts Development Fund for this workshop.

The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and the Townsville City Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Logo for Regional Arts Development Fund