CQCM accepts online auditions year-round. The Conservatorium operates in Term 1 and Term 2 of the university calendar for the Diploma of Music, Bachelor of Music and the Bachelor of Theatre.
Our Conservatorium of Music takes pride in its friendly atmosphere and helpful understanding staff. Our aim is to make the admission process as simple and straight forward as possible.
Auditions for the Diploma of Music, Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Theatre are now open.
Applying for entry into one of our courses is a four-step process.
- Applicants new to our University should complete and submit a course application to a Tertiary Admission Centre (TAC). TACs receive and process applications for admission to courses on behalf of many tertiary institutions in each state. Check to see if you are eligible to submit a Direct Application.
- Complete and submit the online application form. Ensure you complete all boxes marked with a red asterisk (*) as your application cannot be processed without providing this information.
- Prior to your audition, email a copy of your artistic resume to email@example.com. Your artistic resume should include the following:
- performance history (including workshops and masterclasses)
- relevant awards, certificates, licenses or diplomas (e.g., AMEB, RAD)
- any evidence of community or volunteer work
- contact information
- For those applying for music theatre or drama only you will also need to supply a doctor’s certificate. The doctor’s certificate should state you:
- are fit and healthy
- have no pre-existing conditions that may prevent you from doing any required medium to high aerobic dance and stage activities
- have no pre-existing conditions that may affect your ability to sing or use your voice.
Attend a live audition in Mackay or Cairns or submit an online audition. Please view our Audition Guidelines to assist with your preparation.
International students wanting to apply to CQCM must check the English entry and academic requirements. Further information can be found on our International pages:
Online auditions are accepted anytime for the Diploma of Music, Bachelor of Music and the Bachelor of Theatre for a Term 1 and Term 2 start. Face-to-face auditions held in Mackay and Cairns will be arranged after the Audition Request Form has been submitted. Videoconferencing platforms, such as zoom can also be used to present an audition and this should be communicated to the Audition Administrator if it is your chosen option.
To submit an audition via a YouTube channel you must ensure:
- Your audition is filmed in an appropriate rehearsal or performance space, so you get the best quality image and sound.
- You are fully visible in the camera frame and your hand (instrumentalists) and torso (singers) are clearly visible.
- You begin the audition by giving your name, age and state why you want to study at CQUniversity in Australia.
- If you upload your audition to a YouTube channel you must email the link to audition administrator. All audition materials must meet the same requirements as in-person auditions.
For each of the courses and their specialisations there are varying audition requirements. Please find these below:
In 1989 the Queensland Conservatorium of Music established a regional campus in Mackay to deliver tertiary music courses and support the well-established vibrant performing arts community in Central Queensland. Providing a focal point for professional performance training in classical music, jazz, popular music, drama, music theatre and technical well-established vibrant performing arts community theatre, the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music (CQCM) was incorporated into CQUniversity in 1996.
The CQCM has produced some of Australia's most experienced professional performers and continues to provide a focal point for professional performing training in classical music, jazz, popular music, drama, music theatre and technical theatre.
Online auditions are accepted year-round, with our on-campus and distance academic programs operating in Term 1 and Term 2 of the university calendar. You will be encouraged to take your music and theatre skills to the highest levels. You will learn from award-winning staff and industry professionals who support and encourage you to extend your limits, broaden your outlook and seek out new possibilities in pursuing excellence in music and theatre.
The CQCM at CQUniversity's Mackay Ooralea campus has an exciting, vibrant, and diverse annual events calendar featuring some exceptionally talented performers, teachers, theatre directors and scholars. Enabling us to showcase the skills and talents of our music and theatre students and staff as well as visiting stars and touring performing artists, the Conservatorium hosts approximately 100 performances each year. These performances range from full musical theatre productions to drama productions and plays, children's theatre, jazz performances, recitals, concerts, and community events. Supported by the Conservatorium Friends, our events program makes an important contribution to the local community and provides a professional platform for students to perform in public while they are preparing for a career in the performing arts.
Using our innovative distance education model, you can study music wherever you are and whatever your circumstances. The CQCM courses in music allow you to achieve your dreams and study music on your terms. The CQCM is also proud to partner with the Riverina Conservatorium (Wagga Wagga), the Mitchell Conservatorium (Bathurst), the Murray Conservatorium (Albury) and the Macquarie Conservatorium (Dubbo) to deliver the Diploma of Music and Bachelor of Music, supporting excellence in tertiary music education across regional New South Wales.
Community engagement is at the heart of all the activities at CQCM, and our projects in community safety have been recognised with local, national and international awards. The Safety Circus and Choices projects are delivered annually in partnership with the Queensland Police Service and other government authorities and private foundations including the Daniel Morecombe Foundation. These touring theatre shows are performed by CQCM students in primary and secondary schools throughout central and north Queensland, and contain messages about personal safety, road safety, and drug and alcohol education, all within a theatrical framework.
The CQCM runs several education activities for school students that will help prepare them for a future in music or theatre. These include:
- Conservatorium Academy
- Schools Jazz Festival
- Music Theatre Summer School
The CQCM is proud of its reputation for providing a supportive, nurturing and friendly environment for exceptional students to work with prized staff in our fully equipped, professional theatre, studios and teaching spaces.
In 2001, CQCM moved to a purpose-built facility at CQUniversity's Mackay Ooralea campus cementing our commitment to being a major performing arts training centre attracting students from all states of Australia and overseas.
Since then, the Conservatorium has established industry partnerships with many of Australia's most experienced professional performers, theatre directors and agents, as well as links with international artists, producers, directors and performing arts organisations contributing to its current national and international status.
The Conservatorium has an exciting, vibrant and diverse annual events calendar featuring some exceptionally talented performers, teachers, theatre directors and scholars.
Enabling us to showcase the skills and talents of our music and theatre students and staff as well as visiting stars and touring performing artists, the Conservatorium hosts approximately 100 performances each year. These performances range from full musical theatre productions to drama productions and plays, children's theatre, jazz performances, recitals, concerts, and community events.
Supported by the Conservatorium Friends, our events program makes an important contribution to the local community and provides a professional platform for students to perform in public while they are preparing for a career in the performing arts. It also provides opportunities for staff and visiting artists to perform to supportive and appreciative audiences.
We are committed to making our University more accessible to our community.
We run several activities to engage high school students that will help prepare them for a music or theatre degree at our University. These activities:
- are fun, engaging and educational programs
- allow students to meet and work with CQCM staff and current students
- prepare students with the skills and knowledge to ensure they are work-ready when they graduate
- open the door to career opportunities in Australia and overseas.
CQ Schools Jazz Festival
Welcome to the CQ Schools’ Jazz Festival. Unique to the Central Queensland region, this event offers a variety of performance and developmental activities delivered in an encouraging, educational setting. Participants will have exposure to world-class professional musicians and educators through masterclasses, clinics and concert performances.
Since 2012, participants in the CQSJF have benefitted from adjudicated performance recordings and voice-over adjudications, masterclass presentations, ensemble clinics and professional development sessions, delivered by world-class professional musicians and educators. Past performers and clinicians include: Jeff Jarvis (Dir. Jazz Studies, California State University Long Beach), Bob Coassin (ex. Buddy Rich Band), Jeremy Borthwick (Lecturer in Brass, University of Newcastle), John Morrison (Swing City Big Band), Andrew Robertson (saxophone/arranger & educator), Dan Barnett (trombonist/singer/educator), Dr Rob McWilliams (Education Outreach Clinician, Yamaha Music Australia), James Morrison (jazz icon), Greg Spence (Yamaha Artist & online education expert) and Dave Newdick (trumpet virtuoso).
Finally, we would like to thank the teachers and young musicians who seize the opportunity to be involved in something truly unique to jazz education in regional Queensland. Each year, we look forward to hearing the talented students of this region with great enthusiasm.
The Conservatorium Academy is a centre for creative and performing arts training for school-age children in Central Queensland. The aim of this program is to provide music and theatre training as an extension to the dance, drama and music classes that young people may already be engaged in and provides them with:
- opportunities to perform through regular concerts and special events in Mackay
- a bridge for secondary school students to university
- help to prepare them for auditions and for the rigours of university study
- a safe, educational and recreational environment, with high-energy, fun classes that are taught in a friendly and encouraging environment.
To enrol your child contact the Conservatorium Academy or phone +61 7 4940 7800.
Our Summer Spectacular offers performers the opportunity to hone their theatre skills in an intensive, one week program, under the guidance of a professional music theatre director and award-winning staff.
Choices is an applied theatre project which promotes key safety messages and education around alcohol, drugs and sexual activity for young people, by young people, using a music theatre format of comic skits, songs and dance. The Choices project tours secondary schools throughout central and north Queensland every year in preparation for Schoolies.
The major sponsor for Choices is the Whitsunday Schoolies Advisory Committee of the Whitsunday Regional Council.
Operating since 2013, The Safety Circus Applied Theatre Project is an award-winning project of the CQCM in partnership with the Mackay Crime Prevention Unit of the Queensland Police Service and the Daniel Morecombe Foundation. It is a 50-minute music theatre show aimed at Year 2 students to teach them about personal safety, safety on non-motorised transport and dealing with bullying. Written by Hannah Barn with music by Professor Judith Brown AM, The Safety Circus is performed by students from the Bachelor of Theatre degree and directed by CQCM theatre alumni. It tours to primary schools throughout the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday regions of Queensland each year.
The CQCM is based at our Mackey Ooralea Campus with a range of services suitable for a variety of productions and events.
The theatre is suitable for recitals, chamber music, theatre productions, and seminars and its key features include:
- 200-seat professional theatre with an orchestra pit
- fly tower and full theatre lighting
- professional digital audio and video facilities
- Stuart and Sons concert grand piano.
There is a 100-seat foyer and performance space which features:
- bar and kitchen
- box office and reception
- mezzanine level
- performance lighting
- professional digital audio and data projection facilities
- Yamaha grand piano.
CQCM specialist facilities
- digital audio and video recording studio
- practice rooms
- dressing rooms and change facilities
- keyboard lab
- teaching studios
- professional dance studio with a sprung floor
- large production facility that includes spaces for costumes, prop and set design and construction.
Southern Utah University
Our partnership with allows students to complete a Study Abroad term as part of their degree.
Southern Utah University hosts the Tony Award-winning and the within the city of Cedar City Utah, and has a full program of music theatre, drama, and technical theatre study options, allowing students to broaden their horizons and experience world-class education and theatre experiences.
The CQCM is proud to partner with the following New South Wales Regional Conservatoriums. Forming part of the Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums (ANSWRC), they are committed to excellence and life-long engagement in music education, enriching the lives of people in regional communities. The NSW Regional Conservatoriums offer an inclusive, professional and encouraging environment for music education and growth. The partnerships with CQCM enable students in regional New South Wales the opportunity to access excellence in tertiary music education while continuing to live, work and perform in their communities.
Study our Diploma of Music or Bachelor of Music through our Regional Conservatorium partnerships and be supported by expert staff at world-class facilities in these regions:
The Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music (CQCM) was established in Mackay in 1989 by the Queensland Conservatorium of Music as a regional campus to deliver preparatory courses in music. It became an entity when it was incorporated into CQUniversity Australia in 1996 and soon after began to offer full degree programs in music, theatre and jazz studies with students auditioning into these programs from all states of Australia and overseas.
Since that time, the CQCM has grown its music and theatre offerings to include jazz and popular music, music theatre, drama, and technical theatre, utilising the purpose-built facilities on the Mackay Ooralea campus, while also establishing itself as a leading provider of online education programs in music, giving it a footprint across the national education stage.
In addition, the inclusion of postgraduate programs at the Masters and Doctoral level provides students with a myriad of opportunities to explore their creativity across a range of different dimensions.
The CQCM continues to pursue excellence, flexibility, and innovation in its academic programs in music and theatre, research initiatives and community engagement making it one of Australia's foremost providers of education in the performing arts.
Conservatorium Friends Mackay, INC
The Conservatorium Friends are community members who give their support to our Conservatorium students. They provide funds to assist students with:
- campus projects
- sponsorship of visiting artists
- student bursaries and activities
- student prizes.
Our Conservatorium Friends' activities include:
- building community interest in and support for the Conservatorium
- promoting student events by organising refreshments and assist with advertising of Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music (CQCM) events
- donating gifts to improve the Conservatorium facilities
- assisting in getting instruments, scores, works of art, theatre props, costumes for the Conservatorium
- organising fundraising dinners with entertainment provided by Conservatorium staff and students.
Benefits for friends
The Conservatorium Friends get access to advanced bookings as well as discounts to concerts and events at the Conservatorium.
Meetings of friends
The Conservatorium Friends meet on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 5.30 pm in the foyer of the Conservatorium at CQUniversity Mackay and everyone is welcome.
Cost to join Conservatorium Friends
The joining fees for a calendar year (01 January – 31 December) are:
- $30.00 (Family)
- $15.00 (Single)
- $10.00 (Pensioner/Student)
Membership fees are paid to Conservatorium Friends, Mackay Inc.
Need to know more?
Please contact us by phone, email or mail.
Have you had a great experience in a high school band or musical in the past and are interested to see where your talent can take you? Staff at Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music want to set you on a path to your dream career. Whether your passion is music theatre, acting or music, we have the course to suit you. Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music at CQUniversity is truly one of the cultural hubs of Queensland.
For 30 years, CQCM have been nurturing the talent of thousands of students who have gone on to launch successful careers on the world stage, including students who have delivered performances on London's West End, throughout Southeast Asia and all over the USA. Our innovative courses in music and theatre give students the opportunity to learn with award-winning lecturers and internationally renowned guest artists in our purpose-built facility on the Mackay Ooralea campus.
Choose from theatre courses, major in music theatre, technical theatre, drama or theatre studies and be immersed in practical industry-based training. If music is more your thing, you'll find your fit in one of our music majors. Whether you need the convenience of a completely online degree like our music studies major, the flexibility of our supported online music performance major, or the immersive experience of our jazz and popular music major, we've got the course for you. The arts community in Mackay are very inclusive and supportive of emerging performing artists. Mentored by world-class performers and directors, students at the ‘Con’ take part in a busy, annual performance schedule including stage productions, concerts, tours and festivals.
Your audition shouldn't be daunting, it should be a snapshot of who you are and demonstrate where your talent lies. To take the stress out of auditioning, our friendly staff accept auditions in person or online, it’s that easy! Apply for an audition today.
The people are amazing and the staff are very supportive. I have access to equipment that I could have only dreamed about.
Bachelor of Music
My name is Dr Peter Mckenzie and I am head of course for music.
Music and Theatre students need to audition so we can assess your skill level and to see where your musical journey is to date. So students that are interested in applying, would then firstly go through the tertiary admission centres. Once that process is undertaken then you will apply through our CQUniversity website and then we will be able to register you then for an audition. Our flexible options for auditioning consists of either face to face on Mackay or Cairns Campuses.
You can pre-record or you can also do a live zoom audition and we are quite flexible in finding a time that suits you to undertake that process. There are no disadvantages to choosing online or on campus. It is the choice for you that works and that is that flexible option that we try to encourage. Through the audition process, we want to make sure that it is stress free as possible for you.
You will present contrasting works in your chosen discipline in music and theatre, and we will also have a brief chat, an informal discussion on your musical dreams and where you want to go with your study. After the audition process, your application will be then assessed and then you will be notified of the outcome just a few short weeks after that. To prepare for audition, you should contact your local music teacher or someone that you are working with, on your area of discipline to make sure that you are as prepared as possible for the audition process.
If you have any questions at all about the audition process, you can always contact the music lecturers within the Bachelor of Music or Theatre to help you understand what you might need to prepare and further give you some tips on getting this important process as prepared as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you apply and audition within the set audition period you will receive an audition results with three weeks of your audition. Late applicants will receive results 1 to 2 weeks after their audition or online submission.
You should wear smart casual clothes.
You should bring the following (some of these may or may not be required depending upon what you present):
- sheet music
- accompanist or backing track
- CD player or iPod dock (if required)
- amplifier (if required)
- written information and documents for the interview
You are required to use your own accompanist and/or backing tracks.
The panel may interrupt your performance. This is not an indication of an unsatisfactory assessment, but due to the management of the audition process.
You should arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled audition time.
There are no costs associated with applying for or completing an audition at CQUniversity.
You should only use a prop if it's essential to the performance requirements of the monologue.
If you are unable to attend your scheduled audition, contact the Audition Administrator to request a change of time. If a new time is not available, you will have the option of submitting an online audition.