Sollis has had a long association with Musica Viva, having shown exemplary enthusiasm and drive in his role as ACT Manager since 2008.
This position marks the next stage of his relationship with the company as he steps into this visionary new role.
As Artistic Director of Education, Sollis will explore options that will enhance the future artistic vibrancy of Musica Viva’s renowned education program.
“Musica Viva In Schools has been at the forefront of music education in Australia for the past 35 years and is expanding further with its ground-breaking digital education programs,” Musica Viva Chief Executive Officer, Mary Jo Capps, says.
“It is fitting that we recognise the scope and impact of this program by appointing an Artistic Director of Education, who will work with Carl Vine AO, Artistic Director of Musica Viva Australia, to ensure we continue to inspire Australians of all ages with the enjoyment and understanding of music.”
Sollis will also work closely with Richard Gill OAM, as he takes on this exciting new position that will steer Musica Viva In Schools to new heights. Gill has been Artistic Advisor to Musica Viva’s education program since late 2014.
Gill was instrumental in the search for Musica Viva’s first ever Artistic Director of Education, and says, “I’m thrilled to see Michael taking the reins of this wonderful not-for-profit organisation that has been setting the standard in music education enrichment since 1981.
“Michael has the energy that will ignite Musica Viva’s education program; he will take it from where it is now and adapt it for the future.
“We can’t sit still – we have to grow and look to the future, and Michael has the vision and artistic integrity that will take Musica Viva In Schools into an exciting future. I look forward to seeing what he is able to achieve for music education in this country.”
Speaking on his appointment, Sollis could not hide his excitement.
“When a school student sees a live musician for the first time, it truly has the potential to change their life forever, so it’s a great privilege and honour to be given custodianship of an Australian institution that provides over 250,000 students each year with the opportunity to engage with the very best Australian musicians.
“Richard Gill has kept the flame alive for music education in this country, and I’m thrilled and humbled to be able to work with him over the next 12 months as he passes the torch on.”
Musica Viva prides itself on providing broad, high quality music education programs for primary and high school students that range from live performance to digital learning, including extended residencies, intensive workshops and accessible resources.
“Music is more than an ‘add-on’ extracurricular activity – it is an essential part of the human experience,” Sollis says.
“My job at Musica Viva will be to ensure that every school in Australia has the opportunity to access the highest quality live music and performance so every child has the opportunity to have their young imaginations ignited.
“If every primary school student in Australia were inspired by live music to pursue their own creativity, imagine what the world would look like.”
Since founding Musica Viva In Schools in 1981, Musica Viva has enriched the lives of more than seven million children across Australia.
Musica Viva In Schools is the largest external provider of music education programs in Australian classrooms, including in regional and remote areas.
In 2015, Musica Viva In Schools musicians travelled over 120,000 kilometres to deliver music education programs to in excess of 260,000 students through 1700 concerts, workshops and residencies. The company also provided direct training to over 2000 teachers, as well as a further 8000 teachers indirectly.