Anna Chmiel Memorial Fund

The Anna Chmiel Memorial Fund honours Anna Chmiel, who died tragically in 2012, aged 19. 

Anna was a gifted musician who also developed a particular love and talent for art, creative writing and ballet.  Anna’s parents established the Fund as a tribute to her life and her passion for music and to recognise the significant contribution which music plays in the lives of young people.

Anna Chmiel played clarinet with Melbourne Youth Orchestras and subsequently studied for her Bachelor of Music at Monash University.  Anna would describe her time as a member of the Melbourne Youth Orchestras program as one of the happiest periods of her life. 

She often told her family and friends that Melbourne Youth Orchestras students had the most amazingly talented and enthusiastic conductors and tutors; and that all the students worked so hard, yet had so much fun at the same time.

Anna’s mother describes Anna’s early fascination with the clarinet as most extrodinary.  “She started playing with the instrument herself and by seven years of age she had worked out how to play the national anthem and happy birthday” she said.

According to her music teacher, Grania Burke, Anna had an exceptional talent.  “In all the years I have taught, she would probably be one of the best primary aged students” Ms Burke said.  “It was not just her musical technical skill, but her desire to embrace the music and understand it as a whole.”

The Anna Chmiel Memorial Fund aims to expose young people to the powerful and creative influence of music, whether that results in longer term participation as performers, or a lifelong love and appreciation of music.

The opportunity to become involved in musical performance at a young age enhances so many skills that help a young person’s development, such as discipline, organisation and cooperation, as well as creativity.  “The kinds of opportunities that the Fund is seeking to support have been genuinely inspired by the profoundly positive impact that music performance and appreciation had upon Anna” said Anna’s mother.

It is hoped that the Anna Chmiel Memorial Fund may be seen as a suitable vehicle through which the music-loving public can support young people in their music education and experience.


In memory of Anna and in support of the exciting programs the Fund supports, please make a donation via the Give Now page.


The Anna Chmiel Memorial Fund focuses on:

  • Providing finanical assitance to talented music students, particularly those who live in country Victoria, who might not otherwise be able to afford to participate in Melbourne Youth Orchestras programs;
  • Extending the musical experiences of students through the provision of expert tutors; and
  • Supporting a number of unique programs designed to enhance students’ participation in musical performance.

Programs supported by the Fund include:

  • The Anna Chmiel Memorial Scholarship Program, awarded each year to a number of students in need of financial assistance to support their participation in Melbourne Youth Orchestras programs, and may include funding for tuition, travel, and instrument hire;
  • Funding to engage specialist woodwind tutors for the Ensemble Program;
  • Woodwind and other music workshops, aimed particularly at youth in the country areas of Victoria.  These programs will provide exposure to specialist tuition and encourage participation in music performance
  • Additional support to fund special projects such as tours and digital education resources in music not otherwise available

Melbourne Youth Orchestras acknowledges the support of those who have made a gift to the Anna Chmiel Memorial Fund:

Ben Frenkel; Judge Susan Cohen; Margaret & Harry Dowd; Travis Allen; Ruth & Colin Block; Judge John Bowman; Ms Grania Burke; Mrs Valerie Coffey; Judge Susan Cohen; Katya Doig; Gr J Dowd; Hang Family; Elizabeth Hollingworth; Elaine & Greame Jenkins; Pamela Jenkins; Irene Lawson & Brendan Kissane; Rachelle Lewitan; Lewis Family; Geoff & Marlene Marriott; Martijn & Barbara; The Nadel Family; Judge Julie Nicholson; Mrs Helen Poutakidis; Dr C Reiss & Dr J Contole; Judge Wendy Wilmoth; Tom & Helen Wodak; Anonymous (12).



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