Dale Cornelius appointed AGSC president

Me-Lee Hay and Dale Cornelius.

Dale Cornelius has been elected the next president of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers (AGSC), succeeding Antony Partos, who remains on the board.

A composer working across feature films, television drama, documentaries and animation, Cornelius was elected following the guild’s annual general meeting at the end of November. He already sat on the board and was chair of the guild’s education committee.

With more than 70 credits to his name, Cornelius’s scores span projects such as Mary & Max, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Backtrack, Charlie & Boots, Blinky Bill the Movie, Till Human Voices Wake Us, Uranium: Twisting the Dragon’s Tail, Mother With A Gun, and Dr Sarmast’s Music School, for which he won an AACTA. Recent work includes AGE OF RAGE – The Australian Punk Revolution, nominated for the AACTA for Best Original Score in a Documentary this year, Senses of Cinema, and Paul Liggett: The Voice of Cycling.

Me-Lee Hay continues as AGSC vice-president, with the rest of the board comprising Partos, Caitlin Yeo, Pru Montin, Fiona Loader, along with arts lawyer Jessica Iuliano and treasurer Stuart Smith. Outgoing members are composers Elizabeth Drake and Hylton Mowday.

During his three-year tenure as AGSC president, Partos helped steer the guild through the pandemic and was involved in the cross-guild lobbying around offset reform.

The AGSC also partnered with Screen Australia in Credit Maker, with aims to boost representation of female composers. The first round of two placements has been allocated and the second round of applications is currently open.

Other recent initiatives include the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office (NATSIMO) Screen Composer Intensive – a program developed to address the underrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander composers in the screen music sector. Composer Rhyan Clapham (aka ‘Dobby’) was the first participant and the program will be rolled out again in 2023.

Reflecting on his tenure, Partos said: “I am proud to be part of a community that genuinely supports each other and celebrates our unique careers. I look forward to seeing the guild continue to go from strength to strength”.