Take Note

Take Note is a program that addresses the underrepresentation of women and gender non-conforming people in jazz by celebrating and promoting diverse leaders on stage and in high schools across Victoria. 

We believe that ‘if you can see it, you can be it’. 

Announcing the 2021 Take Note leader

Take Note has been designed to champion diverse leadership in all aspects of the industry, by selecting an early-career musician to lead the program each year.

We are proud to announce that trombonist, composer and arranger Ellie Lamb will be the Take Note leader for 2021.

Since completing a Bachelor of Arts (Music Performance) in 2017, Ellie has performed regularly across Melbourne as both a bandleader and session player at venues including Hamer Hall, The Jazzlab, Uptown Jazz café, and the Paris Cat.

They have also been a member of the band for the ABC’s New Year’s Eve broadcasts at the Sydney Opera House and Sidney Myer Music Bowl and accompanied the critically acclaimed Australian indie rock band Gang of Youths on MTV Unplugged Live.

Ellie says of this announcement:


“I’m thrilled to be joining the Take Note program in 2021. Having the time, space and support to create and then premiere a new work is really exciting but also a really important milestone in my career. A high-profile opportunity like this is great for my development as a band leader and as a composer and I’m looking forward to getting into the writing process.”


We look forward to sharing more of Ellie’s Take Note journey as the year progresses.

Keep reading to learn more about Take Note and how you can support the program.


About Take Note

Women* are underrepresented as leaders at every level of public and creative life – including jazz performance. 

Throughout their development women are often dissuaded from pursuing creative careers, and leadership roles, from secondary school, through to university and into the professional arena. 

There are a multitude of reasons for this, including societal pressure regarding instrumentation choice for women and a lack of female role models – compared to their male counterparts – for emerging musicians. 

In 2019, MIJF launched a program that supported the career development of a Victorian female leader in jazz while championing diversity and encouraging female school-aged musicians to consider a career in jazz performance. 

The first iteration, Tomorrow is My Turn, brought a touring band – lead by bassist, composer and educator Claire Cross – to metropolitan and regional high schools with an improvisation workshop and an opportunity to see women leading the way in music. 

To MIJF audiences, the project brought a new composition by Claire, Into Light, which made its premiere at the Festival. 

In 2020, the initiative returned with a new name, new supporters and a new leader – but the same ethos remained intact 

2020’s Take Note leader, saxophonist Holly Moore, took what was a truly difficult year and made it a tremendous success for the program. Her suite of music, commissioned for Take Note, premiered at the online music festival These Digital Times presented by MIJF in lieu of a physical festival. It has since been viewed over 2,500 times by audiences around the world 

Holly also helped to develop and host a series of improvisation workshops that were recorded and delivered to Victorian high school students learning from home. This online delivery mode for the education workshops allowed us to reach over 50 schools amid COVID-19 restrictions, greatly increasing the reach and accessibility of the Take Note program.  

*MIJF acknowledges that gender is a diverse spectrum and when referring to women and men it includes those who identify as female and male, and those who are trans, intersex and gender non-conforming.


This vital program relies on the generosity of our partners and the many individuals who support the program through private giving. 

You can help us bring Take Note to more students across the state by donating below. 


Take Note is supported by Creative Victoria, the Kestin Family Foundation, the Robert Salzer Foundation, APRA AMCOS, Monash University and PBS 106.7FM.  



In memoriam: A tribute to Harry Kestin

The team behind MIJF was incredibly saddened by the news of Harry Kestin’s passing late in 2020. Harry pioneered philanthropic support for our Take Note program, reflecting his life-long pursuit to enact positive social change through arts and culture. Since first partnering with the Kestin Family Foundation in 2019, Take Note has inspired over 1,500 music students and supported two female jazz leaders to commission and present new work at the Festival. We thank Harry for his continued support of the Festival and know that his contribution to the arts will live on as his legacy.

Donate to support Take Note

While the 2021 program is already underway, MIJF is committed to bringing this initiative to as many high school students as possible throughout the year in a continued effort to promote cultural change within the sector and the broader community.

Ongoing support from our community is essential for the growth and longevity of the program.

Donations of $2 and over are tax deductible. Click here to donate or contact our team on (03) 9001 1388.

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