Composer Interviews


2019 Johnny Dennis Awards - Call for Entries!

Entries are invited for the 2019 Johnny Dennis Music Awards. The Awards carries four (4) cash prizes of $5,000 each.  Entries are invited from composers working at all levels of the industry - from entry level to established composers.

The intention of the award is to provide the recipient with the financial and creative freedom to receive appropriate recognition for their work. This can take any form, such as a mentorship, study, travel or creation of a new work.

Entrants are required to submit a brief CV and a proposal (up to two pages) outlining what they intend to do with the award.

Applications are now open and will close 18 October 2019. For more details and a copy of the Entry Form please click here

About Johnny Dennis

English-born and christened Dennis John Mole, Johnny Dennis migrated to Australia in the late 1940’s and got his first musical break on the late Jim “Woody” Wood’s talent search program on Melbourne 3AW playing and singing 'Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy'. Soon after he was band pianist for three years at the Ritz Hotel, St. Kilda, before moving to the Gold Coast where, this time doubling on electric organ, he was for more than three years the keyboard man at the Palm Lounge of the Grand Hotel, Coolangatta, with Art Lunden as compere. A confirmed traveler, who enjoyed living out of a suitcase, Johnny spent time working in Melbourne and Sydney, as well as the USA, England and Scotland. Finally settling on the Gold Coast in 1989, he died suddenly from a heart attack on his way to a rehearsal — a trooper to the end, or, putting it with far more justice —the essential entertainer who loved an audience.


The Johnny Dennis Music Awards were established in perpetuity through the will of Dennis John Mole, who bequeathed his entire estate to a suitable trust for the purposes of achieving appropriate recognition for composers of light music. As executor of his will, the late Trustee Mr Malcolm Harrison founded the trust in 1989 and appointed Perpetual Limited as co-trustee. Perpetual Trustee Company Limited are now sole trustee of the awards.


“Light Music means music and musical compositions suitable for public performance of an entertaining and melodious nature and shall include dance music, show and film music and music suitable for public and private entertainment through the medium of radio, television and various forms of recording. It shall not include music of a primarily percussive nature where melody is dominated by rhythm as for example rock and roll or discotheque music nor music having a merely ethnic appeal as distinct from an international or exotic flavour; nor shall it include music of an operatic or light operatic nature.”

The Trustee for the Awards is Perpetual Trustee Company Limited and the Awards are administered by the Australian Guild of Screen Composers