In October 2010, the first meeting of a working group to establish a regional music council in Asia/Oceania was held at Gulangyu Island, Xiamen, China, generously hosted by the Chinese Musicians Association. Representation from North, East, South and South-East Asia and Australia, discussed the potential of a regional music council, and decided to meet again in February 2011 to consider proposals for the establishment of the regional council.
The second meeting of the steering group was held in Davao, Philippines at the time of the Third International Rondalla Festival, hosted by the Festival and the City of Davao. The Secretary-General of the IMC attended the meeting, and assisted with discussions regarding the establishment of a regional council of the IMC. Professor Xie JiaXing from the IMC Board also attended. The meeting confirmed intention to establish a the Music Council of Asia and Oceania (MCAO), and resolved to call the inaugural meeting of the Council at Tallinn in September 2011, coinciding with the IMC 4th World Forum on Music and the IMC General Assembly.
The inaugural meeting of the MCAO attracted much attention, with attendance from a wide range of countries in the Asia-Oceania regions, and interest expressed from a number of delegates unable to attend because of visa restrictions.
The meeting elected Professor Gary McPherson (ISME, Australia), Professor Wang YaoHua (APSE, China), Ms Julie Sperring (SOUNZ, New Zealand), Dr Suvarnalata Rao (NCPA, India) and Dr Helen Lancaster (MCA, Australia) to the Board. Subsequent to the inaugural meeting, the Board met for the first time and co-opted Mr Michael Sollis (MCA, Australia) as the youth representative on the Board. The Board also elected the founding Executive: President: Dr Helen Lancaster; Vice-President: Professor Wang YaoHua; Secretary: Ms Julie Sperring.
First regional Assembly (2012)
The Board is yet to decide on the country in which the MCAO will be constituted, and make such application; it will also arrange for promotion of membership benefits and encourage new member applications before the first Regional Assembly in 2012.