On 19 February, Melbourne’s independent classical radio station, 3MBS, will celebrate its 10th annual marathon at Melbourne Recital Centre, with over 150 performers taking part to raise funds for the station.

It is a major milestone for any cultural event, let alone for an independent radio station. And this year’s is especially significant as it marks the final marathon for Artistic Director Chris Howlett, who has been AD for every one of the ten to date.

Chris Howlett

“I think ten years has been absolutely fantastic,” says Howlett, “and it has well and truly done beyond what it was set out to do. I am exceptionally proud of what the station, the volunteers, the musicians and myself have achieved over the last ten.”

The marathon has become a significant date on Melbourne’s cultural calendar and a major artistic undertaking, but when it started the station was simply trying to keep its doors open.

“When Anne Frankenberg, Tom Ford and I sat down originally to do the first one, the station was in a very different situation than it was today,” recalls Howlett.

“The marathon...