Rachel Hore and Elly Franchimont lead this singing tour of the roads, rivers and resonant spaces of Holland. The first tour happened in September 2012. Another tour in September 2014 was a great success, as was the tour in 2015. Details of the tour (and a stack of great pictures) can be found on Elly's site, click here.
Bookings for 2016 tour are now open.
This tour will be Holland and Flanders (Dutch-speaking Belgium). Saturday 5th September to Saturday 12th September 2015. You can see more details here.
If your interested email Elly or give her a call.
What a fantastic tour in Holland we had in September. Here are some of the highlights for everyone who came and those who missed out. Our next opportunity to be uplifted by song will be Spring Into Song, at Bonny Hills 2-4th Nov. For more details visit my website: www.vocalpointevents.com.auPosted by Vocal Point Events on Sunday, 7 October 2012
Big Sing is a gathering of over 100 singers from across Australia at Ross River Resort, an original homestead near Alice Springs. Now in its 4th year, it is a regular part of the calendar for our Central Desert choirs who travel from Docker River, Mutijulu, Areyonga, Hermannsburg, Ti Tree, Laramba, and Titjikala to take part. There was a diverse age range of singers at Big Sing this year, the youngest being aged 10. As well as singing workshops with myself and Morris Stuart, there was free time in the afternoons to explore the red gorges of the Eastern MacDonnell Ranges.
Last year we had an incredibly hilarious afternoon of soft ball between the young women from Laramba community and the older men. This year we had a fast and furious art auction, where some beautiful art and craft was sold. The songs around the campfire are always special, as is the concert. One of my favourite moments of this years Big Sing hearing my song “Sing You Up My country” being sung by the Desert Choirs. Their voices were so haunting and beautiful, it felt like I had written it especially for them.
In 2015, the Central Desert Combined Choir are heading to Germany for a singing tour. Big Sing 2015 will be a time they will be able to get together and practice for this tour. It’s going to be very special.
Big Sing is totally self funded. Last year we raised $20,000 in sponsorships to help our Indigenous take part in this event. By becoming a sponsor, your donation goes directly toward the costs of transport, accommodation, food and workshop fees for our Indigenous singers.
To be a sponsor click here.
There's picture gallery and video on the Big Sing in the Desert info page click here.
Each February, over the past 6 years, students from St Columbia Anglican School, Port Macquarie, in Northern NSW, come on a road trip to Sydney to work with Stephen Taberner and myself. Stephen and I are always astounded at their incredible musicality, and their ability to make our arrangements sound just so perfect so quickly. We wouldn’t miss this weekend for the world. Thanks so much to Marie Van Gend, for your passionate belief in choir building at SCAS, and including us into the mix.
A bunch of great photos and videos here.
Seka is a Fijian choir master from Vivili village, on the island of Vanua Levu in Fiji. I met Seka when I took my first group of Australian singers to his village in May 2007. I loved his crazy energetic type of teaching, and straight away I felt comfortable teaching alongside him. Seka gets no wage as we know it for his work, but he has committed his life to choral teaching, and to being a mentor for younger people. It was his dream to travel to Australia.
In 2011, I became Seka’s sponsor, and with the help of the wonderful Elly Franchimont, Seka came over to attend the Spring into Song choral camp at Port Macquarie. Seka then taught at several schools in the Northern Rivers region, and visited my choirs in the Blue Mountains area.
The annual, fabulous choral weekend of 100 plus singers, with Rachel Hore, Stephen Taberner and a very special guest artist. Both workshops are held at the Brahma Kumaris Centre, Leura, Blue Mountains, NSW.
Wintersong 2014 was really wonderful. Stephen and Rachel celebrated the 15th birthday of Wintersong with some lovely surprises. Saturday night guests for Wintersong 1 were the beautiful Latvian trio 'Somesing Laik Zat’ who led us in some incredibly fun dances, and led us outside to jump over the solstice fire in the moonlight. For Wintersong 2 we had the wondrous Parvyn Singh and Josh Bennett from Bombay Royale, leading us the coolest Bollywood style moves and Indian singing. We had some great elective workshops too.
As a result, Rachel will be leading some choral arranging workshops in 2015.
For more information about Wintersong click here.
Click here to join my mailing list and register your interest.
Local ‘n’ Vocal
Denmark Festival of Voice, WA 2016
Thanks to everyone who was involved in this years Big Sing at the Festival of Voice, Denmark WA. It was so beautiful to sing my new song with you, and to join in voices, share songs and language with the Central Australian Aboriginal women’s choir.
You can listen the songs I taught below.
Bring Me Home
Download all parts and the score for each song here.
Denmark Festival of Voice, WA 2015
During March and May, 2015 I travelled to the beautiful town of Denmark WA to encourage locals to participate in the singing project Local ‘n’ Vocal for The Festival of Voice. I held 16 workshops and worked with over 200 people from many sections of the community, students from TAFE, primary and pre-primary schools, young people, farmers, parents, community choirs, people who had sung before and many who had little or no experience.
They learned 4 songs absolutely brilliantly. We then came together as one big group and performed together, first as a flash mob inside the SUPER IGA, and then as a performance outside the supermarket . The Flash Mob was EPIC and I was astonished at how many people were pouring out of the IGA SINGING UP A STORM!!! I loved every minute of the performance, finishing with walking up the street singing a pygmy chant and stopping the traffic in the middle of town.
Part of the project was a request for me to write a song for the whole town of Denmark. All the participants had written a few words for me in the tracing of their feet and hands on big rolls of butchers paper. These words became the basis of my lyrics for the song. I wrote the song “Kwoorabup Sings” which had is debut performance outside the SUPER IGA on May 30th.
Many thanks to Vivienne Robertson (Artistic Director of DFoV 2015) for her grand scope and vision of the project, to Jenny Newman for her incredible tenacity in mustering up folks to sing and selling the idea to the town. To Jenny, Bruce and Jude for continuing to teach when I left for home. Thanks to Festivals Australia for funding the project. Finally, big big thanks to the many participants who helped it happen.
Stacks of Choirs Oct 2013
This was a one day choral workshop, in the town of Wingham on the beautiful Mid north coast of NSW. It was a free workshop for participants, that culminated in a concert at the end of the day. I loved teaching such a diverse range of singers – children from Wingham brush Primary school, young people from St Columba Anglican school, Port Macquarie, and many locals from the Wingham, Taree and Foster area. As a result of this workshop, I travelled again to Taree to teach a 2 day choral workshop with school children and teachers.
Thirty Australians came together in the beautiful Taksu Resort to learn new choir repertoire, relax, swim, and experience Balinese food, culture, hospitality and crazy taxi rides. Each day we sang looking out onto rice paddies where we got lots of laughs watching a big rooster rounding up his hens. Food was glorious and plenty of it. Highlight for most of us was our visit to two orphanages where the kids sang, danced and played gamelan for us. We sang some songs for them, and donated gifts and money toward the orphanages.
This was Shirley Jackson’s first singing event as an organiser and she did a really fabulous job.
The trip in May, 2014 was my tenth singing tour to Fiji, and it was advertised as my last. I figured it might be time to try some new places, as it had been becoming harder to fill the course over the past two years. BUT! I have developed such a deep love for Fiji, the Tadulala family and rest of the Daku staff, that I know in my bones I will be back. Please come with me!
This year we visited Vivili village and learnt a Fijian song using the Solfa system that is used throughout Fiji, We visited Urata village to hear the Urata Children’s Choir and shared afternoon tea underneath the red roofed church. We were very teary as we sung Isa Lei together.
We were quite proud of ourselves that we appeared not once, but TWICE in the Fiji times during the week. Read the acticle here.
The Fiji Times reporter was very taken by the story of us coming to sing in Fiji, so he travelled back across the island for our concert. (a long trip!). Our concert was a huge success. We sung a set of songs that we had learned over the week, and then Vivili performed a Meke (traditional dance) of outstanding energy and ability. We then sang two songs together.
I want to thank Delia for bringing me to Daku, having never hosted a bunch of singers before. To Raj and Aubrey, thanks for your invaluable support. Heartfelt thanks to Keni, Merioni, Apete, Kara, Seru and Johnny for your love, all the fun we have had, and the songs we have shared over all these years. I have loved watching the Tadulula kids grow up into beautiful young people. I have learnt so many great songs from your family that I’ve since taught singers all over Australia. To the beautiful cooks and staff at Daku, Bula Vinaka! A very big thank you to Seka, choir master at Vivili , and to my friend Andrew Davis, who shared most of the wonderful journey with me. Bula Vinaka.
This beautiful hymn, Noqu Masu, was taught to me in Fiji by Kara Tadulala. It is sung here by St Columbia Anglican School Vocal Ensemble at their Spring Soiree, in Port Macquarie, NSW. Conducted by Maree Van Gend.
To download the mp3 click here.
I have done a range of trips out bush in WA and NT over the past few years, helping to develop music skills for women. It was great to work with Beth Sometimes and travel for the first time to Ernabella Community. We worked on some really good new songs have later been developed into a CD of songs from the community. Big thanks to Caama also for the opportunity to visit Willowra community as part of the MAD for life project and the 'Many Roads one voice' Choir project . Thankyou to the Titjikala community for inviting me to spend time with the choir and work with Margaret Campbell on choir leadership.
In September this year I was invited to teach a two-day choral workshop at Forster Primary school with 130 Primary and College students from across the Great Lakes region of NSW. The combined school choirs were preparing for their Shine On performance. I loved these two days, and it was wonderful to be able to offer in-service for the teachers in the afternoons (conducting, sol fa, rhythm games, new repertoire ideas for choir). Thanks to all the students and staff who attended, and to Kerri Knight for your great hospitality and organisation.