Desert Song – Singing festival

Desert Song

Young Desert Voices @ Olive Pink, Fri 6 Sept 6pm, Gold coin

Starts: 06-09-2013 at 5:00 PM
Contact: Morris Stuart 0409 003 004

School and Youth Choirs, remote community choirs, Asante Sana and other Alice-based choirs, small vocal ensembles and individual performers, and churches will join together in a number of events over 16 days in a celebration of the singer and the song -through workshops, public concerts, house concerts, and a day festival in Hermannsburg.

Desert Song is the inaugural Centralian Singers’ Festival taking place in Central Australia 6-22 September. This festival will be built on years of choral development and musical collaboration between singers from an emerging and energetic inter-choir community in the Central Desert. Alice Springs based community choirs, remote Aboriginal community choirs, school choirs, small ensembles, solo artists and choirs from the vibrant multicultural community of Central Australia will be brought together to stage this new event, adding another ingredient to the already vibrant Central Australian Arts Calendar.

The ‘Headline Act will the Asante Sana Choir, Alice Springs’ own community choir established in 2006. Approximately 300 people have participated in the choir over seven years. Since 2006, the choir has performed in events in seven annual Alice desert Festivals, Civic Events, International conferences held in Alice Springs, the Alice Springs Hospital and the Alice Springs Jail, among many others. The choir has also collaborated and performed with the Brunswick Women’s choir, and with International renown artists including the Soweto Gospel Choir (workshops and performances in 2011) and Boyd Owen of the ‘Ten Tenors’.

Choirs from town–based and remote Aboriginal Communities including Titjikala, Areyonga, Hermannsburg, Laramba, Docker River, Mutitjulu, and the Mission block choir in Alice Springs will also be participating in this inaugural event. These choirs have participated in a well-established choral skills development process and in a number of performance events, most of which have been facilitated and curated by Morris Stuart. These events have included the Alice Desert Festival’s events – ‘Many Roads One Voice in 2008 (Musical Director Rachel Hore) and in several ‘Desert Voice’ concerts 2009-2012. Choirs from Areyonga and Titjikala also participated in the collaboration with the Soweto Gospel Choir in 2011.

The Festival will also provide space for smaller vocal ensembles and individual artists to participate and perform.

The main events will take place 6-22September 2013 with the main performance events taking place 6-8 September, 15 September and 20-22September. There will be post-festival ‘postscript’ on 29th September.

The Festival will stage four public concerts in Alice Springs:
• A Schools Concert – a choral spectacular
• ‘Desert Voice’ the inter choir concert
• A Civic Concert for the Alice Community presented by Asante Sana
• Acapella in the Gorge- an outdoor concert presented by Asante Sana at Ormiston Gorge in the West MacDonnell Ranges

There will be three House Concerts in Alice Springs and Honeymoon Gap for smaller ensembles and solo Artists

There will also be a day Festival at Hermannsburg celebrating music and heritage comprising
• A Celebration of heritage through Sacred Church Music -Ntaria and other remote Community Choirs
• Showcasing remote bands
• An evening Concert in Namatjira country celebrating heritage
There will be workshops in Alice Springs and at at a yet to be announced location in the West MacDonnell Ranges

There will be a post-festival ‘postscript’ at Olive Pink Botanic Garden


Key Festival events include:
Young Desert Voices @ Olive Pink, Fri 6 Sept 6pm, Gold coin
Desert Voice @ Araluen, Sat 7 Sept 6 pm, $20/$15/$50 family. Call 8951 1120 to book
Sacred Song @ Flynn Church, Todd Mall, Sun 8 Sept 4.30pm, FREE
Asante Sana Masterclass @ Flynn Church, Thurs 12 Sept, 7.30pm, FREE
Asante Sana Civic Concert @ Town Council Lawns, Thurs 19 Sept, 7.15pm, FREE
A Cappella in the Gorge @ Ormiston Gorge, Sun 22 Sept 3.30pm, Gold coin
SISTER EVENT: Hermannsburg Music Festival. Sun 15 Sept from 10am. FREE
Key performers include Asante Sana community choir, ” Choirs from three Pitjantjatjara communities (Areyonga, Mutitjulu & Docker River, some 750km away), members of the Ntaria Ladies choir, Mission Block Choir, NT Music School choir and a host of Alice Springs choirs.
These choirs will be supported by soloists from Asante Sana and special guests including King Marong providing African beats at selected events, Nic Hempel playing cello at A Cappella in the Gorge, and Nicholas and Janice Williams from Ntaria and Emma Stuart adding spice to Desert Voice.
For more information, call the Festival Coordinator, Liz Archer on 0409 073 765.

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