by Andra Jackson
The Boite Singers' Festival
January 10 – 13, 2013
Every January, hundreds of singers from around Victoria and interstate descend on the tiny spa town of Daylesford for a singers’ teach-in and festival.
Many of them are members of the enormous numbers of community choirs that have sprung up in Victoria in recent years.
The Boite, a non-profit organisation that promotes community music, is behind much of this growth in community choirs with its own choirs and through the festival, now in its 23rd year.
It has introduced festival participants to a wide range of vocal styles and techniques in workshops and performances from leading singers. They include local and overseas singers.
The Boite is proud to announce that for the January 2013 Boite Singers Festival, it has signed up Spain’s Diego Guerrero and Nasrine Rahmani, the Seychelles’ Grace Barbe and award winning Yanyuwa singer and songwriter Shellie Morris.
Madrid based Guerrero, who is also a guitarist, is an exponent of flamenco singing while Rahmani is a percussionist who specializes in Afro-Cuban styles including the rhumba, the cajon, the salsa and timba. Perth based Barbe blends exotic tropical rhythms, with African, latin, jazz, and soul influences.
Shellie Morris with the Borroloola Song women are the national winners of the 2012 Music in Communities Award. The awards were initiated by the Music Council of Australia and are presented each year by the Council’s Music In Communities Network. She established a project recording the traditional songs from her grandmother’s region.
Other vocal styles represented in this year’s program include the West African music of Kora playing Miriam Lieberman, the acapella bluegrass gospel style of Rose Heystek, the Sudanese and African influenced singing of Ajak Kwai, the musical theater and opera approach of Penny Larkins, the hip-hop samba and world electric music of Neda Rahmani and the Shape Note singing of Shawn Whelan and Natalie Sims.
Ethnomusicologist Dr Nino Tsitsishvili and academic and director of the Melbourne University World Music Choir, Dr Joseph Jordania is also teaching at the festival.
A Children’s Festival with circus activities and music creation is also run during the weekend.
A number of festival performances are open to the general public including the free opening night Sunset Song Circle at Jubilee Lake on Thursday January 10 featuring Diego Guerrero, Nasrine Rahmani, Miriam Lieberman and the Daylesford Soul Choir with Britain’s hit-making singer and songwriter, now Daylesford resident, Geoffrey Williams.
For interviews with any of the singers or participants, photographs or recordings or further information contact publicist Andra Jackson via the Boite Office on 9417 3550.