Boite Singers' Festival
Lamine Sonko and Beat Lehmann
Praised for his compelling melodies and distinctive percussive blend of the traditional and contemporary, Lamine Sonko is modernising West African music while maintaining the essence of ancient sounds and stories. He has performed and taught throughout Australia and internationally for over 15 years, collaborated on Grammy-award winning albums and delivered crowd-stopping shows at Australia's premier festivals including WOMADelaide and Blues Fest. In 2015, Lamine was the Artistic Director for The Boite's spectacular One Africa production.
Swiss-born Beat Lehmann is one of the leading world music choir conductors in Australia. He has conducted the Woodford Folk Festival massed fire event choir for the past eleven years, and has taught singing workshops internationally alongside greats like Bobby McFerrin.
Steve and Liz Turner
Steve Turner is a pioneer of highly sophisticated English concertina song accompaniments, stretching the boundaries of traditional forms with one of the best voices in the business. He is a multi-instrumentalist who plays mandolin and banjo and accompanies himself on the cittern. Nancy Kerr has referred to Steve's “total intensive musical focus and a vast serious repertoire”. On tour from the UK, Steve will be assisted by his wife Liz, a music director in theatre circles.
Sophia Exiner and Joshua Teicher
Sophia Exiner is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer. She records and performs her original indie-pop project under the name “Phia”, and most recently toured her newest EP “The Woman Who Counted the Stars” around Europe. Sophia is the creative director of Melbourne Indie Voices, a new contemporary choir performing innovative vocal arrangements of independent and emerging artists from Melbourne and abroad, which she runs with producer/songwriter Joshua Teicher (Josh The Cat).
Christine is in demand throughout Australia as a dynamic and fun choral and vocal workshop leader and conductor. As a professional singer and voice teacher herself, she specializes in vocal techniques, vocal health and playful learning for choristers and choral groups of all ages and experience.
With their spine-tingling harmonies, charming storytelling and playful humour, Co-Cheòl has that rare ability to evoke the gamut of emotions from laughter to tears. They will take you on a journey to the lands of the Celts and beyond, traversing both a cappella and accompanied songs with captivating body percussion and sublime musicianship.
An extraordinarily brilliant instrumentalist and a charming performer, Daniel Jauregui is a multiple Latin Grammy winner, musician and music producer from Venezuela. He has performed and toured across Latin America, the USA and Europe and he is now based in Melbourne.
Hailing from the far South Western corner of Australia, singer-songwriter Lucy Wise has delighted audiences in Australia, the USA and the UK with her unique blend of folk, chamber and pop music combined with masterful storytelling and a soulful voice. She will be joined by renowned Melbourne songsters John Flanagan and Rowena Wise to sing songs from her latest album, ‘Winter Sun’, to be released in March 2018.
“Wise is a natural storyteller, infusing songs with a sense of place so strong you can almost feel the dusty earth crunch beneath your feet as she sings.” – The Brag, Sydney
Mitch and Ian Tambo
Ian has been performing for more than 30 years, opening for the likes of Troy Cassar-Daly, Christine Anu, John Butler and Bart Willoughby. Ian has joined forces with Mitch, didgeridoo player, traditional indigenous dancer and singer. His didgeridoo playing has taken him around the world and seen him open for John Williamson at the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Ian and Mitch deliver exciting and engaging workshops driven through a culturally-sensitive framework.
An All India Radio artist, Sarita McHarg has given countless recitals as a classical sitar and surbahar instrumentalist, and as a folk and classical vocalist, both in India and abroad. She enjoys the benefit of more than 20 years of musical experience with Western and Indian musicians. She conducts regular classes on devotional vocals and classical instruments at various locations around Melbourne. She has published two books on Indian musicians and their music: Traditional Folk Songs of Malwa – a tribute to her famous folk-singing father, Hira Singh Borliya, and Baba Allauddin Khan: The Most Influential Figure in the History of North Indian (Hindustani) Classical Music.
Ximena Abarca is a Chilean-Australian singer-songwriter with almost 15 years’ experience as a performer. Playing different musical styles throughout her career has helped her understand a wide range of singing techniques. She has been teaching in Australia for the last four years, both privately and in primary schools, as well as holding workshops open to singers of all levels. Currently she is recording a new album with her world fusion quartet Huanchaco.
Choir Tasters Stream
Annemarie Sharry and South of the River Choir
A graduate of the Victorian College of The Arts and recipient of the Mabel Kent Singing Scholarship, Annemarie has worked for many years as a vocal soloist and choral educator. As co-founder and Musical Director of Melbourne based South of the River Choir, she led the choir to the finals of the ABC Classic FM Choir of the Year Awards in 2006. This dynamic community choir explores the music and rhythms of Africa, traditional African American gospel and original Australian compositions through workshops and festivals.
As Director of AcappellaWorks, Annemarie has been influential in developing choirs in the workplace. Her vocal programs have been adopted by a number of organisations including Flight Centre, The Department of Human Services, The Victorian Bar and World Vision Australia. Annemarie has sung with two premier and award winning Australian a cappella ensembles: Akasa and Cocos Lunch. She continues to sing regularly with her own jazz quartet and as a featured soloist in the cutting edge Opera company, Emotionworks.
Barb McFarlane and VoKallista
Singer-songwriter, choir and community singing leader, Barb gathers people into a singing culture, instant tribe, harmonisers and singers of beautiful, meaningful, sad or silly songs. Lover of the world of sound and how it can influence mind, body, emotion, Barb uses singing and songs to uplift and connect.
VoKallista is a vibrant, inclusive and enthusiastic mob who sprinkle singing sweetness all around the Dandy Ranges and beyond. They sing songs for the planet, human rights, gardens, equality and the odd whacky number. This is their 9th consecutive year singing in the iconic Choirs Concert!
John Flanagan and Homebrew
An award-winning songwriter, John blends 70s folk with contemporary bluegrass styles and often draws comparisons to James Taylor. He has performed on the Australian folk music scene for many years as well as in Canada and the USA. John works as a singing teacher and community choir leader in Melbourne.
Homebrew captures the raw energy of men singing in the shower or bellowing over the roar of a two stroke! They sing about who they are and what their country represents…they sing about identity, social history, they sing about a “fair go” ethos, but most of all they sing to celebrate life!
Nerida Kirov and the Chocolate Lilies
Melbourne based singer and music teacher, Nerida Kirov, has directed the Chocolate Lilies community choir for the last 24 years. One of the Melbourne pioneers of a cappella singing, with trio Acacia, during the late 70s and early 80s, Nerida has sung in numbers of vocal groups and bands. She has run choirs at the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner School for the past 20 years, where she is also the Music Coordinator.
The Chocolate Lilies is an a cappella choir formed in 1994, based in Hurstbridge and Warrandyte. The choir is named after a local purple and black wildflower that smells like chocolate. The choir aims to provide a supportive environment for people to develop their singing ability, a sense of belonging and to have fun. They sing an eclectic blend of world, gospel, contemporary and original material, with a beautiful soulful sound and rich divine harmonies.
Nino Tsitsishvili and the Melbourne Georgian Choir
The Melbourne Georgian Choir formed in Melbourne in 2010 as a mixed choir performing traditional and not so traditional songs from the Caucasus. Led by Dr. Nino Tsitsishvili and assisted by Dr. Joseph Jordania, both internationally renowned ethnomusicologists, the choir travelled to Georgia to learn and perform in 2010, 12, 14 and 16.
The Lost Clog
The Lost Clog brings together ten of Melbourne’s most celebrated Lithuanian pagan singers to breathe new life into archaic Lithuanian songs of harvest, love, talking horses, ruined rue gardens, amorous toads, drunken goddesses, drunken mosquitoes, drunken sparrows and drunks.