Boite Singers' Festival
Baka Beyond was conceived in 1992 by British musicians Martin Cradick and Su Hart after a 6 week visit to the Baka Forest People deep in the heart of the Cameroon rainforest. They were struck by the Baka’s generosity of spirit and joy of life in hard circumstances which is reflected in their music. Martin and Su wanted to bring the spirit of this music back home. Baka Beyond have a unique relationship with their inspiration – the Baka Pygmies of Cameroon – sending royalties to help their development projects, and even touring with Baka musicians.
Martin and Su set up the charity Global Music Exchange (GME), named "One Heart" by the Baka Women in 1995. GME makes sure that any royalties due to Baka musicians either goes direct to them, or is used in projects that they have control of. (from www.bakabeyond.net)
Su founded the Walcot State Choir in Bath, UK, in 2000. The Choir sing ancient to modern, African to Hebridean, Balkan to British and anything between including pieces specially commissioned for them. She is a renowned teacher and choir leader, and we are thrilled that she will be sharing her vast knowledge with us.
Assoc. Prof. Andrew Legg is an internationally recognised musician and researcher, currently director of University of Tasmania's Conservatorium of Music. He is examining the effects and impact of African American gospel and sacred music on the development of Australian music and culture, and is director of the ARIA-nominated community choir, Southern Gospel Choir.
Andrew is a multi-award winning pianist and composer. He has several ARIA nominations and recording and writing credits with Grammy Award-winning artists Myron Butler, Jamar Jones, Khristian Dentley and the Potter's House choir. He is a gifted performer within the African American gospel tradition, which opened the doors of the African American gospel church community to him.
'In African American culture, people connect through music. It is intergenerational and eternal, transmitting cultural values and stories from the past to the present. It unites people, reinforcing a sense of belonging to something bigger and more important than the individual. They 'sing' their theology, their 'story'. Know their music, and you begin to know something of them.'
Jane Thompson and James Rigby
Jane and James are highly respected singing facilitators, sought-after Australia-wide for their warm, inviting style and exceptional skills in getting a group of people singing, laughing, and making gorgeous harmony in minutes. They have a huge repertoire of songs to share, and specialise in arranging contemporary Australian songs of depth and meaning, for choirs. They regularly lead festival choirs and singing workshops all over the country, and in 2014 were Artistic Directors of the Boite Millennium Chorus ‘Gurrong’, featuring Archie Roach and Shane Howard.
With their spine tingling harmonies 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. This multi-award winning quartet have just released their debut album Stay a While to critical acclaim. Co-cheòl are Claire Patti, Merrily and Ginger Hansen.
Dan Greig (pronounced 'Greg') grew up singing 6 days a week in a cathedral choir in Melbourne. Since then he has been in a variety of bands from funk and soul to Brazilian music. Dan established the 'Carpark Choir' in Melbourne, specialising in spontaneity and improvisation. He has now moved on to other new and exciting projects. Dan loves teaching choirs with rhythm and movement!