BOITE MILLENNIUM CHORUS
 
I have been involved in leading choirs for forty years - since upper secondary school. This year I was part of leading a regional choir to the Gurrong concert. The process, the content, the synergy and the spirit made it the MOST important and simply greatest sing of my life to date! From my heart, THANK YOU you to all. Leonie Brien
 
I honestly had no idea what to expect from this experience as I'd never even heard of the Millennium Chorus before. I was cynical for the first few rehearsals as I thought some of the songs were too difficult to learn, and a bit old fashioned. But as the weeks went on, and the voices came together, I began to feel like I was a part of something much bigger than myself.And then when we finally performed at Hamer Hall, I was genuinely moved and energised in a way that I never expected. I felt honoured to be a part of the choir, and the whole experience.  Claire Bishop
 
What an experience!  It is hard to describe how it feels to be an "ordinary person" who has had the opportunity to stand on stage as part of this wonderful performance in a venue where world class artists have also stood.  The Boite is truly egalitarian in its commitment to the joys of music. Faye Juetz
 
At first I was hesitant. A 9 week commitment, and all of those lyrics to remember! But it all came together as promised. I feel privileged to have been a part of something so meaningful and joyous. I believe the world is a better place when we sing. Narelle Gilmore
 
My first experience participating in the Boite Millennium Chorus Gurrong has been an absolute privilege and inspiring.  I found all aspects of the organisation and logistics of co-ordinating the event extremely professional, and the guest artists fantastic.  I have been a member of a family extremely involved Theatrical family with my mum Patricia being involved in all aspects of Bendigo Theatre Company for 50 years till her passing, AsI I didn't follow my siblings into the theatre and hadn't really sung in this capacity for 42 years.  Feeling more comfortable in the choral group, I now thank Boite for this wonderful experience..  Thank you especially to Jane and James who taught me more in 12 weeks than I had ever learnt in my entire life, that includes school choirs, mini gigs as a teenager, and 5 recent years in a local choir. They're energy, committment and enthusiasm is inspirational.  Sincere thanks to Boite. Antoinette Lyon
 
An exquisite and moving event, well organised, brilliantly put together and superbly run during rehearsals (and the performance). The choir masters were just unbelievable, truly talented, while the Boîte personnel were also quite extraordinary. An absolute gift to be part of this very special event and to perform alongside world renowned singers (and dancers) who were most respectful of us all. Having the children singing too on the night meant that it had people of all ages contributing to this deeply emotional and meaningful community event. Lesley Caust
 
I experienced a state of well-being through-out this entire experience that birthed joy, delight, surprise, gratitude, love and a fullness of being human that can only come from singing with such wonder-filled, gifted people.  Such glorious sounds coming together from humans WITHOUT any auditions is both breathtaking and life-giving.  As a public health practitioner this is by far the BEST way to bring well-being to communities in these shame-filled, dark times. Thank you to all who generated this wonder ... it was like a great prayer enfolding and blessing us all. Mary Tehan
 
It's so easy to not get involved and commit to something, especially over the winter months.....but this experience has taught me that being part of something that brings out the sunshine in humanity, rewards the soul like nothing else can. Liz Denniston
A few months ago, I decided to do something I had never done before in my previous 78 years. My enjoyment of choirs, amongst other things, had been sparked by the Boite over many years, so I thought “I'll try out for the Millenium Chorus.” I had never sung in a choir before – never at school, not in church, not even in the shower! Involvement in the 2014 Chorus has been sheer pleasure from start to finish. Inspiring leaders weaving magic, drawing wonders from enthusiastic singers from near and far. Friendly people. Highly efficient organisation in every detail. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made! John Laffin
 
As a Millenium Chorus 'newbie', I can honestly say what a wonderful, fabulous experience! I thoroughly enjoyed every part of it- the rehearsals, meeting so many lovely people and of course, the performance itself. The songs were interesting and varied and very musical. Learning to sing in other languages was challenging and stimulating. I learned more about Australia's history such as about Pennyweight Hill. I found James and Jane amazing in their level of preparation for the rehearsals and their warmth, patience and encouragement throughout the whole process. No question was brushed aside. I felt well prepared for the concert and enjoyed it immensely. Singing on the same stage as Archie Roach is something I will never forget. Thanks to the Boite for making it all possible! Antoinette Sampson
 
 
BOITE SCHOOLS CHORUS
 
From the Students
 
"It’s really fun because we are learning new songs from another culture and learning some bits of language. We also like meeting other kids. The actions are really fun and give us confidence on stage."
- Lucy, Student, Balwyn North Primary School
'I learnt about different styles of music and the way you sing them. I liked the band. It was fun. I liked singing the high parts'.  - Oscar, BSC 2011 Freedom Road
'I’d rather sing with other people than with by myself. It’s fun'. - Tahlia, BSC 2011 Freedom Road
'It’s like open to all different schools and you get to mix with lots of different people'.  - Ayisha, BSC
 
From the Teachers
 
The Boîte, who so passionately believe in the power of song to communicate and reflect issues of our time. The experience of Boîte proved to be beyond our wildest dreams. Its essence is intercultural understanding, and it advocates the same critical social and emotional attributes that we feel are integral to a Scots education and deeply valued by the Scots community." - Mr Greg Newbold, Head of Junior School, Scots College, BSC14 Gurrong
'Being able to work with first class musicians, performing in a massed choir and in a first class performance venue gives the students a glimpse of what can be achieved where there is a unity of purpose. Creating links with other countries and providing insights into their cultures can only promote tolerance and greater understanding of other’s view of the world and this aligns well with our school’s values'.  - Bettina McMurray, Plenty Valley Christian College, participating teacher 2012
 
From the Parents
 
'We really appreciated the wonderful concert on Wednesday. Thank you to all involved in such a massive amount of work. It helped us to remember the point of life! Our daughter Violette ( she is 8 ) came home ecstatic about music and will never forget the experience. Thank you'. - Emilia Storm and Neil McLachlan 2012
"Thank you to all those involved in organising yesterday's performance at lunch time. It was a most entertaining performance and my daughter had so much fun performing."
- Parent, BSC14 Gurrong
 
 
THE SINGERS' FESTIVAL
 
The Boite Singers' Festival is an Australian Living Cultural Treasure - it is a perfect example of best practice in high-quality, well-run community arts and multicultural arts events, providing positive opportunities for artists (including developing artists), and showing the value of lifelong learning and active music-making in enhancing well-being, and building healthy communities. The Boite deserves to be funded gernously by governments and funding bodies so that it can continue to do this invaluable work. This will be money extremely well spent, with benefits spreading to thousands of Victorians as choir leaders, singers, children, and musicians take what they have learnt back to their communities and share it with others. The positive benefits and inspiration just keep spreading outwards. Jeannie Marsh  
 
Daylesford Singers Festival is the highlight of our Red Tent year. We look forward to it with much anticipation and then reminisce till the cows come home....much eye glazing from members who couldn't make it. Claire
 
No matter what brings to you the Daylesford Festival, everyone leaves as  an audience member, a performer, a student, a teacher and a truly inspired singer - it is the best way to start the year! Darina Seal
 
I loved being able to experience singing in many different styles with the assistance of great facilitators.  Judy Rassaby
 
The festival allows participants to express them self in a safe, friendly and professional atmosphere. Singers,educators and artists are carefully selected to extend skills for budding performers. The likes of Dani Fry and Stella Savy are a great example of exceptional educators who inspire, conduct and pass on unforgettable singing experiences.   Megan Fromholtz   Primary Arts Educator