Hi and welcome to the Boxties website.

The Boxties are a group of young singers and instrumentalists from Brisbane, Australia. We do folk, country, cabaret, music theatre, even a bit of tango – any music that appeals to us that we think we can do some sort of justice to. 

Some of us are professional musicians, some are still studying, some have followed different paths altogether, but we all started out in the Instrumental Music Program at Brisbane’s Ferny Grove State High School. That’s where we learned the fundamentals and all of us are still involved with the program one way or another. 

As these web pages go to air on the Amazing Electric Internet, we are starting our musical journey. 

Here you will find news about the band, coming events and reflections on music, music education, cultural life and perhaps some other interesting topics. 

We hope you enjoy sharing the journey with us.

Boxty: An Irish potato pancake with a characteristic smooth, fine-grained consistency – a logical namesake for a band delving into the Irish musical tradition and its many relatives and offshoots.

The Boxties are: Ben Burrows, Deanna Connelly, Ebony Cundy-Profke, Lochie Dormer, Mitchell Dormer, Rachel Kelly, Bridget Matthews, Annie Silva, Ashreya Ward.

Their Musical Director is Stephanie McCaw.


The Boxties: Bound Away to Leave you

7 - 9 December 2017


Cremorne Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC)

After their sold-out 2016 season, The Boxties return to QPAC with their show, Bound Away to Leave You. In a genre-pushing theatrical evening, they bring their trademark contemporary vibe and high energy music-making to the newly renovated Cremorne Theatre, in a concert that celebrates the mighty oceans and their hold on the human soul.

The show features powerful songs from Sting's musical The Last Ship alongside other haunting melodies that speak of boundless waters and distant longings - music that resonates with the pulsing call of the tide.

This is dynamic ensemble music-making - fresh, bold and thoughtful.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here.



Teaching Studio


Steph McCaw holds a Bachelor of Music (Performance) from Auckland University. She has worked as a percussionist in orchestras and bands, and as a musical director for theatre productions. She was appointed Head of Instrumental Music at Brisbane’s Ferny Grove State High School in 2005, where she manages the program and directs string, percussion and choral groups. In 2008 she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship which enabled her to visit community music programs in the UK, Finland and the USA, visiting community music programs. 

In the same year she was a recipient of Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellowship. 

In 2007, Queensland’s education department recognized the Ferny instrumental program as the most innovative education program in the state, awarding it the TechnologyOne Innovation Award in its Showcase Awards for Excellence. 

In 2009 the choral program was awarded first prize in the ABC/Brisbane Festival School Choir & Band Competition, and received a special Judges’ Prize in the ABC’s Flame Awards. 

Since 2011, the program has been the subject of an international research project based at Cambridge University, with two papers due to be published in international (UK and US) journals in late 2014. 

Steph was also awarded a National Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010. In 2013 she received a State “Positive Teacher” award for the program’s contribution to nurturing school wellbeing, and was designated a Queensland Government “Culture Champion”. 

She says that the greatest satisfaction she has had from her work is seeing so many of her students go on to become not only excellent musicians, but also fine and inspiring teachers. 

Email: smcca22@eq.edu.au

Ashreya Ward

Ashreya holds a Bachelor of Music from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, where she studied oboe with Tania Frazer and Eve Newsome. She has performed with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and the Camerata of St. John's, and in major musical productions at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. 

Ashreya's musical grounding comes from her time as a student in the Ferny Grove SHS instrumental music department. Now, as a teacher in the same community, she still loves being in an environment where discovering all kinds of music, and connecting with people through music making, are part of every day. 

Email: ashreyaward@gmail.com

Mitchell Dormer

Mitchell graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Voice from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. He has been employed by the conservatorium as an accompanist, played the piano in orchestras for productions such as Grease and The Wizard of Oz at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and productions at the Brisbane Powerhouse and Conservatorium Theatre, and been musical director for a variety of shows across Brisbane. 

Mitchell reckons he owes all of his musical ability to the Ferny Grove Instrumental Music Program where he spent his high school years. The feeling and atmosphere created by the staff and students is unequalled by anything else he has participated in. 

Email: mitchell_dormer@hotmail.com


Ebony has been playing viola for 12 years. She is a versatile musician who has performed with such acclaimed musicians as Dale Barltrop (currently Concertmaster of the Vancouver and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras) and Danny Harley (The Kite String Tangle), and who appears regularly with string quartets and other ensembles. 

At Ferny Grove she teaches viola and assists in directing choirs and other ensembles of diverse sorts. 

Having been a student in the Ferny Grove SHS Instrumental Music Program Ebony had no hesitation in joining the music staff, as the program’s community spirit was (and still is) so inspiring. She finds its creative process to be full of joy and surprises, and every day is fulfilling in its own unique way.

Email: bonbonresidence@live.com.au

Annie Silva 

Growing up immersed in the Ferny Grove Instrumental Music Program shaped Annie into the well-rounded musician she is today. It instilled in her a strong sense of community, and with it a passion for ensemble playing.

As a violin student at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music she is a member of the Griffith Honours College and a recipient of the Sir Samuel Griffith Scholarship and the Matilda Jane Aplin Prize. However, it is her continued involvement at Ferny Grove that allows her many areas of interest and study to come into play, where they are added to a collective pool of knowledge and experience from which to draw and share inspiration. 

Email: annie.silva@optusnet.com.au


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