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 together in the Instrumental Music Program at high school. That’s where we learned the fundamentals of music making. 

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 back at QPAC in Songs of Hope and Healing



27 March 2018


Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC)

Songs of Hope and Healing is a fundraising concert for the HEAL Foundation which promotes arts education for young refugees. The Boxties strongly support the foundation’s efforts, and will be appearing at the concert, in the Brisbane Concert Hall, QPAC, on Tuesday March 27.

Among other acts will be Camerata and Isaiah Firebrace, along with the Friends of HEAL Community Choir, assembled and prepared for the occasion by the Boxties.

Tickets are available to purchase through the QPAC website here.

Friends of HEAL Community choir



2pm - 4pm on Saturdays

Starting Saturday 17 February to Saturday 24 March 

Monday 26 March 5pm - 5.30pm - Dress rehearsal and soundcheck

Tuesday 27 March 5.30pm Final Rehearsal and Concert


Rehearsal Studio, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC)

The Boxties are kicking off 2018 in collaboration with QPAC and the Friends of HEAL foundation (FHEAL), taking part in Songs of Hope and Healing, a fundraising event at the Brisbane Concert Hall on 27 March.

FHEAL’s purpose is to promote arts education for refugee students and the Boxties are keen to lend their skills in support. As well as performing a set during the concert, the Boxties will be team-teaching a choir of students from several high schools to perform a choral number that should make an exciting climax. 

Anyone from the community, student or adult, is welcome to come along and take part (provided they can get to rehearsals). The Friends of HEAL Community Choir will be rehearsing from 2 pm to 4 pm on Saturdays at QPAC.

Rehearsals begin Saturday 17 February and will run until Saturday 24 March.

If you’d like to participate in the choir please email us at email@theboxties.com.

If you're under 18 you'll also need to download and return the attached Consent Form to email@theboxties.com.


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.



Rehearsal #4  Friends of HEAL Community Choir

Getting ready and excited for Songs of Hope and Healing on Tuesday 27 March 7.00pm in the Concert Hall. Tickets are available via the QPAC website here.

Rehearsal #3 Friends of Heal Community choir

We're half way there. Looking forward to seeing you all at the concert on Tuesday 27 March in the Concert Hall. Tickets are available via the QPAC website.

Rehearsal #2 Friends of Heal Community choir

Rehearsal #2 of the Friends of HEAL Community Choir preparing for Songs of Hope and Healing in the QPAC Concert Hall on Tuesday 27 March. So many smiling faces!

Rehearsal #1 Friends of Heal Community choir

Here's a little clip from the first rehearsal of the Friends of HEAL Community Choir. This is a group of young people and adults from all over Brisbane, coming together to support QPAC's Songs of Hope and Healing concert, a special benefit to raise funds for the Friends of HEAL Foundation, an organisation which provides creative arts therapy in school to young people of refugee backgrounds. 

The Boxties are especially proud to be the teaching team and accompanists for this item, which will follow on from their set in the concert. 

The Songs of Hope and Healing will be on in the Concert Hall at QPAC on Tuesday 27 March. 
Tickets are available at: https://www.qpac.com.au/event/songs_hope_healing_18/

Filming: Raj Padhee
Music: Penguin Cafe Orchestra
Editing: The Boxties

Special thanks to Just Percussion#VISINK and QUT Creative Industries for supporting this project.

Teaching Music the Boxties' way

Our musical director

The Boxties’ Musical Director, is music education pioneer Stephanie McCaw.

Steph has spent 25 years developing a music-teaching methodology recognized as outstanding by musicians and music educators both in Australia and overseas.

In 2008, Steph was a recipient of Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellowship, and was awarded a Churchill Fellowship, which enabled her to visit community music programs in the UK, Finland and the USA.

She received a National Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010.  In 2013 she received a State “Positive Teacher” award for her program’s contribution to nurturing students’ mental wellbeing, and was designated a Queensland Government “Culture Champion”. 

Through a long association with Steph, both as students and colleagues, the Boxties have become expert at delivering her methods of teaching.

For the Boxties, teaching music is every bit as important as performing. 

Our aim

There’s an expression – “the glistening eye” – which describes that look in the eye of the young performer (or performer of any age) that speaks of enthusiasm, communication, imagination and joy in music.

It’s hard to define but easy to recognise. We believe that the glistening eye effect is as fundamental an indicator as you can get that good music making is taking place, and that all the other benefits of music education – social, artistic and intellectual – are also present.

We strive to nurture the glistening eye in all our students, not least by creating an environment in which they feel accepted and secure, and therefore prepared to express themselves emotionally through music and support each other in doing so.

We aim to create a “learning community”, where learning takes place not only in formal lessons and rehearsals, but amongst the students themselves as they share their discoveries and encourage each other.

Why learn music?

There is an ever-increasing body of research that suggests that music is massively beneficial to cognitive, intellectual and social development, and the “higher order” thinking skills.

It has significant flow-on effects supporting learning in other areas such as language and mathematics, to say nothing of being a sophisticated artistic and intellectual discipline in its own right.

Perhaps most of all, it can nurture the imagination, the ability to think creatively, a sense of empathy and awareness of the things that unite us as human beings – the things you need if you want to go out into the world and lead a good life.

Our teaching method

Our approach emphasizes group teaching, and the grounding of musicianship in the body as well as the brain.

We do a lot of physical movement, singing, memorizing, and repetition – not mindless repetition, but inventive repetition that gives students time to dig deeply into a piece of music and hear what’s really there, so that they don’t just let notes fly by without thinking about what they mean, or even noticing them at all.

We want our students to hear how musical elements relate to each other, to understand how their part fits into the bigger picture, and to communicate that to an audience.



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