The Boxties are still wandering round in a haze of delight after last Tuesday 27 March and the Songs of Hope and Healing Concert, which featured (along with a host of other local acts) a combined set by us and the Friends of HEAL Community Choir.
This was the group of young people – about half of them from refugee backgrounds - and random friends put together specially for the concert, to help raise funds for the HEAL Foundation in its support for young refugees.
Over six weekends, the Boxties taught the choir a roof-raising version of the old Irish tune Mo Ghile Mear which, when the big night came around, set the Brisbane Concert Hall stage alight with energy, enthusiasm and the power that comes from a well-rehearsed group of people making music together.
The participants were keen from the start, and their spirit only grew in strength throughout the rehearsal period. The mixing among participants, younger and older, from all kinds of cultural backgrounds and circumstances, and the growing warmth and affection amongst them, was a joy to see and to be part of.
Anyone who looks back over the videos below can see it.
Enormous gratitude to all – too many to list really, but special thanks to Adele Rice at the HEAL Foundation and John Kotzas at QPAC for their vision and support in getting the whole thing up and running, to Dan and Liz for backstage choir wrangling, to all the teachers , therapists and other choir members who supported the kids in multiple ways, to Deb for her thoughtfulness and enthusiasm, and special thanks to Charlene and Aileen at QPAC whose care for all the participants made it possible to run such a complex project so smoothly.
We’ve been overwhelmed by the response and the messages of encouragement since the performance, and as the Boxties look to develop the range and depth of our work, we hope to be taking a project like this one to the next level soon.