News!

NEW CHOIR!!!

Here is info about the new choir which will be starting soon – we are having a free workshop audition on Monday 20 February 2017, from 6.30 to 8pm, so come along and give it a go.

We are looking particularly for people who have sung in choirs before, are able to sing in 3 or 4 part harmony, have a well developed sense of rhythm and can (kind of) read music. We’d like this choir to be able to do all kinds of music, including improvising, and to knock people’s socks off when we sing!!

Adrian Williams-Brett has been singing in and leading choirs for many years. He was an original member of ‘Cafe of the Gate of Salvation’ before moving to the UK where he sang with award winning group ‘Naked Voices’ and led 3 large community choirs. He now sings with local group ‘Dynasty8’. He is also a composer, arranger and an accredited voice trainer.

Janet Swain has worked for the past 25 years as a choir leader, arranger and songwriter, forming groups from Sydney to Singapore, and back again. She run a children’s choir and teaches music in local primary schools, sings with chamber choir Dynasty8 and plays with the wild cabaret band The Loveys.

Contact Adrian or Janet if you’re interested.

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January 24 2017

Welcome back everyone to a new year! Things are starting to move again, as we emerge from summer holidays, days on the beach, reading books, watching videos.

This year Song Dynasty Music is even more focussed as I develop the business in Australia.

Here is a list of projects and choirs for the year ahead.

  1. Byron Shire Young Voices – now entering our third year, and with about 20 voices, this kids choir continues on Mondays, starting on Monday 6 February at Mullumbimby Primary School hall. This year the times have changed slightly – the training choir, for children age 4 to 7, will meet from 3.30 to 4.15pm, and the Performance Choir will rehearse from 4pm to 5.30. I have decided to discontinue the separate boys and girls rehearsals this year, and all children will work together.
  2. Sing-Ray Choir – now continues as a monthly singing workshop, at Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club.
  3. NEW! Advanced choir – I am planning to start this choir with Adrian Brett, on Monday evenings from 6.30 to 8pm. This will be an auditioned choir, and we will commence rehearsals when we have twenty people ready to start. Watch this space!
  4. Dynasty8 Chamber Choir – this is an 8 voice choir and we have some really great concerts planned for the year ahead.
  5. Primary School teaching – I continue this year to work at Mullumbimby Primary School, The Pocket Primary School and Shearwater Steiner School.
  6. The Loveys (www.theloveys.com.au) – whilst not a Song Dynasty project, this 6 piece band is starting to take off, and will be taking up lots of my time! This is the group where I feel most creative.

Song Dynasty Music is the umbrella organisation for most of the above, and I will also be presenting a number of workshops and performances over 2017.

Hope to see you – in a choir, at an event, in an audience!!

BSYV

October 27 2016

Another busy term has started for all Song Dynasty Music projects, starting with a wonderful concert of madrigals, love songs and recorder quartet in November.

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September 2016

The next big Song Dynasty event is Birralee Voices – a 50 voice youth choir from Brisbane – coming to give a workshop and concert in Mullumbimby. We have invited several schools to participate – Mullumbimby and The Pocket Primary Schools, Ocean Shore Primary School, Shearwater grade 5, as well as Byron Shire Young Voices. This concert celebrates the U.N International Day of Peace.

Come join us at Mullumbimby Primary School on Wednesday 21 September, 6.30, for an inspiring evening of beautiful songs sung by local kids and our special guests, Birralee Voices.

Poster - Mullumbimby Concert

August 2016

Term 3 has started, with the Byron Shire Young Voices training and performing choirs in full swing, rehearsing for a concert on 21 September called ‘There is Peace’.

This concert coincides with the UN International Day of Peace, and will feature guests from Brisbane, the 50 voice Birralee Children’s Choir, singing with BSYV, Mullumbimby Primary School and The Pocket School Choirs.

Cuppa Tea Choir has changed to Wednesday mornings at the Mullum & District Neighbourhood Centre, and Singray Swimmer’s Choir continues on Saturdays at 10am at the Byron Surf Life Saving Club on Main Beach.

Cuppa Tea Ukes continue working with Jenny Parenteau on Tuesday mornings 9.30 to 10.30.

Dynasty 8 Chamber Choir is performing some wonderful music at a house concert in a splendid secret venue later this month.

Organ of Delight

June 2016

We are excited to bring Ubuntu African Youth Choir to Byron Bay for one show only! 12 of the choir members are being billeted by local residents in Byron, and the choir will be supported by Byron Shire Young Voices and Dustyesky. It’s going to be a huge night! Book now, for Thursday 16 June 2016 at 7pm. Byron Theatre.

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Here is some info about the group.

Touring the world as small children they graced the stages of Carnegie Hall and the London Palladium performing for US Presidents and Nobel Prize winners with celebrities such as Will Smith, Bob Geldorf, Alicia Keys and Annie Lennox.

KwaYa Australia and Song Dynasty Music are excited to host UBUNTU, a group of singers, musicians and dancers who were former members of the world-renowned African Children’s Choir; an organisation that to date has helped educate over 52,000 children.

Having just graduated from high school through African Children’s Choir sponsorship, the talented 18-20 year olds who form UBUNTU are poised to fulfill their promise of making a difference in their own villages.

Before they prepare for university on their journey to become Uganda’s future leaders they are thrilled to share with their culture with Australia including how their African dreams are becoming a reality through this inspirational tour which travels from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast from April to June.

During their time in Australia they will be hosted and billeted by local residents where they have the opportunity for a grass roots cultural exchange. Last year Byron Shire hosted the young children from African Children’s Choir who gave workshops and performed to a packed audience at Mullumbimby High School.

“Watching participants from both sides learn about each others cultures is one of the highlights of the tour,” says Marsha Gusti, President and founder of Kwaya Australia.

Venni closeup

Local musician and Song Dynasty Music director Janet Swain visited Uganda in 2013 and 2014 to work with the African Children’s Choir as part of the Kwaya Australia tours. “It was totally inspiring to watch young people learning new songs and dance routines, and to see the energy and commitment with which they approached their learning, whether it be maths, dance or music,’ Janet said. ‘it’d be fantastic for everyone, especially young people, to come and see Ubuntu strut their stuff in Byron Bay!’

Described by viewers as “world class” and “the Soweto Gospel choir on steroids” UBUNTU is a spectacular show that reveals Africa’s extraordinary vibrant culture. Audiences will be inspired by the transformation of these young adults who offer an unforgettable experience through evocative songs, mind blowing dance moves, haunting harmonies plucked from traditional instruments and masterful drummers pounding out ancient rhythms.

Ubuntu will be appearing at Byron Theatre on Thursday 16 June at 7pm, and supporting them will be Byron Shire Young Voices and much loved local choir Dustyesky. It is sure to be an inspiring night!

For more information visit www.kwaya.org or follow the tour on Facebook www.facebook.com/ubuntutour

Ubuntu flyer

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May 11 2016

Term 2 is well underway, and things are looking great. Singray Choir in byron is going strong – we have already performed at a few parties for other swimmers particularly, and the group is so motivated and enthusiastic, it is a pleasure to work with them each week.

Great rehearsal last night for Byron Shire Young Voices. We are learning Come Home by local songwriter Chris Mallory. We have kids from 12 local primary and high schools including Shearwater and Cape Byron Steiner schools, Brunswick Heads, Wilsons Creek, St Johns, Mullum, Coorabell, Goonengarry primary schools, Mullumbimby High School Mt St Pats Murwillumbah, Trinity College Lismore plus homeschool kids. It’s so great to see them all singing and working together.

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And Cuppa Tea Ukes and Choir is also humming along, as word of mouth does it’s job. Lots of people are coming along now to the Tuesday morning uke party at 9.30am with Jenny Parenteau, and several people stay on for another hour of singing with me

Cuppa Tea term 2 2016.

May 2016

Term 2 is starting up this week, with Byron Shire Young Voices starting on Monday 2 May, Cuppa Tea Choir and Ukes starts on Tuesday 3 May, and Singray Choir starts on Saturday 7 May.

I have just started teaching music at Mullumbimby Primary School and as a result have had to drop a couple of things, particularly the Gorgeous Pop Choir in Palm Beach. This was a hard decision as the people in that choir are so lovely. Happily, a number of them have moved to Nadia Sunde’s Big Sing in Tugun on Monday nights so all is not lost.

The other big change is the structure of Byron Shire Young Voices. There will now be a training choir for inexperienced young singers, and a performing choir for those who are ready to learn more challenging repertoire.

I am looking forward to another great term of singing!

February 2016

All our choirs start in February for 2016, and Jenny and I are flat out choosing great songs and arranging songs.

Dynasty8, our vocal ensemble, is already rehearsing for our first concert in March with Emilie Lemasson – stay tuned for more info.

Cuppa Tea choir and Ukes starts this week! This is our SDM Community Engagement through Music initiative, which we hope will grow over the years.

Here is a list of why it is so great to sing and play music as part of your daily life.
So why on earth should you be singing???
Let me count the ways.
1. Singing uplifts the soul
2. Singing chases away depression and drums away the evil spirits!
3. Singing can slow down and equalise the brain waves.
4. Singing can regulate your heart beat
5. Singing can boost the immune function.
6. Singing can boost productivity
7. Singing can strengthen memory and learning
8. Singing helps us to sense the magnificence of the universe.

So what are you waiting for!!!! Come and SING with us next week

Cuppa Tea

January 2016

Welcome to the new year! Exciting news is that I am starting a new choir in the heart of Byron Bay at the rather unusual time of 10am on Saturday mornings. This is because the singing will happen after the traditional 8am swim that many locals do – walking from the surf club in Byron down to the Pass and then swimming back to the club. Swimming, and singing! What a great combination.

stingray choir

December 2015

As the year draws to a close I am starting to reflect on the past 10 months. It’s been a huge year for us – our first year in the Northern Rivers area. We had our launch in March this year, and we end with the Byron Christmas Bash in a couple of weeks, when all our choirs and uke groups come together to celebrate holidays and Christmas.

We decided to start big and see what worked, what people wanted, and what people talked about the most. Bay Community Singers, and the Cuppa Tea Uke and Choir – our community outreach initiatives – are going strong, with the support of both Byron and Mullumbimby Neighbourhood Centres. Gorgeous Pop Choir and Ukes in Palm Beach has also grown, with 25 members and more joining in 2016. We have a limit of 40 places in this choir and hope to build to that number soon.

Kids choirs have also grown, with 13 in the girls choir and 8 in the boys choir. We also hope to build these choirs to 20 voices in each. I’ve had wonderful support from Chris Mallory and Mike Anderson, as well as support from parents and friends. I really believe there’s a place for these choirs especially for kids who love singing and it’s a great opportunity for kids to socialise with kids from other schools. Next Monday 14 December we will present a little workshop performance at 6pm, at the Scout Hall.

Thanks for all your support, and we hope to see you either singing with us, or coming to one of our concerts in 2016!

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October 2015

What a fantastic term we had, culminating in two great little concerts. One featured the children’s choirs, and the other included all of the choirs we have been working with, with a very special addition being the debut performances of both Dynasty Voices, our auditioned choir directed by Emilie Lemasson, and Dynasty8, our small ensemble directed by Elizabeth Swain. Both these choirs wowed our audience with their beautiful harmonies and sophisticated sound.

We are now preparing for our final term of the year, and we will be presenting some really wonderful concerts in December to celebrate the joyous season of Christmas and New Year.

Registrations are open for the kids choirs, the auditioned choir Dynasty Voices, and the choir in Palm Beach – which from this term will be an auditioned choir as well.

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July 2015

Term three has started, and we are off and running with our three kids choirs on Mondays, uke and choir on Tuesday morning at Mullum Neighbourhood Centre, and uke and choir at Palm Beach on Tuesday nights. Emilie has started her Mamas and Papas Sing choir in Bangalow on Monday mornings, and Elizabeth runs the Bay Singers down in Byron Bay on MOnday mornings as well. So it’s all happening in the singing front and we are excited!

Big news – we are currently auditioning for two new choirs to start in the next few weeks. Emilie is starting a choir for people who are ready for more challenging repertoire, but who might not read music, and Elizabeth is looking for very experienced choral singers who can read music well and are wanting to sing some amazing, challenging classical choral works with other experienced singers. We know you are out there somewhere! Call Emilie on 0410 300 005 to arrange an audition time.

We are cancelling the Monday night Gorgeous pop Choir for now to focus on our other work, particularly the kids choirs.

Click here for the latest term 3 and 4 timetable for 2015

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Meredith Monk’s Choir, deep in song.