It’s February already, and Song Dynasty Music choirs and projects are in full swing.

BIG SING: So far there have been two introductory Big Sing workshops in Kingscliff and Byron Bay that attracted good numbers – about 34 in Kingscliff and 20 in Byron. Both Big Sing regular sessions have kicked off now – it’s always a bit hit and miss figuring out the timing, and I usually give a programme about 8 to 10 weeks to see if the timing is going to work. Brunswick Heads Big Sing – where it all began – continues to go strong, with between 20 and 35 people generally coming along on Monday mornings. Big Sing is such a pleasure for me to teach – every session I learn more, and feel more confident and connected. I have decided to start a training programme for people who’d like to teach in this style – and I have three people interested – Rhiann, Vasudha and Julie. We are meeting regularly, sharing new songs, improvising and discussing the Big Sing concepts. The Big Sing Facebook group is growing, and full of interesting videos and info about what we are doing.

BOWLO CHOIR: Adrian and I are taking a break from the Bowlo Choir this term – I am doing a theatre course in Brisbane on Monday nights and Adrian is busy with other projects – and it is with great pleasure that Shelly Brown has agreed to teach the choir for the first 8 weeks of this term. Check out the Bowlo Choir page – for more information.

SONG DYNASTY PROGRAMME 2020: We are not running the Festival of Voice this year – we decided to do it every 2 years, and so this year we are putting together a ‘Festival of the Voice presents…’ series of 5 concerts, starting in May. it is an exciting and varied programme over several venues in the Byron Shire, Lismore and Kingscliff – and we will be launching it as a subscription series on Thursday 9th April at Brunswick Picture House. Come along and see what we have in store. Im grateful to Rhys Daniel for offering his services as the SDM financial operator, and my mother Elizabeth for all the work she continues to do with Song Dynasty.

VALE TOBIAS HUG: It was with great sadness that we heard the news about the death of a wonderful singer, beatboxer and musician, Tobias Hug. Here’s what I wrote on my Facebook page –

Im so very sad to hear of the death of a wonderful singer, Tobias Rafael Hug. He was only 44, a man of deep musicality, a wonderful singer and teacher and a really really nice guy. Last time I saw him was in London 2 years ago – we wandered the back streets of Hackney Wick where he lived, and found ourselves drawn to some singing in the distance. it was a local black church – we were invited in by such a friendly bunch of people, beautifully dressed for church, and together we sat there and listened to some fierce and powerful singing. it was a magical moment in time that I will never forget! And I will never forget you dear Tobi – we first met in Singapore when he came to work with Singapore A Cappella Society (invited by Angelina Choo) and I knew immediately that he was one of the good people! So generous, so quietly and gently guiding new and old singers with his vast knowledge and experience. A great sense of humour. I have a sense of people all around the world – from top professionals (Swingle Singers) to young Singaporean singers, to hip beatboxers, (he was a phenomenal beatboxer!) to beginners just discovering the magic and power of singing – hearing the news as they wake up and I like to think we can all join somehow across the globe to thank Tobi for his life and his music – a huge Alleluia resounds across the world for you!

This year Im hoping to get to the Black Forest Voices Festival in June – the festival that Tobi started once he moved back home from London. Lots of his friends will be gathering together to honour and remember him, and I would like to be a part of that!