Friends in Cairns joined us for a unique performance on Friday 15 September, as Cairns Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir perform with the ACO Collective at the Tanks Arts Centre. Incorporating their distinct sound, Cairns GICC and the ACO Collective performed Luke Byrne’s Storm Bird and Birinyi , as well as a selection of works from the Torres Strait Islands. The songs by Luke Byrne were jointly commissioned by the ACO and Gondwana Choirs, written in conjunction with local Gimuy Walubara Yidinji elder Gudju Gudju, and feature Yidinji lyrics and dance.
Gondwana Choirs has enjoyed various collaborations with the Australian Chamber Orchestra since 2000, and other special opportunities have come about through this connection. For the past two years, the ACO’s Inspire Quartet have attended the Cairns GICC weekend residential camp. Across these weekends, our choristers have shared stories and music with the instrumentalists.
In June of this year, Cairns GICC choristers also travelled to Uluru to perform in the ACO Uluru Festival 2017 with ACO musicians, including Richard Tognetti. While there, choristers also performed for the children and elders of the local Mutitjulu community, who also hosted the singers for a meal.
Our Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir love the opportunity through these collaborations to sing in many Indigenous languages. They have been entrusted with language and stories to keep safe and pass on through song, and we are very proud of their achievements and their leadership.
Pictured above: Richard Tognetti & Lyn Williams with the ACO and members of Cairns GICC at Uluru in June 2017