“Empowering through the arts.”
That’s the motto of Melbourne based group the School of Hard Knocks, who aim to engage and encourage people through performance, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, boosting their confidence and offering them a place in a welcoming community.
This year, the school’s International Singers Festival, already a success in Melbourne, will, for the first time, take place in Brisbane, with both festivals scheduled for successive weekends in June.
Geared towards school and community choirs, solo singers, and music teachers, the International Singers Festival offers workshops in choral arrangement and conducting, as well as arranging live performances.
Headlining both festivals is American composer and arranger Kirby Shaw, presenting a one hour masterclass for choirs.
This year’s major workshops, run by School of Hard Knocks organiser Dr. Jonathon Welch and Dr. Kathleen McGuire, will showcase original works Street Requiem, in memory of those who have died on the streets, and No Excuses!, an all female production that sings out against domestic violence.
The Brisbane International Singers Festival takes place at the State Library of Queensland on 3rd – 5th June.
The Melbourne International Singers Festival takes place at Deakin Edge, Federation Square, on 10th – 13th June.
Registration is through the School of Hard Knocks website. Profits from ticket sales will go towards helping the school continue to provide arts and cultural programmes to the marginalised and vulnerable.