Sharing culture and song
Main photo: Sharing culture and song. Photo taken at Big Sing in the Desert 2018. Photo by Amy Jean Harding. Small photos taken by Liz Phillips and Prue Adams.
Big Sing in the Desert 2023
20 – 23 April 2023
After a three-year break Big Sing in the Desert is BACK in 2023!
A unique four-day singing camp in the heart of Australia, Big Sing in the Desert is much loved by all who attend, providing an opportunity over four days for musical and cultural sharing through song, dance, food, art, conversation and community.
Singers attend from all over Australia, including up to 40 singers from Central Desert Aboriginal communities. Beginners and experienced singers are all welcome.
Your tutors, Rachel Hore and Morris Stuart, are passionate about valuing and preserving the unique sound and style of Central Desert choral singing. Part of the workshop will be to encourage leaders from Central Desert choirs who may wish to share songs, culture and language with us.
Big Sing in the Desert is a Big Sing Community event.
Sponsor a First Nations Singer
We REALLY need your help!
Help us bring 40 singers from six remote communities to Big Sing in the Desert 2023. We REALLY need your help to make it happen!
Our goal is to raise $40,000 before 20 April 2023. Can you help us to get our singers there?
Donations are tax deductible.
We will learn beautiful songs in three-part or four-part harmony led by Rachel and Morris, as well as hymns and songs in Aboriginal languages helped by members of local Aboriginal choirs.
Big Sing in the Desert 2023 begins from 4pm, Thursday 20 April 2023 and finishes at 3pm, Sunday 23 April 2023.
We will transport you to Ross River from Alice Springs Airport or from your Alice Springs hotel at various times from midday onwards on Thursday. We will transport you back to Alice Springs after Big Sing finishes on Sunday.
Our home for the four days is Ross River Homestead, which is located in the East MacDonnell Ranges, one hour’s drive from Alice Springs. There will be time for exploring the beautiful red gorges nearby, joining weaving or art workshops and for informal singing and a concert.
In 2023, as part of our COVID Safety Plan, we will be moving our singing sessions from the old Ross River Homestead building (near the cabins), to the larger Function Centre in the campground, which has more space and better ventilation. We will also be eating all of our meals at the Function Centre.
There are two types of accommodation to choose from in 2023:
Cabin accommodation is basic but comfortable with an outback feel.
- Twin-share cabins (sleep 2-3 people) (one double bed or two singles, or one double plus one single)
- Multi-share cabins (sleep up to 5 people) (limited number available) (one double bed, one single bed and one bunkbed)
- No single cabins available.
- Cabins include air conditioning, small fridge and ensuite bathroom.
Singers staying in cabins need to be prepared to walk back and forth to the Function Centre each day. It’s a lovely 10-minute walk. If you have limited mobility issues, we can provide a lift to and fro. Let us know your needs when you book.
The campground is near the Function Centre, where we will be singing and eating meals.
- BYO camping gear, camper van or caravan.
- Powered sites available.
- Shared amenities block.
There is no bunkhouse accommodation available this year. We are reserving those rooms for our sponsored singers who need to be accommodated close to the new Function Centre for our singing sessions.
Meals are served buffet style – with a mix of hot and cold options. Vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free diets can be catered for. Let us know your needs when you book. A self-catering option is recommended only for self-sufficient campers. Note – there is no access to fridges available at Ross River Homestead in 2023.
If you are unsure, contact Jodie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0415 885 335.
(per person, 3 nights, all meals)
|Transport to Ross River||$100 return|
Self-catered breakfast and lunch
(per person, 3 nights, self-catered breakfast and lunch, includes dinner).
|Transport to Ross River||$100 return|
Flights and transport to Ross River
You will need to book your own flights to and from Alice Springs as early as possible. Note that flight prices have increased and there are limited services available.
Arriving: You may like to arrive a day or so early to explore the region. We will provide transport from either Alice Springs Airport or your Alice Springs hotel to Ross River Resort on Thursday 20 April 2023.
Departing: Big Sing finishes at 3pm, Sunday 23 April 2023 and we recommend that your return flights be booked for Monday 24 April or later. Please note Tuesday 25 April is the Anzac Day public holiday. We will provide transport from Ross River Resort to your Alice Springs hotel or to the airport (if needed) on Sunday 23 April.
The cost of transport to and from Ross River is $50 each way.
We strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance coverage.
We are committed to providing a wonderful programme in 2023, while staying COVID safe, and protecting our most vulnerable singers. Our COVID Safety plan will be sent to you before you arrive at Big Sing in the Desert.
Mob: 0415 885 335
To be notified about Big Sing in the Desert and other Big Sing Community events join the Mailing List and follow Big Sing Community on Facebook and Instagram.
Your Booking Details
FLIGHTS & TRANSFERS
If you have a confirmed Big Sing in the Desert booking you can advise us of your flight details, pick-up and drop-off location here.
CHANGES TO BOOKING DETAILS
Changes to your booking details can be advised here.
Please notify us when you have paid your booking balance owing here.
Please notify us AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you cannot attend the Big Sing in the Desert 2023. Deposits are non-refundable. Cancellation between 15 February and 31 March 2023 incurs a cancellation fee of 25% of booking amount. Cancellation on or after 1 April 2023 incurs a cancellation fee of 50% of booking amount. No refunds for no-shows.
To notify us of your cancellation please use this form or email Jodie at email@example.com.
About Morris Stuart
Founder and musical director of the Alice Springs choir “Asante Sana”, Morris also directs the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir whose stories are beautifully told in the film, The Song Keepers.
Many of the women singers who attend Big Sing in the Desert are also members of this choir.
Morris is creative director of the annual Desert Song Festival in Alice Springs.
Big Sing Community events are activities of Big Sing Incorporated (ABN 17 387 893 463), a registered charity providing opportunities for singing and cultural sharing on Country. Donations to Big Sing Incorporated are tax deductible.
What else is happening …
2023 Dates TBA
18 - 19 March 2023
Atherton Tablelands, QLD
20 - 23 April 2023
Ross River Homestead
Near Alice Springs, NT
Saturday 27 May 2023
W1: 30 June – 2 July 2023
W2: 14 July – 16 July 2023
Blue Mountains, NSW
2023 Workshop dates TBA
Blue Mountains, NSW