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

Sharing culture and song

Presented by Big Sing Incorporated

Postponed due to continuing COVID risk

Due to the continuing risk of COVID reaching vulnerable remote communities we have made the difficult decision not to go ahead with Big Sing in the Desert in May 2022. We need a much clearer idea of how the country is living with COVID and the effect of vaccination rates in remote communities before we can confidently commit to bringing this special event together. 

Because the nature of what we do at Big Sing in the Desert is COMMUNITY – singing together, sitting together, eating together, talking together, putting on a concert together, sharing tents or cabins together, travelling on buses, travelling on planes – much of our time is spent in close company with each other. We want to ensure that we act in everyone’s best interests, and as conservatively as possible.

So, we at Big Sing Inc are gonna take it SLOW! We are going to be patient, and wait a little longer …

Read full message from Rachel here.

What is Big Sing in the Desert?

The Big Sing in the Desert is a four-day singing camp that welcomes singers from across Australia at Ross River Resort, an original homestead near Alice Springs. The Big Sing is a unique workshop that provides an opportunity for musical and cultural sharing between Indigenous and non-Indigenous singers. 

More than 130 singers attend from every state in Australia including up to 50 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 an activity of Big Sing Incorporated. To be notified about Big Sing events join the Mailing List.

 

Sponsor an Indigenous Singer

Each year hundreds of people across Australia become sponsors to support Indigenous singers to attend the Big Sing in the Desert.

Contributions go directly toward the costs of transport, accomodation and workshop expenses for singers from the Central Desert communities of Docker River, Mutijulu, Titjikala, Areyonga, Hermannsburg and Alice Springs.

Find out more here.

Event program

We learn beautiful songs in 3-part or 4-part harmony led by Rachel and Morris, as well as hymns and songs in Aboriginal languages helped by members of local Aboriginal choirs.

There will be time for exploring the red gorges around Ross River, informal singing and a concert.

BIG SING IN THE DESERT begins from 4pm Thursday and finishes at 3pm Sunday (event dates to be advised). We can transport you to Ross River from the airport and Alice Springs at various times from midday onward on Thursday. We can also transport you back to Alice Springs or the airport after Big Sing finishes.

Accommodation

Ross River Homestead is located in the East MacDonnell Ranges, one hour’s drive from Alice Springs. There are three types of accommodation to choose from, depending on your budget.

Cabins: 1-2 beds for 2-3 people (one double, two singles, or one double plus one single) with air conditioning, fridge and ensuite. No single cabins available.
Bunkhouse: 2 to a room, 10 minutes walk across the creek from the homestead. Shared amenities block.
Camping: 10 minutes walk across the creek from the homestead. BYO camping gear. Shared amenities block.

Flights

You will need to book your own flights to and from Alice Springs. Because Big Sing finishes late Sunday afternoon, we recommend that return flights be booked for Monday. 

Transport

We can provide transport from Alice Springs to Ross River Resort and return. Cost of transport is $35* per person each way (*indicative 2020 price – future price to be advised). 

Food

Food is served buffet style – with a mix of hot and cold options. Vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free diets can be catered for.
A self-catering option is available for self-sufficient campers and those with particular needs. Due to limited food prep and storage facilities we recommend the all-meal option for those staying in the cabins or bunkhouse.

If you are unsure, contact Jodie at jodie@rachelhore.com or 0415 885 335.

The Cost

All meals
Indicative 2020 prices – future prices to be advised

(per person, 3 nights, all meals)

 
Cabin $1,120
Bunkhouse $870
Camping $840

Self-catered breakfast and lunch
Indicative 2020 prices – future prices to be advised
(per person, 3 nights, self-catered breakfast and lunch, includes dinner)

 
Cabin $970
Bunkhouse $710
Camping $680

Further Information

Jodie Lee

Email: jodie@rachelhore.com
Mob: 0415 885 335

To be notified about Big Sing events join the Mailing List.

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.

The scholarship supports Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people from around Australia to attend Big Sing events.

More info …

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