What happens when one of the oldest European boys’ choirs mixes it with an Aussie choir with a 65,000-year-old culture?

September in Cairns. Winter is nearly over. It’s a coolish 27 degrees at 3pm and Stephanie Paul is hanging out with her friends, waiting for her choir rehearsal to begin. The young chorister is in year 10 at Cairns High School, where she is part of the Music Excellence Programme. She has a busy schedule: flute ensemble, rehearsals for the school musical, competing with the school choir in the state-wide Fanfare competition (they won) not to mention schoolwork… Nevertheless, every Monday she studies music theory and rehearses for several hours with Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir, an initiative of the Sydney-based Gondwana Choirs.

The 40-strong choir has been going for almost ten years now, and Stephanie has been singing with them for the past five. In that time she’s toured all over Australia, sung for politicians and popstars, recorded albums. In May of this year she took part in the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir’s first international tour, travelling to Germany, Slovenia and Austria for performances culminating in a joint project with the world famous Vienna Boys’ Choir. Singing is a...

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