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The Boite

  • Project: Boite East Gippsland Schools Chorus
  • Amount: $18,875
  • Year(s) Funded: 2014

This project meets the HMSTrust focus areas of fostering creativity to enrich lives, strengthening collective capacity and building collaborative cultural networks.

Established 35 years ago, The Boite has an excellent track record of creating long lasting community-based arts projects which celebrate and support multiculturalism. Projects engage with urban and rural communities, including many schools. The Boite sought funding to create a 250-voice student choir from a cluster of 15 regional schools, involving teachers, parents, students, the local shire and community health services.

“Our ultimate aim is to get this kind of project running in every town in Victoria.” says The Boite CEO, Roger King

While the Boite has had multicultural singing projects in East Gippsland since the early 1990s, this is the first time it has organised a cluster of 15 schools to form the Boite East Gippsland Schools Chorus. The project will bring students together for 10 weeks of rehearsals culminating in a combined schools performance in Bairnsdale.

An experienced Gippsland music teacher will work with the Boite’s creative team, including other regionally based musicians, to develop repertoire and rehearsal material. Every song will have its own important story, and specially prepared teachers’ notes will allow the project to cross over into many areas of the curriculum.

Project aims

  • Form individual choirs within 15 schools.
  • Teach meaningful songs which connect students to ideas and issues shared with other young people globally.
  • Form a 250-voice combined schools choir leading to further collaborative work.
  • Run combined rehearsals to hone presentation skills and develop and reinforce friendship networks.
  • Present a major concert, leading to new levels of competence and self-esteem.

The Boite CEO, Roger King, says the Trust’s funding is critical in enabling payment for the music teacher and local transport for choir members. “Normally we would teach school teachers to rehearse the material, then we step back. But there are some very remote and very small schools in East Gippsland, so our model is to employ a music teacher and have her run the rehearsals for 10 weeks.