Mara and Martenitsa Choir in Italy and the UK: July and August 2015
Tra Parole E Silenzio performances
Sunday July 26: Piazza San Lorenzo, Viterbo: Tuscia Opera Festival in collaboration with Coro Polifonico Soriano nel Cimino.
Thursday July 30: Parco Archeologico di Marzabotto, near Bologna: Infrasuoni Festival.
Friday July 31: Piazza Campitelli, Rome: Il Tempietto concert series.
Sunday August 2: Soriano nel Cimino, Lazio: Performance with Coro Polifonico Soriano nel Cimino and Zenzerei choir from Casperia. Dances with Gary Dawson.
Our heartfelt thanks to Peta Lowry who tirelessly liased with the Soriano Choir and looked after us all fabulously!
We also wish to gratefully acknowledge the assistance and advice of the Australian Embassy in Rome.
August 4 and 5: Mara! performed at the Sidmouth International Festival of Folk Arts in a double bill concert with English folk legends Blowzabella and a dance workshop and "The Big Dance" with Gary Dawson.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Thanks to all our generous sponsors through OzCrowd.
The first gig on Mara!'s Hong Kong tour for Premiere Performances and Musica Viva Australia was a Mother's Day concert at the Theatre, Hong Kong City Hall on Sunday May 10.
Mara!'s key schools performers, Mara, Llew, Brendan Clarke, Tim Clarkson and Paul Cutlan made the trip. The main thrust of the tour was to give performances and workshops in primary, secondary and special schools all over Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories. In a very tightly packed schedule, usually with 4 events in a day, we regularly left the hotel before 8 am to return after 6 pm.
Other concert performances were at the Ping Pong Gintoria in Sai Ying Pun (to raise funds for Premiere Performances, our host organisation, and one of Hong Kong's great performing arts charities), and the atrium of the Hong Kong Stock exchange (the first time Mara! has played for hedge fund managers and stockbrokers) for Premiere's major sponsor JP Morgan.
Mara! also workshopped teachers and mentored a new group "Viva Pipers" who are a wind ensemble who commenced schools performances in Hong Kong in 2015. These events were at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Kowloon. The Viva Pipers became good friends, and we shared dinners and some tourist activities together.
Our thanks to Sue Lane and Anna Griffiths for superb organisation from Musica Viva Australia, with their Hong Kong counterpart Henry Leung from Premiere who was an inspirational and devoted organiser. Our excellent interpreter was John Yip, and the team at Premiere was wonderful, as were our main drivers Sonny and Edmund.
And some key Australian performances 2015
Woodford Folk Festival 2015-6
Mara and Llew performed some dance events at this year's festival with maestro Gary Dawson and Jenny Dornan. They also sat in to play some Moldavian tunes with Transylvaniacs' members Mark Richards and Gemma Turner who performed concerts and a dance as the Csango Connection.
Touring for Musica Viva
Mara! Quintet continued nearly 3 decades of performing concerts in schools around Australia and overseas for Musica Viva In Schools, by performing a 10 day tour of North-Western NSW in November 2015 including Tamworth, Armidale, Moree, Glen Innes, Walcha, Scone and Gunnedah.
While in Gunnedah, Mara! performed a 'Rural Halls Tour' concert which also featured the Gunnedah Shire Band and the Sydney Youth Orchestra.
For Musica Viva, Mara! also performed about 40 schools' concerts in Sydney's western suburbs, and a dinner for the St John of God Hospital, one of Musica Viva in Schools sponsors.
Parramasala 2015, Paddington Uniting fundraiser
Now in its sixth year, the festival was a spicy mix of parade, parties, exotic bazaar, food stalls, music, dance, poetry, film, art, street performers and much more. Mara! and Martenitsa Choir presented excerpts from Tra Parole E Silenzio, Sezoni and some of our favourite dance music at Prince Alfred Park on Saturday October 24.
Mara! and Martenitsa's presented the tour's flagship work Tra Parole E Silenzio at one of our favourite Sydney venues Paddington Uniting Church on June 12. The concert also helped to raise funds for the band's on-ground costs during the tour.
Macquarie Uni Art Gallery
Mara! kicked off the Macquarie University Art Gallery's 2015 concert series with a performance reflecting the gallery's Gallipoli themed exhibition. The set included some beautiful Turkish tunes of the period by master musician Tanburi Cemil Bey.
Marais Project: Smorgasbord CD launch and premiere of new work by Llew and Mara Kiek
The Marais Project’s 3-year musical exploration of Tommie Andersson and Jenny Eriksson’s Swedish heritage came to a head with the launch of their CD, Smörgåsbord. Every piece on this CD is an Australian premiere. The repertoire includes works by Carl Michael Bellman, Johan Helmich Roman, Marin Marais and a pavane by Swedish jazz super stars, e.s.t. The concert was rounded out with the premiere performance of an Australian folk song suite arranged by Mara Kiek and Marais Project producer Llew Kiek.