Celebrating hope and healing at QPAC

Celebrated singer-songwriter Mahalia Barnes will headline Songs of Hope and Healing in the Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC) Concert Hall on Tuesday 7 June 2022.

QPAC’s annual Songs of Hope and Healing concert raises funds and awareness for HEAL (Home of Expressive Arts and Learning), a program that provides creative arts therapy to young people of refugee backgrounds.

Best known for her soul and blues vocals and as the frontperson for The Soul Mates, Mahalia has performed with artists such as Joe Bonamassa, Liam Gallagher, George Benson, Cold Chisel and her iconic father, Jimmy Barnes, and last year appeared on Network 10 program The Masked Singer.

Songs of Hope and Healing will be hosted by Mariam Veiszadeh, an award-winning humans rights champion, lawyer and author. Mariam founded the Islamophobia Register Australia and was Co-Chair of Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights and Our Watch.

The concert will feature an amazing line up of artists including: Matt Hsu’s acclaimed 20-piece Obscure Orchestra, featuring Brisbane’s most eclectic musicians and multi-disciplinary artists including Grammy nominated Tibetan artist, composer and activist Tenzin Choegyal; Yalanji Woman of Song, Deline Briscoe; JADE New World Collective, a unique group that fuses Western classical and traditional Asian elements; and dynamic Irish band Sásta.

Under the leadership of Choir Master Timothy Sherlock and Musical Director Helen Russell, the guest artists will come together with the voices of the QPAC Chamber Choir to deliver an uplifting concert inspired by international music, cultures and faiths.

QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said the reinstatement of the annual concert, following a two-year hiatus due to COVID, would unite artists and communities to celebrate the ideas of hope, healing and renewal.

“Songs of Hope and Healing demonstrates the power of live performance to bring people together to create and share stories of modern Australia. It’s heartening to be able to announce the return of this beloved and significant concert event at QPAC,” said Mr Kotzas.

“We value the opportunity to celebrate differences in people, culture and ideas and from that we grow to understand the world around us, create new connections and build more vibrant communities.

“After the past two years and the current climate of global conflict, these moments of connection through the arts are needed now more than ever.”

CEO of HEAL and Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT), Jamila Padhee, said the organisations were grateful to QPAC for the continued support of HEAL through the return of this major annual fundraising event.

“It is so wonderful to be back at QPAC for Songs of Hope and Healing following the disruptions of the past two years. HEAL relies on support from generous donors to deliver our program and COVID has prevented us from hosting our regular fundraisers while creating more demand for our services,” Ms Padhee said.

“The HEAL program works in schools to provide a safe and nurturing space for children and young people from refugee backgrounds to navigate their trauma-recovery, settle into their new communities and bridge the gap of their disrupted schooling. In 2021, HEAL was able to help 239 students to heal and thrive in Queensland schools.

“The funds raised through Songs of Hope and Healing will help us reach more students in more schools and ensure the experience of refugee trauma does not deny young people the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”

Since beginning in 2015, QPAC and HEAL’s Songs of Hope and Healing concerts have raised more than $42,500 to assist young people through creative arts therapies who have endured traumatic experiences in their refugee journeys.

Don’t miss this heart-warming one-night-only event with a stunning line up of artists and take the opportunity to make a positive difference to lives of young people of refugee backgrounds.

To find out more or book tickets visit QPAC’s website.

Media Release supplied. 

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