Welcome to the DeepBlue community page!
Researchers suggest creative industries have a role to play in community well-being and that music is an inherently social act, and one which contains enormous potential to bring people together. We believe whole-heartedly with this and a huge part of what we do is getting to know our audiences and communities.
On and off tour we run various engagement programs that communities can get involved with. Ranging from our most well-known YoungBlue program, which aims to empower young musicians to approach their music with a totally different attitude, to ChoralBlue through which we have collaborated with community choirs to provide unique performance opportunities.
Through our Outreach programs we have worked with and supported a variety of local schools as well as organisations including the Smith Family, Hear and Say, Starlight foundation, and Autism QLD. DeepBlue have also worked with a community in Zimbabwe to help support their project the ‘SCHONA Music School’
The DeepBlue Audience is also a huge part of our community, and we love how you interact and collaborate with us, particularly through our unique Electronic Show Programme (ESP).
If you’ve recently been to a DeepBlue show and have something you’d like to share, tag our socials: @deepblueorchestra !
Since DeepBlue began, we have always encouraged audiences to interact with us through mobile technology. We ask audiences to leave their phones on, take photos or videos and to text us, anything from how you might be feeling, to song requests and things you might like to share with us. This has allowed spontaneity in our shows from impromptu happy birthday songs to voting on which song our audiences would like to hear next!
DeepBlue wanted to take this interactivity to the next level so developed a platform for audiences to use during the show called the interactive Electronic Show Programme (ESP). The ESP presents live info about DeepBlue’s music and enables audiences to anonymously interact with DeepBlue. Using the ESP DeepBlue received 10,000 responses (1 every 2 seconds) in our 2012 and 2014 Brisbane shows. In 2019 we upgraded the ESP and now we can incorporate interesting audience responses into the show’s visuals.
Have you been to one of our recent shows? Check out the ESP responses archive below:
Workshops such as YoungBlue and ChoralBlue originated from a suite of community engagement practises DeepBlue implemented when they were touring remote, regional and metropolitan Australia. These models began as a way for DeepBlue to engage, work with and get to know the communities they were travelling to. These approaches were so successful that both have evolved, YoungBlue has grown massively leading an Education Revolution in the industry. Visit our YoungBlue page to find out more about your exciting program! ChoralBlue has most recently inspired the show ‘our place’ which was a collaboration between the Qld Choir, DeepBlue, Digi Youth Arts and Tjupurru. To find out more about ChoralBlue read below.
ChoralBlue is a unique collaboration and performance opportunity for local singing groups and community choirs of any age, culture or demographic! Community choirs from across Australia have performed with DeepBlue on our national tours as part of the ChoralBlue program, allowing DeepBlue to connect with lots of passionate and amazing vocalists.
The ChoralBlue program began as a top-secret hunt in each town DeepBlue toured to find singers and singing groups who would perform in the DeepBlue show. The singers would be sent sheet music in the lead up to the show, on the day of the show ChoralBlue would come back stage and rehearse with DeepBlue in preparation for the show. And then during the show ChoralBlue would sit scattered in the audience during the show, masquerading as regular audience members. At a prearranged moment ChoralBlue emerge, flash-mob style, onto the stage and sing with DeepBlue!
In 2019 this collaboration inspired a full collaboration with the QLD choir to present Our Place a collaboration between DeepBlue, the QLD Choir, Digi Youth Arts and Tjupruu.
If you’d like to collaborate or find out how your choir can get involved with our ChoralBlue program get in touch! We can’t wait to hear from you!
Check out some of the great feedback we’ve received from participants:
“To sing with such a great group of musicians and to a full house was a HIGHLIGHT of my singing life! Thank you ALL!”
Chorister, Whyalla, 2012
“I think the DeepBlue concept is fantastic, amalgamating the community into their performance and enabling groups such as ourselves and the ‘YoungBlues’ to be part of the evening. Thankyou for your leadership during the process and Freddy Mercury for taking all of us to vocal ranges that we only dreamed of…… I would like to commend DeepBlue on their professionalism, warmth and making myself and all the singers very welcomed.. it was wonderful to sing with you all.”
Matt Mc, Warnambool 2012
“Thankyou for the opportunity to sing with DeepBlue. The students had a magical night and are still very excited about it all this morning! Good luck with the rest of your performances”
Joanne Garnett, Greenock Primary School
Through DeepBlue’s Outreach programs we have worked with and supported a variety of local schools as well as organisations such as the Smith Family, Dharavi Rocks, ACORN foundation, Hear and Say, Starlight foundation, and Autism QLD. DeepBlue have also worked with a community in Zimbabwe to help support their project the ‘SCHONA Music School’. You can read more about our outreach programs below and if you’d like to find out more about how you can partner or collaborate with our outreach programs please get in touch we’d love to hear from you.
Busking for good
A big part of the DeepBlue show and approach is our roving interval buskers. Before each show and tour DeepBlue will find and decide on a worthy and relevant charity, group or project to fundraise for. During the show we let audiences know that we will be coming out during the interval to meet them as well as providing roving ‘busking’ style entertainment in which they can throw loose change in a bucket to raise money for these charities.
Busking during our shows has raised well over $10,000 for these charities and helped to inspire change and support young people across the world to help realize their dreams.
DeepBlue and Dharvi Rocks
On DeepBlue's tour to India in 2012 we worked with the Dharavi Rocks foundation with young musicians located in Mumbai’s largest slum, who make percussive instruments from recycled rubbish. Dharavi Rocks is part of an educational project of Acorn Foundation, working for the welfare of slum children and waste collectors/rag-pickers. The group started a few years ago with children in the age group of 7-17 years. With a mission to give slum kids a voice by initiating them into music, Dharavi Rocks create music out of waste materials like drum barrels, coffee shakers, paint cans, plastic boxes and all other type of junk stuff found from the areas of Dharavi Slums emphasizing on the concept of Recycle, Reuse & Respect. www.dharaviproject.org
Dharavi Rocks believes that music can make a difference. Music educates, improves learning skills, self-discipline, self-confidence, encourages teamwork, improves social skills, temperament and community life. Abhijit Jejurikar a musician at heart is an active volunteer at Dharavi Rocks.
These workshops led to a collaboration with Dharvi Rocks, the ACORN foundation, Siddhi Yadav (Mumbai sand artist) and DeepBlue to produce the show "India Stories" (link)
which premiered at the Woodfork folk festival and Brisbane Powerhouse.
DeepBlue and The Smith Family
DeepBlue worked closely with the Smith family’s IMPACT program to provide a semester-long series of extra curricular music and performance workshops for disadvantaged high school students. The SummerSchool program was adapted to cater to the students and culminated in a Performance with DeepBlue. The workshops spanned learning new instruments, composition and improvisation, technology, stagecraft and performance, dance and choreography and not only helped students learn new or further musical and performance skills but allowed, in a supportive environment, to empower and build self worth and confidence. This was an enriching experience for the students and DeepBlue alike. Here’s what some of the participants had to say.
“I enjoyed that it was all of us creating something together. I liked making our songs and having our individual input…I would definitely like to do some more work like that because we got to show everyone what we’d done…I felt like we accomplished something.”
“I was learning guitar and the people were awesome… I enjoyed performing and would like to do some more.”
“I liked learning keyboards and guitar and hanging out with them (DeepBlue) was really cool.”
“Performing with Alex Hills was heaps of fun as well – everyone enjoyed it a lot…I found that I actually can play keyboard, that I’m not hopeless at it…I’d like to learn more singing.”
“I enjoyed being able to play and perform…I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it – the variety and getting up in front of an audience…I enjoyed meeting a lot of different people.”
DeepBlue at Autism QLD
DeepBlue collaborated with Associate Professor Michael Whelan and Autism Queensland to curate a workshop and performance program for Studio G participants.
Studio G is an online digital media program for young adults (18+ years) on the autism spectrum. The program aims to see these young adults build social skills, a sense of inclusion, and confidence in their own potential to achieve goals through completing projects, as well as supporting them to transition into paid work, volunteering or further education.
Together the students and DeepBlue presented two shows, Altered States and Super Conductor and the Big Game Orchestra.
Super Conductor and the Big Game Orchestra premiered at the Queensland Music Festival 2017. The students designed and developed a computer game which invited members of the audience to play the game while DeepBlue performed the music according to how the characters were going in the game. The show was so fun and a big success for everyone involved and audiences alike!
Altered States premiered at CreateX Festival in 2016 which was then restaged at the Autism CRC’s annual general meeting recently. Autism CRC is the world’s first national, cooperative research effort focused on autism. The Altered States performances saw Studio G participants and mentors create a sci-fi narrative and a fantasy 3-D video which audiences experienced through 3D glasses. The participants also developed immersive foley sounds in which DeepBlue’s musicians performed in and around this immersive environment.
DeepBlues Ignite Program
DeepBlue have worked directly with schools and universities right across Australia to India, Vietnam and California. DeepBlues ignite programs aim to assist these institutions to revive, renew, inspire and ignite their arts and music programs, bringing the passion back and often providing a way to fundraise for the program and even the institutions cultural programs. To find out more about our ignite programs click here.
DeepBlue and The SCHONA music school
The SCHONA music school began a few years ago when Sophie met Emmanuel, a musician residing in Zimbabwe. He had a dream to start a music school for kids who can’t afford an education in a high density township in Harare. Sophie told DeepBlue about this dream and together we started raising money for the school. DerpBlue and their audiences were able to support him to help him build a couple of school buildings, start a farming project and buy a school bus.
This project sparked us to start the process of setting up a foundation and charity which can support projects like these. You can read more about the SCHONA music school here? Link the below?
Through your generous support the SCHONA music school has:
– Bought the lease of the land for 99 years, a school bus and complete two buildings
– Build and set up a chicken rearing program and set up basic farming land
– Fix and send a second hand computer
– Build and complete two buildings
– Buy a school bus
– Set up basic farming land
Dear Australia! Thank you all so much for your recent support for our Zimbabwe Music School project! Below you will find an update of the school’s progress from Emmanuel as well as some photos.
“We are well sheltered from the sun, wind and rain thanks to the generosity of the Australian people and deepblue for helping us put up a classroom at the school! Currently we have some very cool and smart children and at our school, a day looks like this…. We start with music theory and the basics of a normal school day then mid morning we move into practical, which we all love because we get to make sense of the music by playing. The instruments we have are a small xylophone, a set of African drums and some shakers, the kids are on the floor because we don’t have desks and chairs but they don’t seem to mind. We go for a lunch break after another hour and we make ourselves a plate of sadza and vegetables or eggs when the chickens have laid some. After lunch, we take to feeding, watering and bedding the birds in our chicken rearing program and also watering the vegetable garden! Then we go back in class for vocal training, the results are amazing, I really believe I am rearing some of Zimbabwe’s future superstars!
You are shining stars in our lives keep shining! And a BIG THANK YOU to the kind people of Australia and deepblue from all of us here. We love you all and please keep supporting us.
Emmanuel’s Zimbabwean Music School – The Story
“I appeal to you and all to try and raise this money for me and for this school if you can’t I will understand and pray that it comes from somewhere, I cannot do performances anymore here hence my inability to raise the money I need for me to keep my school. I am surviving on the greens that we have planted in a garden at home and the maize that comes from my mother and father’s field that we harvested earlier this year. There are no jobs here and I cannot raise any money at all. I would appreciate it if you can help but will understand if you can’t.” Emmanuel Chimbakura
Emmanuel is a very talented musician whose freedom music is banned by the politically corrupt government. With an 80% unemployment rate work is difficult to find and Emmanuel finds himself in a position where he cannot sit back and watch what is happening around him for any longer. Although he is not financially in a position to help the people around him, this has not stopped him. He has managed, with the help of his friends, to build a school on a block of land and although the building is incomplete he has 12 students already.
He teaches musical skills to children that can’t afford school in the hope that this will not only fill their days with learning but give them the motivation and endurance needed to live a poor life as a Zimbabwean. These are children that are otherwise spending their days on the streets. Not only is he giving these kids an opportunity to learn valuable and lifelong skills but he is giving them the gift of expression through music.
“We have twelve children that have already started to show a sign of understanding and enthusiasm for what they are being taught, the Achilles heel of this project is the lack of food as the children end up spending up to four hours or more at my place for they don’t have anywhere else to go, their parents are too poor to pay school fees for them so they are sent away from school and this is the only from of education that they are getting.” Said Emmanuel.
“We are using one set of Mbira Xylophone, African drums and box guitar, but we are happy to be doing this for the kids you know, it feels good.” Explained Emmanuel.
Emmanuel’s plans are to build a staged area for the students to put on alcohol and drug free family performances and to set up a small recording studio. To keep the project afloat Emmanuel has plans to have a chicken rearing program on the land for the pupils to partake in, as well as small sections of farm land.
By supporting this program you are supporting the Zimbabwean people directly. There are no big organizations here; the money you donate is going straight to the project and to these kids