Siakara - An introduction to Afro-Cuban songs and rhythms.

All participants who enrol must be fully (double) vaccinated by the class start date to be able to join classes on site (as per NSCC COVID policy): 

NO refunds or transfers for anyone who enrols and is not fully vaccinated by the class start date. 

Come and learn the unique songs and chants from the Afro-Cuban tradition which is a unique melting pot of Indigenous, African and European traditions. 

Sing the songs in harmony, move to the rhythms and hear some of the Santeria stories. 

“Siakara" is a Yoruba word meaning “moving forward with good intentions” and so we invite you to come and take part in this wonderful musical tradition. 

No singing experience is required, just a willingness to immerse yourself in music and culture. 

Taught by Clarita Derwent and Christina Mimmocchi, who together and separately have been singing and running singing workshops in far-flung places, including Cuba, for many years.

Tutor: Christina Mimmocchi

Christina is a songwriter and musician, and has been a choir-maker for close to 20 years.  She writes for her own solo projects, in collaboration with trio Strawberry Thieves and with composer/guitarist Greg White, and for various choir and community projects.   She has a special interest in social history and folklore.  She held the National Folk Fellowship - a collaboration with the National Library of Australia and the National Folk Festival - in 2009-10.     As a community choir leader she currently has seven weekly choirs and has organises special place-specific weekends (Sing Cockatoo, Sing Canowindra, Sing Dubbo, Forbes Festival, April Sun in Cuba) which combine community harmony singing and exploring place and culture through song.

Tutor: Clarita Derwent

Clarita Derwent Clarita has been an educator and vocal trainer for over 26 years. She specialises in A-cappella, Cuban Son, Latin American music, and has particular interest in singing in languages other than English. She also has a background in Music Theatre.   Clarita has taught community choirs, festival choirs and festival workshops (at festivals such as: National Folk Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, Thredbo World music festival, Port Fairy, Mount Beauty, Jambaroo Festival, Bellingen World music festival.....) and runs Singing Adventure Tours with choirs to Cuba twice a year for workshops and vocal courses plus performances. She has been Musical Director of the CONverge program since inception in 2005 at the Conservatorium of Music & Sydney University teaching voice and stage craft . She has taught at the Australian Institute of Music, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney University Compass program, University of Technology, WESTPAC, Wenona Girls High School .... Clarita has also performed with many bands such as Son Veneno,  Som Brasil (Samba Axe band), Charanga Libre (with 2 CD recordings), Jose Prates 30 piece orchestra (2 CD recordings), Sandunga - Cuban Jazz band, Mojito 5 piece Son Band, Blindman's Holiday (5CD recordings), Zingari Voci vocal group, Collaborations at International Festival of Coros, Cuba, "Tehillim" by Steve Reich performed with Synergy company, Historic Houses of Australia concert series, Across the top Australian tour to local and remote communities, Vocal residency South East NSW.. Clarita has provided session singer BV's for numerous world music bands and recordings (Latino ,Brazilian, African, eastern European, Cuban, Caribbean, Andean). Clarita has been involved in numerous collaborations for special festival performances (such as Woodford Folk Festival, and National Folk Festival, Adelaide Fringe) and with a variety of bands such as Reclaim Your Voice (Andy Busittil)  The highlight being Inaugural Sorry Day Concert 1998 performance (Sydney Opera House) with Kev Carmody, Archie Roach, & Ruby Hunter.