• Written by QPAC Feature

‘FHEAL’ GOOD WITH songs of HOPE AND HEALING fundraising concert with special lead act lior


Don’t miss an uplifting and joyous evening as Brisbane’s artistic community and popular guest soloists come together for Songs of Hope and Healing at Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC’s) Concert Hall on Friday 28 August 2015.

Experience some of Brisbane’s leading school choirs and ensembles together on stage, joined by special guest and ARIA Award nominated singer and songwriter, LIOR and acclaimed classical pianist Shan Deng.

The concert will feature an introduction by the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD, CVO and Botswana born community leader Sharon Orapeleng as MC.

Songs of Hope and Healing is presented by QPAC to raise funds for Friends of the Home of Expressive Arts and Learning (FHEAL). Formed in 2012, the Friends of Heal Foundation exists to provide creative arts therapy to young people of refugee backgrounds through the provision of mental health services and settlement assistance. FHEAL offers direct relief of suffering for many newly arrived young refugees.

FHEAL creates opportunities for cultural expression, connection and understanding.

The Songs of Hope and Healing concert will raise funds to assist FHEAL in its work to support young refugees in Brisbane assisting such services as HEAL (Home of Expressive Arts and Learning) at Milpera State High School, Brisbane which has been providing creative therapy since 2004. Thanks to the work of the Foundation the service now also exists in other schools where there is a need.

QPAC Chief Executive Mr John Kotzas said arts based learning and experiences is important to the Centre.  

“As humans we need to feel connected to one another. Art and cultural expression is one of the most effective ways to achieve that.

“Experiencing and understanding art helps people to understand the world around them and is relevant to the aims of FHEAL to provide the best possible platform for these young people to understand themselves and their world,” said Mr Kotzas.

FHEAL Chairperson, Ms Adele Rice said Songs of Hope and Healing promises to be a wonderful evening featuring many young talented performers all coming together for a great cause.

“Our HEAL therapists do a wonderful job working with young people who have endured traumatic experiences in their refugee journeys. Through the use of creative arts therapies including Arts Psychotherapy and Music Therapy, we see amazing results in improving the well being and settlement outcomes for these future young Australian citizens,” said Ms Rice.

Songs of Hope and Healing will include performances from QPAC Choir, Aurora Guitar Ensemble, Christchurch Youth Choir, MDA Diversity Choir, Stuartholme Choir, Queensland Conservatorium Brass, The Boxties, and Gallipoli Choir; the combined choirs from St Joseph's College Gregory, Terrace and All Hallows' School who performed at this year's Gallipoli Centenary Commemorations in Turkey. It will also feature Dr Wei Dang pipa (a Chinese four stringed lute) soloist and musicians from Queensland Youth Orchestra.

A program highlight will be LIOR and Gallipoli Choir singingSafety of Distance” recreating the moment it was sung for the Anzac Centenary at Gallipoli.

Don’t miss the ‘FHEAL’ good event of the year, Songs of Hope and Healing - one night only in QPAC’s Concert Hall on Friday 28 August 2015. To book go to www.qpac.com.au or phone 136 246.

Lior – Bio 2015


Lior is one of Australia’s most successful singer-songwriters, renowned for his beautiful voice and songs that radiate truth and sincerity.

Lior burst on to the Australian music scene in 2005 with his stunning debut album - ‘Autumn Flow’. Recorded and released entirely independently, and spearheaded by the much loved and timeless opening track ‘This Old Love’. Subsequent singles ‘Daniel’ and the title track ‘Autumn Flow’ both secured high rotation airplay via the national broadcaster Triple J, and further cemented this album into the hearts of the Australian public.

The album was released at a time when independently funded and released records were still a rarity, Lior being one of only a handful of artists paving the way for a model that is now deemed common place. Thankfully, the faith and belief in the music paid off with the album becoming one of the most successful independent debuts in Australian music history. A swag of accolades followed, including three Aria nominations (including Best Male Artist), as well as Triple J’s prestigious ‘J Award’ nomination for Album of the Year.

Lior’s sophomore album – ‘Corner of an Endless Road’ - released in 2008, followed on where ‘Autumn Flow’ left and was a huge success, debuting at #2 on the Australian Albums chart and topping the Independent charts for several weeks. The album gave a greater indication of Lior’s rich cultural background with a number of tracks featuring Middle Eastern influences. Lior picked up another 2 ARIA nominations including Best Independent Release. The release was followed by a string of sold out national tours, including the hugely successful ‘Shadows and Light’ tour -  a stunning collaboration with live performance shadow artistry built specifically to Lior’s music. The tour showcased at the Sydney Opera House to wide critical acclaim and went on to perform a season at The Sydney Theatre Company.


In September 2010, Lior released his third studio album ‘Tumbling into the Dawn’. The album cemented his long time collaboration with Grammy Award winning producer Francois Tetaz whom Lior had worked with on his two previous albums. Lior’s most recent album – ‘Scattered Reflections’ was released in 2014 and was entirely crowd funded. The album traverses broader territory and showcases Lior’s fertile musical palate. The album secures Lior’s place as a master craftsman in the art of songwriting, and is the greatest exponent to date of his trademark voice. The track ‘Learn to Live’ off the album is the featured song in Robert Connolly’s hugely successful film ‘Paper Planes’.


Lior has toured extensively both in Australia and internationally and has been a regular performer at WOMAD and art festivals around the world, including an entire season at the Edinburgh Festival. Alongside his own tours, Lior has also toured in collaboration with artists such as Melbourne vocal group 'Invenio' headed by Gian Slater, as well as several visual artists, string quartets and full orchestras nationally.

In 2013, Lior collaborated with renowned composer Nigel Westlake in writing a song cycle for voice and orchestra titled ‘Compassion’ consisting of original melodies and orchestration set to ancient Hebrew and Arabic texts centred on the idea of compassion. Commissioned by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the work was premiered by Lior along with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House in late 2013 and subsequently went on to tour nationally with all the major state orchestras, including a performance at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in early 2014.  Furthermore, the first half of these orchestral shows featured a collection of Lior’s songs from across his own album catalogue, with new orchestral arrangements and interpretations performed by Lior with the respective state orchestras.

A recording of ‘Compassion’ was released in 2014 and went to #1 on both the Classical as well as Classical / Crossover charts. Lior and Nigel went on to win the ARIA for “Best Classical Album” in 2014. Lior has recently been invited to premiere “Compassion” in the US with the Austin Symphony Orchestra in early 2016.

 ‘Autumn Flow’ signalled the arrival of one of Australia’s most respected and loved singer/songwriters, showcasing an artist that has gone on to create a varied and diverse musical legacy. Alongside his highly acclaimed albums and live projects,  Lior penned and sang the much loved closing track ‘Hoot’s Lullaby’ to the ABC Children’s show ‘Giggle and Hoot’.  ‘Hey Hootabelle’, another Lior track commissioned by the ABC for the show went on to win the coveted ‘Best Original Song Composed for the Screen’ at the 2012 APRA Screen Music Awards.

In April 2015, Lior was invited as the sole Australian artist to perform at the prestigious 100 year anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli, performing his song ‘Safety of Distance’ with the Gallipoli choir leading in to the dawn service.

Most artists set out with an ambition to build a career based on musical credibility and integrity whilst maintaining an independence and individuality in their craft. Lior is certainly part of that rare breed that has achieved this whilst garnering a great degree of success and critical acclaim.


Biography Brisbane – Shan Deng


Winner of the Sydney International Piano Competition’s Best Australian Pianist Prize, Shan Deng is a well known Australian-Chinese pianist now working in Hobart, Tasmania. Her successes include winning the keyboard final of the ABC Young Performer of the year award, and representing the Arts as a national finalist in the Young Australian of the Year competition. Shan won the 2010 Australian Big Ben Award for outstanding Chinese youth after a two year selection process.


Shan’s early music studies were undertaken in the gifted children’s program at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. When she was twelve, she migrated to Brisbane with her parents and was educated first at Milpera State High School and later at Brisbane State High School. Studying with Leah Horwitz, she obtained her Bachelor of Music at Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University with first class honours and a university medal. Shan has also received Fulbright and Churchill fellowships to perform and study in the USA (Manhattan School of Music, Phillip Kawin) and South Africa (University of Cape Town, Lamar Crowson). Shan currently holds two Masters of Music in Performance.


Concert demands have taken Shan around the world, and she has performed in Australia, Asia, the USA, South Africa and Europe. She has toured overseas as a soloist with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, and has appeared with most of the Australian Symphony Orchestras. Shan has been featured in numerous Australian, Chinese and South African radio and television programs.


For the past 14 years Shan has been the head of the keyboard department at the University of Tasmania. She is in demand around the world as a concert artist, teacher and adjudicator. In 2014, Shan was awarded the Australian Council for the Arts International Pathway grant and travelled to China for a concert tour, her programme included the world premier of a newly commissioned solo piece “Choro” by Maria Grenfell. She was also invited to be part of the adjudicating panel of the Second Australian International Chopin Competition that year. In 2015, Shan will be perform and give masterclasses in Hobart and Brisbane of Australia, and at China Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Shan has also been invited to adjudicate the prestigious national Young Performers Award in the same year.


“A stunning repertoire, played with distinction.” The Mercury

“Shan Deng is a pianist of precision and flair” Cape Times

“Mozart’s sonata in C major… was poetically charged and played with style, intelligence and amazing energy.” Courier Mail

“An ecstatic audience returned this wonderful performer back to the piano for many encores with enormous enthusiasm.” Kapati News

“Here was a pianist of great charm and elegance” The Advocate

Biography Sharon Orapeleng – Songs of Hope and Healing MC

Sharon Orapeleng is a mother, wife, community leader, mental health professional and a business owner.

She has built an impressive career in disability sector, mental health and in community development, working in both government and non-government roles. However Sharon’s significant contributions has been her tireless efforts as an advocate for social inclusion and justice which she has done through her many roles as a community leader including as the past President of the Queensland African Communities Council, an organisation she is still very passionate about.

She is currently the Secretary for the Federation of African Communities Councils in Australia and Vice President with the Queensland Multicultural Council.  She also sits in a number of boards and advisory committees including White Ribbon – Qld Executive Committee, Queensland Program of Assistance for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT) amongst many others. She was honoured in 2013 as one of the 125 Leading Women in Queensland by YWCA.

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