Stone the Crows 2018

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The String Family


A family of classically trained string players on the road full time bringing music to people around Australia. Featuring 2 cellos, 2 violins, voice and percussion they incorporate their unique story of life on the road as Australian musical gypsies with toe tapping Celtic, folk, world and classical crossover music. On their musical journey they have received numerous awards for performance and song writing including New Australian Celtic Talent of the Year 2017, Australian Celtic Song of the year 2017 and Australian National Busking Champions.

Whilst they are not the first family who have hit the road to travel full time around Australia, they are a little different in a number of ways. We have no fixed end date (frustrating for our extended family!). They have no fixed address to come back to, and sometimes have no plan of where we are going for a number of weeks. And significantly, The String Family is a multi award winning musical group / band, who perform and busk together to fund their journey.

The String Family

To answer some of the questions people ask - here are their answers..........

Are you REALLY a family?

YES! Mum (Sarah) and Dad (Joel) met when they were children, competing against each other in the Wollongong Eisteddfod. They have been duet partners ever since and now their children have joined them to form a string quartet. The String Family won the 2015-16 Australian National Busking Championships and 1st place in ANBC Southeast QLD 2016. We were awarded 2nd place in the Illawarra Folk Festival APRA/ AMCOS songwriters competition 2017 with our latest track “The Journey”, and the same song won “Song of the Year” in the 2017 Australian Celtic Music Awards, along with “Best new Celtic talent”. In the Moss Vale Battle of the Bands 2016 competition, we placed 2nd. Since starting on our journey, we have been covered by many media outlets and featured in print, online, on the radio and on TV.

Where are you from?

We are originally from the Illawarra, just south of Sydney in NSW, Australia. Our family heritage goes back to the early days of colonisation and before that, Ireland and Wales. I mention this as we are often asked if we are from Israel, or from Greece, or from a multitude of other European countries because of some of the music that we play!

What do we do? What type of music do we perform?

All classically trained, our genre is classical crossover. This is a genre of music that starts with classically trained musicians who take popular, folk, rock and other modern style of music, and perform it on instruments normally found in an Orchestra, not in a rock or pop band! Whilst we do also perform music from the classical genre, we aim to make fine music accessible and this often starts with music that is already popular – thus, classical crossover.

You can check out some of our favourite music here that includes Cold Play, the Charlie Daniel’s Band, Leonard Cohen, Monte, Secret Garden, Rolf Lovlan, Jay Ungar and our very own Sarah Moir. In addition to what we have recorded, we play music by Queen & ABBA, crowd favourites Zorba’s Dance, Hava Nagila and Cotton Eye Joe as well as tear jerkers like “Somewhere over the rainbow”. Being classically trained, we can read music and arrange music, and are adding to our repertoire regularly.

Our performances however are not simply musical performances, they can also be described as a ‘show’. In a classical style performance, the performers enter the stage area, perform, the audience claps and appreciates the music, and the performers exit. We do so much more! We entertain our audiences with loads of interaction – dancing, singing, audience participation. Importantly, we also incorporate the telling of our story: why we are on the road and what it is like.

Sarah and Ashleigh Joel and Heath


On The Road Again.. Living the Dream!

In February 2016, The String Family set out on the road on a national concert and busking tour. We started with no bookings and no plan, trusting that our 20 years of Joel running a small business and with Sarah’s vast experience as a professional entertainer would see us becoming a well known and successful tour. Whilst many of our engagements are booked well in advance, we often have no immediate bookings. So we jump on the road, find somewhere new, and do some busking and selling of CD’s whilst we get to know the locals and the land.

We are ‘living the dream’ in our caravan, and whilst many of our travelling companions are our much loved grey nomads, there are increasingly more younger families on the road. It’s a wonderful experience, and one that more and more families and couples are finding great pleasure and satisfaction in. We recommend it 100%. It will challenge and enrich you and your family.

Our tow vehicle is a 2015 200 series Toyota Landcruiser (V8 Diesel, Twin Turbo, 4.5L, 195KW). Our caravan is a 2015 23 foot Jayco Whitehawke, imported from the US and converted to AU specifications. This includes a third door, Australian wiring and upgraded suspension and tires.

Heath and Ashleigh are both enrolled in distance education, at the Karabar Distance Education Centre in Queanbeyan. An amazing public school of the highest quality!

We could come to a venue near you so keep your eye on the ever changing itinerary for concerts and busking and get in touch if you would like us to perform in your area.

We are also putting together music videos around Australia in the different places that we visit. Be sure to check our latest videos.

Here is an indication of other events' opinions of and reactions to this incredibly talented family group........

"From the moment you started playing to the final bow, I was captivated by your unique and great sound... you blew me away!"
Tony Speelman, Parkes Elvis Festival 2017

"Miracle! That’s because a family performing music on a stage is able to create a secret harmonic veil of pure sensations that surround your aura."
Riccardo Barone Kryztoff Magazine

The Journey: "I was very entranced by the violins and other strings at the beginning and pleasantly surprised by the complexity of the performance and the many layers as well as the lovely vocals."
Reverb Nation Crowd Review

"As if one million blooms wasn’t enough to wow visitors at Floriade in 2016, The String Family delivered the perfect musical backdrop that echoed around the park. Instantly drawn to the harmonious sounds of the cellos and violins, listeners couldn’t help but stop and admire the performance they had so thankfully stumbled upon. The liveliness from The String Family was certainly matched as audiences tapped their toes and danced along. This string quartet is one of passion, talent and an infectious energy bound to leave a lasting impression."
Laura Raine Floriade Events Coordinator 2016

"Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Mazda MX-5 Club of NSW demanded a very special touch. The String Family delivered with a professional and talented performance that created the perfect ambiance. Our 300 attendees had nothing but glowing praise for your delightful music. Thank you!"
Brian Shedden MX-5 Club President

"The technical brilliance and musicality of the first violinist is perfectly matched by the unspoken communication between her and the other ensemble members. The often throbbing ostinato of the two cellos brings an energetic intensity that breathes new life into familiar classical themes. This highly polished and exciting quartet will bring audiences to their feet calling for more. Refreshingly, this quartet actually gives modern audiences what they crave, great music played with style and passion."
Allan Spencer, Director, Australian National Busking Championships™ and Director, Cooma School of Music

"A huge thank you The String Family, your fantastic performance was so amazing & was enjoyed by everyone. The comments I have received from the people that were here, young & old, have been "can't wait to see them next time", "when are they playing again?" & so on. Such an awesome family too!"
Wayne Ditchburn, Snowy Vineyard and Microbrewery

"An entire community inspired by the unique performances from The String Family”. From many hundreds enjoying their opening night performance, this grew to many thousands at appearances over the following week as word quickly spread of the sensational sounds provided by this musically brilliant group. At each, it was so warming to hear deafening applause, a true signal of appreciation for the quality of performance.
An amazing family, Stanthorpe has fallen in love with The String Family, their music and the promise that there will be return visits - “we can’t wait”."
Greg Thouard, President, Apple & Grape Harvest Festival

With such wonderful reviews, and our own taste of their music in 2017, it's no wonder the Chief Crows asked them to come back.

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