In 2018, Markus Kuchenbuch founded the Alice Springs World Chamber Orchestra. As Janelle Whiteexplains, the ensemble’s diverse repertoire and welcoming concerts – some of which are staged in spectacular outdoor locations – are providing a powerful space for community engagement and cross-cultural understanding, inspiring positive change.

Alice Springs World Chamber Orchestra
Alice Springs World Chamber Orchestra, Desert Festival 2020, Alice Springs Desert Park. Photo © Oliver Eclipse

Ringneck parrots are the playful scallywags of the dress circle; they chatter incessantly on the branches overhead. The smooth bark of a river red gum is surprisingly cool as I lean back on it, watching an early morning choir of budgerigars perform from surrounding tree hollows and the very tips of exposed limbs.

People have gathered beside the...