you probably dont know this but i can sing. not like a diva soloist opera type singing or anything, but i can pick a note and go with it, up and down scales, i can follow along with what others are doing, sometimes i can lead, i can sing the harmony or the melody, mostly alto, sometimes mezzo-soprano. i have been in choirs since i was a kid, i was in the big state choir that performed at the opera house every year. i sang back ups for a friend making DJ mix tapes at uni straight out of school, and then with a friend and his guitar and a 4 track in a shared house. a few years ago some phd friends and i joined a small group called the sapphire lounge singers, so named because of our rehearsal/performance space in the Sapphire Lounge at the Heritage Hotel in Bulli. we disbanded a while ago and ive been missing it. i heard about a little group from some people at work but turns its more of a wine drinking singing circle. i wanted to do more than that, and i wanted to actually learn, to improve my technique, and my confidence.
so i joined the wollongong conservatorium of music.
i stayed at work till 6 last night (cos you know, i dont have much to do there at the moment!) then caught the bus around the botanical gardens (which stupidly shut at 5, which is a bummer because i wanted to walk through them, being careful not to get my bustle caught in a hedgerow!). my class was in the Orchestra Room, at the end of this little red brick building
tucked in amongst the trees. this is such a wonderful space, and it was so lovely to have the windows open and the warm air coming in and the cicadas and smell of flowers.
it was a motley crew, just a sing for fun group, but with some great strong voices, and our teacher, karen, is AMAZING. i learnt more from her last night than ive learnt in years. we did breathing, stretching and standing exercises, moved our jaws and mouths in funny ways, walked around the room making funny noises, like horses whinnying up and down scales, then singing number intervals, and then parts of songs in groups then together, than whole songs.
karen and one of the other members can play the piano, so we had accompaniment, and we sang ‘lean on me’ with an almost gospel arrangement, and then a stephen foster collins american classic ‘hard times come again no more’. i sang the melody, or alto part, in both. next week we are learning one of my all time favourites, ‘down to the river to pray’ by allison krauss, and a new arrangement of the beatle’s ‘blackbird’. we are going to perform at the conservatorium’s ‘end of term’ concert, and then at a big vocal festival later in the year. im so excited, i cant tell you how good it feels to be letting my voice run free again! i have been walking around at work all day singing in my head, and its making the craziness that is life there at the moment a little easier to tolerate.
on that note (pun intended) the minions are settling in and that should start to take the pressure off over the next week or so, so i hope i will be able to return to blog reading, commenting, facebook and twitter, as one is meant to do at work. in between practising my singing parts of course.