Tag Archives: singing

The End of Singing Season

Well, ‘Singing Season’  is officially over for me for this year.

Unfortunately for all those who had put in an enormous effort, the City of Darebin’s ‘Carols in All Nations’ was washed out, so I only got to do two of the three big gigs we were working on on.

I must say, though, that it came as a perverse relief not to have to go anywhere yesterday.  After the effort and long hours associated with the preparation and performances for the two events I did get to, it was lovely to just stop. I even had a ‘nana nap’ yesterday afternoon, and feel much better for it!

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The photos I’ve included are from the rehearsal and sound check at BMW Edge, prior to the first public performance of the Women’s Anthem. This was written by Kavisha Mazella, in consultation with Mary Crooks of the Victorian Women’s Trust, to celebrate the centenary of women getting  the vote in Victoria. I wrote more about this here.

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The day before the performance, the ABC TVshow Stateline featured a six minute piece about the anthem. This can be seen here, until March 2009. (For those of you who know me, you’ll see me three or four times throughout the clip – don’t quite know how I managed it with more than 300 other women there…)

This really was an amazing thing to be part of – I’m still on a high whenever I think about it!  You can get an idea of how big the choir was from the  pictures – we almost out-numbered the audience! And, we did two performances (each time singing the anthem twice) to different audiences, and got standing ovations each time.

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So – the singing is done for the year – now to the Christmas cooking! The first batch of cakes and puddings have been made, and now I’m off to do the second lot.

Enjoy your day!

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The debut of the Rusty Springs

Here we go...

Here we go...

In yesterday’s post  I mentioned that the Rusty Springs debuted on Saturday night, at the ‘Don’t Tell Tom’ gig.

I have to go back to this, because it meant such a lot to the four of us that the audience was so welcoming and that our friends in Lipstick & Spurs really wanted us to have a go – something we’ve secretly wanted to do for a long time, but weren’t quite brave enough to try.
Kazoos up, playing the trumpet solo from 'Tonight you belong to me'

Kazoos up, playing the trumpet solo from 'Tonight you belong to me' (Don't quite know when I put my hand in my pocket - I actually look relaxed!)

With dry mouths and hearts in our throats, we sang five songs to rousing applause. The audience sang along with us on the songs they knew, and hollered and hooted for the others. And they wanted an encore!
To say that it was a dream debut would be putting it too mildly. We were nervous, faltered on introductions (that was me), and fluffed chords, and everyone loved us anyway. They might have been lying to us, but if so, they did it really well and made us feel about ten feet tall.  I love them all for it, and I want to do it again!
Lachlan and I worked together for seven years, and now sing and play uke together

Lachlan and I worked together for seven years, and now sing and play uke together

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Saturday night at Don’t Tell Tom’s

Before I get started, I have to warn you that today’s post is going to be a long one, and confess that the photos it contains weren’t taken on my camera phone. After the Michael Buble’ concert photo debacle, I decided that getting the images was more important than what I took them on. I hope you’ll forgive me…
 
 

 
Now I have to tell you about last Saturday night! Lipstick & Spurs – the choir I’m part of – hosted a gig at Don’t Tell Tom’s, in Brunswick. If you were there, I’d love to hear from you, so please leave me a comment.
 
Jenny Taylor, our illustrious leader, had it so well organised that there wasn’t a hitch, and the staff at the venue – especially Ray, the sound engineer – were fabulous.
 
Jenny Taylor with guitar, singing.

Our choir leader, the amazingly talented and dedicated Jenny Taylor.

Everyone worked really hard in the months leading up to the gig, to ensure that we acquitted ourselves well, and it seems to have paid off. The audience seemed very happy – clapping and singing along and generally being fabulously supportive (of course, many of them were related to choir members, but they didn’t have to be nice to us… ).

Laura McDonald, standing at the microphone about to sing.

Laura McDonald - a lovely girl, an incredibly talented musician and Lipstick & Spurs' accompanist

We had a ball, as we always do when Lipstick & Spurs performs. I mean, who would have thought that we – most of us in our 40s, and many of us relative beginners – would get a chance to sing our hearts out for a crowd of 400+, with two of our favourite artists (Sally Dastey and Trish Anderson)?

Lipstick & Spurs choir singing, with arms raised in the air.

'Daddy sang bass' reaches a climax.

I seriously cannot think of anything I’d rather do. Singing is such a positive thing to do at the best of times, but with 20 or so of your mates, and surrounded by family and friends, it is pure joy. I wish I could do it every day (although we’d need a bigger repertoire than we have at the moment)!

Sally Dastey with her guitar, singing with Lipstick & Spurs.

Sally Dastey leads the choir through her song "The race is on".

Looking exultant, Sally sings one of her new songs for the audience at 'Don't Tell Tom's'

Looking exultant, Sally sings one of her new songs for the audience at 'Don't Tell Tom's'

If you’ve been reading Blogday for a while, you might remember the gig we did with Sally Dastey at Young & Jackson’s, in December of last year, and how much fun it was.
If it is possible, this one was even more fun.
Trish Anderson treated us to a fantastic version of Dolly Parton's '9 to 5'

Trish Anderson treated us to a fantastic version of Dolly Parton's '9 to 5'

Both Sally and Trish Anderson were amazing – teaching us their songs, encouraging us and just generally having fun. On the night, each of them performed a couple of their own songs as well as singing with the choir.

Apart from the choir’s performances (alone and with both Trish and Sally), there were ensemble performances from our choir master, Jenny Taylor and accompanist, Laura McDonald; choir member Louise Taunt (below),

  

Louise Taunt standing at the microphone singing

Louise Taunt, one of the choir members, sings an original song

Louise, here accompanied by Trish Anderson on guitar.

Louise, here accompanied by Trish Anderson on guitar.

And the Rusty Springs  – a country-inspired ukulele quartet – debuted (that’s me in black at the front)!

One man and three women on a stage, playing ukulele and signing.

The Rusty Springs (l-r: Lachlan Garland, Karen Gough, Anne Joiner and Caron Cavalier)

The four of us met at MUK (the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective) almost three years ago, and all joined the choir together a year and a half, or so, ago.On one song – Ring of Fire – we were lucky enough to be accompanied by three of our friends from L&S on kazoo. Jenny (front), Ingrid (middle) and Linda (back) are now affectionately known as the Hornbags (below)!

The 'Hornbags' accompany Rusty Springs on kazoo

The Hornbags

What a fantastic experience! I could go on for hours about how supportive everyone was for our first performance as a quartet, but I don’t want to bang on any more here.  I think that is worthy of a post all on its own!

Don’t forget to let me know if you managed to catch the show on Saturday night.  I’d love to hear your comments.

Cheers,

K.

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Young & Jackson’s

Sally Dastey at Young & Jackson’s

An afternoon spent singing has got to be one of the best ways to pass the time. 

Today the choir I sing with – Lipstick & Spurs – was lucky enough to be invited to accompany the amazing Sally Dastey (folk singer/songwriter, formerly a member of Tiddas) at Young & Jackson’s hotel.

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We were part of four songs – three of Sally’s and Pearly Shells – which she brought to the choir when leading us for a while earlier this year. The most fun of all was the last song Someone on his side. Sally said she was going to sing it on her own, but then invited us to sing harmonies at the end from within the audience. She described it as making the audience feel like they were part of the music rather than being separated from it, and she was right – the last song brought smiles and laughter to a lot of faces.

It’s just over a year since I joined the choir, and here I am getting amazing opportunities like this! The talent of the people around me, and the joy they get from their singing, are gifts in their own right, but being able to join in is more fun than I could have imagined. Although it sounds corny, singing like this feels like the realisation of a dream I didn’t know I had. And now that I’ve found it, I’m going to treasure it.

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Life cycle

life cycle

I’ve no idea what the person who wrote this was trying to say, but the fact that they went to the trouble of writing it on the sign, cracked me up.

Its been an interesting week.  On the plus side, NanoWrimo started today and I had an idea and got my first 1649 words written; on the negative side, my dad has been diagnosed with a malignant melanoma. We’re not anticipating anything, just waiting to see what happens, but it’s pretty horrible none the less. I think it is particularly hard for Meg, who adores him, not to worry, but we’ll just make sure that we see him often – daily, if we can – and give him lots of hugs. Mum, too, of course.

In the meantime, there will be lots of love, laughter, singing, photography and good food – all the things that make life worth living.

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