3 amazing women – 3 fantastic songs!
You know that Total Choir Resources is all about helping and supporting choir leaders. And we’ve taken that support to the next level in our music store, where every song comes with rehearsal tracks, accompaniments and teaching notes.
We’re proud as punch to introduce our newest composers and arrangers to you – three amazing women, all of whom are passionate about choirs. So let’s get to know them.
I come from the land of music theatre – my current ‘day job’ is as Associate Conductor on Beautiful: the Carole King Musical. But my passion is working with my choirs in Melbourne. I run a drop-in singalong choir called Glee Club which gets together on a Tuesday evening at a cabaret venue in the city for a glass of wine and a sing. And also a slightly more traditional choir, Glee Plus, where we work in short seasons towards a performance. I try and bring a ‘music theatre’ approach to these groups – we focus on storytelling, contemporary styles and they’re not too reliant on their conductor!
I find the most inspiring thing about writing music is knowing exactly who I’m composing or arranging for so having my own groups has helped me hone my skills to write singable and fun arrangements.
I love pop music and think there is nothing more fun than a singalong! And I’m a certified Music Theatre Geek!
Check out Vicky’s song Sing a Little Piece of You. Learn more
I started leading community choirs in 2007. I have since led seven choirs, including a choir in residence at a prominent art gallery that started commissioning me to create compositions for community choirs.
Making my music accessible and inclusive is a priority; I consider how singers will learn, regardless of their experience, and how technical challenges can be achieved. In 2017 two of my works for community choir nominated for a British Composer Award. In 2018 I will submit my PhD in composing music for community choirs.
I undertook a general music degree at City University, and studied singing at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. However, I was not taught how to compose and arrange music (I barely passed my Grade 5 music theory!) and consider myself self-taught. I started arranging music because I didn’t feel available choral music was suitable for community choirs. This developed into a passion that now encompasses composition and sound design.
I avoid listening to music whenever possible as it interferes with my creative process. I’m a sponge and don’t want to be too influenced by what I hear. I think I’m more influenced by my environment. What I see, hear and feel in daily life plays a big part in how I create. I try to replicate my experience of life through the medium of sound.
Check out Emily’s song As She Moved Through the Fair. Learn more
I sang in choirs a lot as a teenager and young adult, perhaps most proudly among the Renaissance Players who are a household name to Sydney’s fine music listeners. There I learned from director Winsome Evans the joys of unusual time signatures and modes, vocal timbres, etc.
At the end of my Composition degree at Sydney University I wrote a childrens’ musical – Little Sister and the Month Brothers – as my final project and directed and conducted a performance of it at a local primary school. There began several choral projects with children, including another musical – Lucy – that I wrote in French for the childrens’ choir I directed in Montreal (this one, I kid you not, was attended by the lovely Justin Trudeau, not yet the prime minister but our local MP!).
VOILA! has become my new choral baby – a choir of adults who are courageous, vivacious and who interpret and perform my songs with an integrity and spirit that makes it all worthwhile.
I learn most of all from listening. I am fortunate in my mentors Stephen Taberner (Spooky Mens Chorale – I think they’re quite popular over there in England?) and Rachel Hore (known most in Australia for her choral projects including The Big Sing in the central desert). Seeing and hearing how they work with choirs and arrange songs has inspired and encouraged me.
I have been writing songs for almost twenty years now (should I really be putting that in writing?), so in a way writing for choir is an evolution of that. All my life words and music, especially their magical combination in song, have been the way I make sense of the world. I aim to keep getting better at it until the day I die.
Check out Jocelyn’s song Je Chante. Learn more