One of the great joys and privileges of running Total Choir Resources is seeing friendships and collaborations arise from the choir leader community we’ve helped to create. Often, those friendships are formed through geographical proximity, but in Cathy Wright’s case, it’s international.
A couple of months ago, we featured a fantastic two-part article by Tom Newall, a choir leader and conducting tutor in the UK. I’ll let Cathy take over the story.
On a recent trip to the UK, I had the good fortune to meet with an accomplished and enthusiastic conductor from Manchester, Tom Newall. This came about after I read his article about “What Makes a Great Choir Leader?”, which was featured on Total Choir Resources.
As I was planning a trip to the UK from Australia and wanted to include some musical education (I am a novice conductor of the local community choir), I decided to email Tom and ask if we could meet. What was the worst that could happen?
To my delight and great surprise Tom was keen to meet and discuss conducting techniques, and to allow me to accompany him for three days to his rehearsals. In the process I met many of his friends and colleagues and saw first-hand conducting and production techniques. What an amazing and insightful experience it was for me.
Coming from Kojonup, a small farming town (population 2500) in Western Australia where I run an adult mixed community choir of around 30 members, opportunities to observe and learn from others are limited. My discovery of Total Choir Resources has been a godsend. I’ve used many of their suggestions in my rehearsals and this meeting with Tom wouldn’t have occurred without it.
If everything goes to plan, Tom hopes to visit Kojonup in December next year when he would like to offer workshops and classes to our schools and community. In the meantime I have an online mentor for all things musical!
I encourage you when visiting other countries or regions to use the Total Choir Resources Facebook Mastermind group to find out what is happening in the choir world. Opportunities for sharing and learning, like this one, are likely to occur.
On that note, anyone finding themselves in the SW of Western Australia near Kojonup, contact me from the Facebook group – I’d be keen to meet you.