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I have been giving this Miss Year 10 choral hell. Basically, I want her in my Senior Concert Choir. She toured with me earlier this year, totally needs to audition, but absolutely refuses to.
I’ve forbidden her to quit choir, so for the past term and a half she’s been idling in 2nd gear in Grammarphones as a section leader, continuing to refuse to audition. Every time she has missed a rehearsal, even the legit ones, I’ve pinged home an email to her parents within the hour.
She hates me for that, but grudgingly goes along with it.
She is the most fabulous “jam with the radio” singer you can get, she finds harmonies where others flail aimlessly, and she’s sass on legs. She is FUN to have around, and quietly yet sassily lifts the morale of the people around her with her hilarious one-liners.
Imagine my surprise when I received this email from her. It came yesterday, but I refused to read it for fear that it was the official “I Am Allowed To Quit With Parental Support”, which would have totally pissed me off.
I cried. Then I read it again, and cried some more. 😭
I held my breath as my Concert Choir sightread an entire piece unaccompanied + in tune this morning. They were so excited they broke into spontaneous applause + cheers at the end, with plenty of ceremonial back-slapping in the tenors + basses.
This is new and magical territory for us. 😊
Oh, I wonder where we’ll be by the end of the year…! 🌟
And here’s the version I taught at this year’s Festival of Music opening conference. 😆
Fabulous game which is suitable for Year 5 through to Year 8, although my Year 11s still love it. It works through coordination with a partner who is “pounding” the pulse, and the fun and humour come through the possibility of getting pummelled if your pounder is not strong at keeping the given pulse, or gets distracted!
The difference in pace from my previous video! 😂
Jacko was a champ coming up to be the official rice pounder. 😁
This year, I taught the Japanese Rice Pounding game to the choir trainers + accompanists of Festival of Music. It’s a fabulous coordination game which teaches independence between pulse + rhythm, and I will post a video of me demonstrating it following this one.
A colleague sent me this and I just had to share; here is the real deal!
For those of you who have done the Japanese Rice Pounding game with me, have a look at THIS version! 😳
We are TAME! The Aussie laid-back version! 😂
Sir Year 12 explains muso life to Sir Year 10:
Sir Year 10: “Is Concert Choir on this week?”
Sir Year 12: “So basically there could be flash flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes, erupting volcanos, snowstorms, and tsunamis, and Concert Choir will still be on.”
Listen + learn, my little grasshopper. 😎
I am a cold-blooded killer.
You know when you’re in the middle of a choir rehearsal and the time is more SUPER-PRECIOUS than usual, and some form of insect life threatens to derail the absolute thread of concentration you’ve got going on with your choir?
That was this morning for me. We needed every minute and a huntsman spider was starting to unravel my Sop I section.
Me, totally on a mission: “Right, where is it?!”
They had it cornered on the edge of the wall.
I FLATTENED that spider. Take no prisoners. The GASP from my Sops! 😆 It was big enough that there was a sizable spatter on the floor, and juicy enough that I could feel the gross + revolting SLIDE of spider internal organs under my boot.
There were the usual reactions, and then, a tremulous Year 7 voice said:
“But what if it had a FAMILY?!”
It was honestly too funny.
So today, I am a murderer.
These guys are F A B U L O U S!
But what I love best?! The pure, goofy, joy of singing. They’re great, they’re rehearsed, but they’re also just guys who are having fun singing.
I have been commissioned to compose a choral work for the 2nd MOD Exhibition for WOLTATTI 2018, which will premiere during September 2018 to January 2019. The piece will be for a 1000+ voice choir made up of all ages and ability levels, all socio-economic backgrounds, and is a connecting point and representation of the diversity of our community.
Here is the summary of the project:
The second MOD exhibition, WAGING PEACE, will invite visitors to consider the role of machines and technology in creating peaceful futures. visitors will be taken on a thought-provoking journey that will explore what peace means and look at ways that ware and conflict can be invested to find alternative drivers of peace. The exhibition will examine the role defence plays in creating safe societies, the ethics of war and violence, as well as opportunities for peaceful engagement and community building. WAGING PEACE will also ask students and artists to challenge the role of machines in waging war by responding with their own machines for peace as a means to inspire change for the future.
“War appears to be as old as mankind, but peace is a modern invention.” [Sir Henry Maine]
I’m just starting to think in all directions about the project and how I might incorporate different layers of sounds, and different vocal abilities to represent connection, how we all fit together in a community, and how the sum of all the parts is far greater than a solo voice, as powerful as that may be. That a solo voice CAN start the ripple effect for peace.
I’m so thrilled to be part of a project that resonates with me, and that I’m excited and challenged to think about!
Here is my rough, first draft of the lyrics, hand-written + freshly typed up!
WAGING PEACE: “Dreaming of a Peace Unknown”
Who are we without song?
Song of life? Connecting point?
Dance of energy and light.
Who are we without creative forces connecting us?
Connecting points guiding us
Into the humanness of falling and being?
We are living dancing souls
Constantly challenging perceptions
Constantly changing directions
Of how we think and grow
We must live completely
We have the life force in our hands, and it can go any way we choose
Why not the way of peace?
Does it have to be a declaration of cleverness, spite, or ingenuity?
Do we have to create waves that do not serve our hearts?
Why can’t we take it all down, take away the words, the shards, the pulses of pain
And just be, simple and sacred in our truth?
Some other place and time?
Using the mind to inspire, not inflict pain
War appears as old as mankind,
Struggle is the defining lifeblood of us,
Is as old as we know, and a new invention.
A new creation
What we imagine cannot come into being without quiet strength
True strength is gentle
What is innovation and creativity without humanity?
And shouldn’t everything start with the most personal of persons?
What is art without a soul behind it?
What is song without a lifeline dancing?
We can make whatever we want…why not quiet?
Why not peace?
Why not deep connected peace, in love and quiet courage?
What not peace?
Let it be peace.
I’ve become one of THOSE teachers, the ones with the cringe-worthy Dad jokes.
We’re singing Disney’s “Under Da Sea” in Grammarphones, so I thought I’d share this little gem in rehearsal this morning:
“So, which one is the odd one out?
b. Ms Kwok stuck under a bus
c. Tuna, because the other 3 are “CRUSHED-ASIANS”
The collective groan could be heard from Burra.