Gunnedah’s Olivia Heath best companion will be her vocal chords these summer holidays.
The Gunnedah South Public School student has been selected for the Gondwana National Choral School and will sing alongside more than 300 youth from around Australia.
Olivia has been chosen for the junior Gondwana, a choir for youth aged 10-13 who love to sing and show strong musical potential. The youth will spend two weeks at the National Choral School, which is based at the University of NSW in Sydney.
“I was very excited when I found out I had been selected for Junior Gondwana,” Olivia said.
To be selected, Olivia had to submit an online application, undertaken an aural test including melodic memory, part-singing and sight-singing, and prepare an audition video. For the video Olivia was required to sing one song from memory.
In the two weeks Olivia attends the choral school, she will rehearse with the choir for three sessions, and also spend time on music memorisation, participate in a whole choir activity, or an activity with all National Choral School participants.
“It will be a great opportunity to develop my singing skills and learn new repertoire,” Olivia said.
“I hope that by going to the National Choral School I can inspire other young musicians in Gunnedah to try out for opportunities like this.”
Olivia is a keen musician and is part of the school choir land band, and has been undertaking lessons at the Gunnedah Conservatorium in a number of areas. She sings in the Conservatorium Youth Choir, the community choir, and is a member of the musical performance group.
In 2017, Olivia played the part of orphan Tessie in the Tamworth Musical Society’s production of Annie and earlier this year she attended the North West Vocal Camp at Lake Keepit.
“The National Choral School will be another great chance to meet new people through music who also love to sing,” Olivia said.
“I feel very happy when singing in a choir because as a group you can create beautiful harmonies and interesting music.
“The voice is its own amazing instrument; you don’t even need to be accompanied by instruments.”
Olivia said she was thankful to Rachael Passfield, Vicki Merlehan and Robyn Sommerlad who support the music programs at school, and Tammy Clark, Sandy, Clark, Jamie Brown, Julia Rennick, Joel Pickett and Emily Maslen at the Con.
Gunnedah woman Tricia Studdy will also travel to Sydney and act as a supervisor, while St Mary’s College music teacher Emma Kersley will attend the conductor school, which runs parallel to the National Choral School.
The choirs are led by the nation’s leading choral artists and in 2019, internationally-acclaimed conductor Simon Halsey, of the London Symphony Orchestra Chorus, will be the guest artist. The combined choirs will present the premiere of a new commissioned work by Paul Jarman.
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