Recently the Pollyphonics Choir have added a new member and he is not only a great bass singer, but he also plays the organ. This has prompted me to find repertoire for choir and organ, especially contemporary repertoire. It also made me think about one of my most extraordinary musical experiences I have had in my life.
Rosewood Music Camp
Rosewood Music Camp is an annual family music camp that is on the same weekend as the Grand Final. I have just returned with my family from three days of amazing music and although we are all a wee bit exhausted, my cup is overflown with the joy and fullness of the weekend. It is difficult to put into words all the layers that the camp brings to your being, but I do know that it is a unique opportunity to totally unplug from the commercial fast paced world we often find ourselves in and experience true connection both with friends and with ourselves.
The music at the camp ranges from celtic to jazz and much in between. We have song writers, horn players, lots and lots of ukulele strummers, viollins, cellos, whistles all emanating from the workshop tents and camp sites.
The camp has been running for 22 years and every year I go I always remark that every time it feels like the best camp ever!!
Everyone is welcome, families that want to join their kids in a bit of music making, older couples, loads of teenagers, toddlers, groups of friends with or without kids...everyone. No previous experience in playing an instrument is even necessary as their is always beginner classes in either ukulele/marimba/whistles etc.
The youth band blows my mind every year, normally the power and beauty of 60 musically adept teenagers playing together brings me to tears, and ensemble...you just have to be a part of it to know the ecstatic joy of sitting in amongst 100 people playing music together...
Every Grand Final weekend, 400 people gather in a valley to create a little bit of heaven on earth. Make sure you join us next year, 25th-28th September 2020.
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Polly's 12 day gigathon...
Polly’s Gigathon…8 gigs in 12 days!
Some people run marathons but I have just run a gigathon…
8 gigs, 3 rehearsals, and 1 professional photo shoot all in the last 12 days and I have had an absolute ball.
Here is the snapshot of a tired but happy choir conductor, music educator and performer.
Wednesday, Gig no 1: I created and produced the Kyneton Primary School production, Ganawarra (Black Swan). 178 students sang, danced, told migration stories, wore sparkly costumes and shone on the Kyneton Town Hall stage.
Thursday evening: Pollyphonics Choir rehearsal.
Friday evening: went to ABC studios in Melbourne to see my friend being filmed in Hard Quiz.
Saturday night, Gig no 2: Kyneton Community Ball. I performed jazz and soul songs with a 25-piece concert band on the Kyneton Town Hall stage.
Sunday afternoon: rehearsal with the Pollyphonics Choir and a professional photo shoot with my choir.
Monday evening: Rod Laver Arena to see Fleetwood Mac…Stevie sang Landslide just for me! AWESOME.
Tuesday, Gig no 3: Conducted my Primary School choir of 50 kids in the Daffodil Festival as part of music in the park series.
Thursday evening: technical run with Pollyphonics Choir.
Friday evening: Gig no.4. My amazing choir performed their Cabaret show, “Change The World” at the Bluestone Theatre in Kyneton. We booked out! The evening was filled with amazing singing, lots of costume bling and you could definitely feel the love in the room.
Saturday evening. Went to Melbourne Arena to see my daughter Sylvie in the State School Spectacular.
Sunday, Gig no.5.I donned a sparkly costume, a blue wig with daffodils in my hair and played tambourine with the Kyneton Street band as we participated in the Kyneton Daffodil Parade.
….and if this isn’t enough to let me know my life is abundant and amazing, I also won the Kyneton Netball raffle last Saturday which was a basket full of gifts and vouchers.
Having the opportunity to “Change the World” by creating musical opportunities for young people at Kyneton Primary School, adults in the Pollyphonics, use my voice to open up and be real and spread a bit of bling magic tambourine really makes me feel very lucky and blessed to be alive.
Over the last year I have had the pleasure of working with 50 Grade 3-6 students to form a school choir and these are the things the students have taught me...
I have been popping open the champagne bottles and throwing my hat in the air and shouting hip hip hooray because I just completed a Graduate Diploma in teaching last week. It’s been a busy year! I am now keen to look into how I can develop a music program for teachers. I will also be focusing on all the other music making projects I have on the go like developing my singing teaching work at a local secondary school, making a CD with my choir the Pollyphonics and performing with my partner Andy Rigby in duet’s and bands. This Sunday Andy and I will be broadcast on ABC Radio National, the Rhythm Divine show at 1.30 pm. It was absolutely terrific to perform at Woodford Folk Festival in QLD at the start of the year in the gorgeous Folklorica stage and now ABC can bring a little bit of that vibe to you via the wireless! http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rhythmdivine/the-heavenly-harp/6888340
A Musical Summer
Polly, Andy and daughter Sylvie began the New Year at Woodford Folk Festival- it’s big, it’s hot, it’s muddy…it is Australia s largest folk festival and it is full of amazing musicians, circus performers, traditional dance troupes, wacky street scenes and one of of the 20+ stages Andy and Polly performed their unique blend of Celtic and Latin American songs and instrumentals. Andy had his regular harp fans (affectionately called “harp nutters”) sitting in the front rows marveling at his handy work on the strings and Polly moved from playing the joropo rhythm on the 4 stringed Venezuelan cuatro (small guitar) to singing a celtic ballad, to her original compositions. We also had the great fortune of playing in the Folklorica Stage for New Years Eve which will be broadcast later this year on ABC Radio National, (Rhythm Devine, with Geoff Wood).
One of my personal highlights form the festival were the Fez Hamadche Sufi Brothers. A group of 5 men and two women singing, chanting and dancing performing ancient mystic rituals. It was hypnotic and incredible to witness ritual in action. I spoke to one of the women in the group and found out this particular brotherhood is very supportive of sisters. What an opportunity to meet such beautiful Muslims.
I also really loved the Flying Fruit Fly Circus performance: a group of five young graduates from the school in Albury. The physical skill and incredible group trust was totally exhilarating.
We then came back to Victoria and headed down to Koroit Lakeschool Music Camp and I will blog about that next!
Singer Songwriter Conductor Musician