My parents always thought I had a great singing voice (aww shucks) and so I had lessons from about year 7. However, I never really got into singing until it got pretty serious. Choir at school was pretty good, and when our school acquired one of the best choral directors going around, things began to move pretty quickly. By my final year of school, I was Head Chorister of the Chapel Choir and was accepted into The Graduate Choir, NZ which was taken by the same director. This was a great honour for me and it really got me thinking seriously about my singing. It also vastly improved my skills, especially sight reading!!
Around that time I also started with my singing teacher, whom I still learn from today. In 2008, my final year of school I took my first tentative steps towards performing, when I entered in the North Shore Vocal Competitions. That was quite an eye-opener; I was 16 in a 16-17 class and the competition was very good that year. I was very nervous and still remember shaking every time I got up to sing. I came away with one Highly Commended, for a song which did turn a few heads, so that was pretty good all things considered. But it was worth much, much more in terms of experience.
|My First Trophy!|
The next year, 2009, I set my sights on the South Auckland competitions; here I sang three songs, getting a First, a Second and a Third. I really enjoyed singing one song unaccompanied, it is quite an amazing feeling filling an otherwise silent hall with just your own voice. I also got great kudos when I decided at the very last minute that I would march on stage when I sang 'The Policeman's Song' from Pirates- the adjudicator made special note of it! The way they work the overall placings in these things is by allocating 5 points to a First, 3 to Second and 1 to Third. As it turned out, I ended up with the same number as another competitor, the only other male singer there. This meant they then tallied up the marks we received for each song, and with a stroke of luck I came out on top. I was pretty stoked to win but knew I was lucky also! Still, I had a lot to learn from it.
|North Shore Winners 2010|
|They Gave Us Roses!|
|At The North Shore Comps 2011|
|Pearl Broad Memorial Cup|
Following on from that confidence boost, I have entered into the Senior sections of the upcoming West and South Auckland competitions. I also recently joined the Auckland Clef Music Club, to gain more performing experience, so I look forward to singing for them. I'm also looking to apply for a Grand Opera Society scholarship, as well as entering the Ron Dellow Memorial competition once more. All in all, it makes for quite an exciting future, which is really why I thought I would share all this with you. I really love singing and it can be so enjoyable!
For me, singing went from a fleeting fancy to a real passion in my life in quite a short space of time. I remember I used to hear all the news at school about other people winning competitions and performing everywhere, and wonder why I couldn't be them. And the main reason it wasn't me was that I hadn't tried- you've got to be in to win, after all. You don't have to move mountains to do things that you love; you just have to put that love you have into it, and it will come back to you. Granted, with things like competitions, there is a great focus on competing, but it's the singing and doing what you love that is far, far more important. So that's why I'm writing this- not to blow my own trumpet, but to show you how things that seem distant and unattainable look a lot different, and easier, when you give them a go. If I wanted to be the best singer in the world, that wouldn't be easy. But to do what I love, that's something I can do and I am.