The hardest thing about being a professional singer is that once a date is booked for a performance or a workshop, it doesn’t take into consideration unforeseen circumstances – like the flu!
This year’s bug hit me before I was able to have my flu shot. After spending 3 days in bed, I took a deep breath and headed to the airport to go to the Gold Coast. We had a big week planned – starting with a day of workshops at Varsity College.
One of the talks I do in my vocal workshops is about vocal health. I have now added a new topic called “Why You Should Not Fly When You Have a Head Cold”. As we started our decent into Coolangatta, my ears blocked and I couldn’t hear a thing except my own breathing. Chewing didn’t help. I just had to hope they would unblock themselves in time for our workshop. Unfortunately, that only gave me about an hour to recover.
As they say in showbiz, “The Show Must Go On”. I didn’t want to disappoint the students at Varsity by pulling out. John started the day by doing a mad drum solo for all the students, and talking to them about the power of focus. The focus needed to learn music and the way you can draw the audience in to focus on you on the stage.
I headed off with the choir, who were all very aware that I was under the weather, and did their best to focus and not chat too much. By lunchtime, my ears unblocked, and I was able to hear the girls (and 1 boy) sing. They have a beautifully, blended sound and were a pleasure to work with.
John had great fun with the band who were very enthusiastic and capable. They were not aware on this day that they were about to lose their dedicated teacher, Mr Simon Petty, who had been lured away to another school. I’m sure they were very disappointed once they learned of this news.
In the afternoon, we all came together, did some rhythmic exercises (BEMBE!) and the band and choir performed for each other. Then, with the help of piano teacher, Glenn Walton, John, Simon and I had a jam on a blues tune for the students.
It was a great day and we hope to visit there again.