Congratulations to all our clients for another successful year. There have been many successful results from Eisteddfodau, other competitions, exams and auditions. Bravi tutti!! It’s daunting stuff but worth the effort. We have current and former clients now singing with Opera Qld & Opera Australia Chorus, including one who recently did an arena concert of classical singing at an International Arts Festival in Taiwan. Others have been treading the boards in local amateur productions or have prepared for auditions and been accepted for Tertiary courses around the country. Recent news of another former client winning a major National Cabaret Festival competition is very gratifying, but perhaps the pinnacle of achievement is the news that one former client is one of the new Wiggles! It’s going to be hard to top that. To those who front up each week for lessons just because it gives them joy, our thanks for letting us in on your journey.
My wife Deb and I take a keen interest in both the musical and personal development of the young folk entrusted to our care so we rejoice in their successes both large and small. It’s also our continuing privilege to be able to mentor some fine young studio and classroom teachers and see them develop as both fine pedagogues and outstanding young men and women. There are also some excellent role models among our more mature clients, who are all still curious and engaged with learning how to maintain their vintage instruments. Keep using them, that’s the secret!
In other news, my work teaching voice in the Bachelor of Music, Musical Theatre degree at the Qld Conservatorium this year has continued to be very satisfying. Competition for places in the course is fierce so the students are all very motivated and keen, proving that it is indeed possible to sing, dance and act all at the same time. Performances throughout the year from the 1st & 2nd year cohort have been greeted with critical acclaim. The course starts its 3rd intake of 1st year students in 2013.
After a break from adjudicating Eisteddfods in 2011, I got back on the horse and did the Beenleigh Eisteddfod and the Enoggera Eisteddfod in 2012. It’s always a pleasure to be able to give something back to the arts community and to see what’s happening from other studios around town. I always try to couch my language in positive terms to foster and encourage singing and the joy of performing in the community. I continue examining singing with the AMEB and this also keeps me in touch with the fine work of colleagues around Qld. I look forward to being on the panel of adjudicators for the Qld Piano Competition in 2013.
After 10 years serving on the Qld committee of ANATS and 3 years on the National Council, I gave notice of my resignation at the recent AGM. The Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing is an association that provides support and professional development to teachers of singing. It also supports and encourages networking among researchers in the field of voice pedagogy and related voice sciences. I leave these positions in the knowledge that I’ve handed over to very capable and competent colleagues who have continuing stewardship of the association.
The International Congress of Voice Teachers (ICVT) to be held here in Brisbane in 2013 will be a great opportunity for local and interstate teachers to engage in professional development and for International guests to see what we have to offer them. We expect between 300 – 400 delegates and my work on the organising committee for ICVT continues into 2013. Check the website www.icvt2013.com/ for more details.
We are always grateful for your enquiries into Deb’s wellbeing. Deb has MS and is the most courageous and inspiring person I know. She’s now a bit over a year into a new drug treatment that has given her a much better quality of life. If you happen upon her on your way to the studio, do say hello, unless it’s hot outside. Then watch the land speed record on foot from the car to the inside air-conditioning! (Heat stress and MS don’t mix)
In September this year we mounted a charity fundraising concert for the MS Society of Qld. Spring Back To Life: Supporting MS raised $2500 for the society. We’re very grateful for the support of all our clients, family and friends who made this a successful event. Particular thanks to our studio families who volunteered their expertise and time and to the Hon Mr Wayne Swan MP for his patronage of the event. We hope to continue this sort of fundraising concert in coming years and are “in negotiations” with various organisations regarding sponsorship and a venue for the next one. We’ll keep you posted.
There will be an increase in tuition fees of $1.00 per half hour from the 1st of January 2013. (Please see the fees page of this website for details) This fee structure we believe reflects the standard of service and expertise our practice offers and sits well within the scope of fees charged among colleagues of similar standing in Brisbane.
School Term dates for the studio for the first Semester 2013 are:
Term 1 – 9 weeks
Tuesday Jan 29 – Thursday March 28th. (The studio will be open from Monday Jan 21st)
Term 2 – 10 weeks
Monday April 15th – Saturday June 22nd. (The studio will be open until Saturday June 29th)
Thank you to all who have presented us with cards and gifts this Christmas. I will have to really step up the exercise programme to work off all that wine and chocolate! Well, it would be rude not to eat and drink it. We wish you and your loved ones the very best for the Christmas and New Year break and hope that 2013 brings you good health and happiness.
Geoff & Deb Ashenden