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- 20 Women, 20 Years
Read more about Judy here.
How long have you been a member of NBC and Sweet Adelines? How did you come to join?
I joined 3 years ago. I had watched a small group singing at Christmas in a shopping mall, loved the music and enthusiasm and just wished I could be part of it. I kept looking in the Many Daily for opportunities to join a singing group and spotted Northern Beaches Chorus invitation to an open evening.
What were you doing 20 years ago when the chorus began? (1997)
I was in Breast Care Nursing in the Nottingham Breast Institute, UK, working full time. My husband and I lived in a very pretty English village. Our older daughter had moved to Sydney in 1994 and we had started to visit each year before emigrating here in 2007. My greatest fear after meeting so many wonderful women, and men, over the years, was being lonely in retirement. If only I had known!!
What do you most enjoy about the chorus?
The music, the joy of singing, the joy of learning to constantly improve my voice. My amazement at how much my singing voice has progressed (even though I will never be a soloist!). The sense of mutual support on the risers as we are challenged to tackle new music as we make mistakes and learn from each other. The sense of complete acceptance of who I am and what I can offer and the confidence it gives me to push my boundaries.
What have you done in Sweet Adelines that has taken you out of your comfort zone?
To start with just singing within the group knowing that people around me would hear my voice! Then singing out when I am unsure of the notes knowing that I would be corrected but wanting to progress. The challenge of attending my first National Convention. I would love to sing in a quartet, I keep trying but I am so nervous that I mess it up.
What have you done in the chorus that has surprised your family and friends?
Nothing I do surprises my family (they make excuses for me)! My friends are amazed that I sing, perform on stage, wear false eyelashes and compete at Convention – I seem so ‘normal’…… They are all very surprised and impressed with the quality of our performances.
What are you most proud of about the chorus?
I get such a warm glow whenever we sing as a group and we can hear how every member has worked together to reach such a high standard. It makes me feel very proud.
How different might your life be now if you hadn’t joined the chorus?
I am sure that I would be very busy pursuing other interests because that is how I am. However I absolutely love being part of Northern Beaches Chorus. It suits me being active. having a purpose and enjoying so much company.
What is the funniest memory of being a Sweet Adeline?
Oh gosh! When I sang in a quartet at our Christmas Party, had rewritten the words to White Christmas, and I couldn’t sing for laughing. We ended up as an unintentional comedy act.
Who do you admire in Sweet Adelines?
This is difficult. I admire all of the other members for caring enough about singing to come along each week, knowing they all have busy lives, to work together to achieve such gorgeous music. I admire the better singers and wish my voice was half a good. I really appreciate the skill of all our leaders and their commitment towards us. So many members contribute in small ways to make the chorus successful.
What is your favourite song that you have sung?
Anthem. I love it’s depth and power of meaning. During performance it makes the hair on my neck stand up.