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- 20 Women, 20 Years
As NBC’s musical director for the past 13 years, Linda’s enthusiasm, passion and commitment shine through at every chorus rehearsal and performance she directs. She has taken the chorus to many regional competitions and produced lasting memories for our audiences, including the image of 70 Barbie dolls on stage at the 2014 regional convention.
A special part of the chorus culture at NBC is the Friendship star which Linda introduced in memory of her late mother Carol Richmond, a foundation member of the chorus. The star is passed from woman to woman, representing the family and friendship the chorus encapsulates and Linda nurtures.
Read on to learn more about Linda’s journey with NBC and Sweet Adelines.
How long have you been a member of NBC and Sweet Adelines? How did you come to join?
In 1990 I joined a new prospective chorus in Gosford. My husband had joined a men’s chorus and a small group of women decided a women’s chorus would be fun.
I joined NBC in 2004 when I took on music director role after assisting the group with membership and coaching whilst working on the Sweet Adelines Australia regional team.
What were you doing 20 years ago when the chorus began?
Singing on the Central Coast, encouraging the new chorus through my role on the regional team. My mother joined NBC that year as a founding member.
What do you most enjoy about the chorus?
That question is way ok hard! For me the best thing is seeing women achieve, doing things outside the norm, building and being confident in themselves through our education and performance programs.
What have you done in Sweet Adelines that has taken you out of your comfort zone?
Sung all four parts at some point, directed the chorus at some amazing events and venues, planned and produced some awesome show performances. I’ve sung in quartets and last year I won a medal! Through my regional roles I’ve presented classes to large audiences and spoken at the Sweet Adelines International convention in Seattle in front of 7000+ people as recipient of the 2010 international Ann Gooch award. I’ve also taken on directing my home chorus on the Central Coast as well as NBC.
I’ve travelled to many places I’d never dreamed of, met the most amazing and diverse people, and made life long friends!
What have you done in the chorus that has surprised your family and friends?
At a couple of shows I’ve taken on some different characters as well as being out front. I’ve sung in several quartets and ensembles too.
What are you most proud of about the chorus?
The people who turn up each week to learn. The overall success we’ve had, not only in our own Sweet Adelines world, but in other areas of choral music. The reputation we’ve built as a respected and entertaining group of wonderful women.
How different might your life be now if you hadn’t joined the chorus?
As a 25-year member it’s hard to imagine what I would have done if I’d taken up tennis instead of singing. I was always interested in music but once I left school there weren’t many options. Sweet Adelines has given me the opportunity to create my own musical journey.
What’s the funniest memory of being a Sweet Adeline?
When organising a performance for my very first quartet – being asked ‘how many in your quartet? I guess to the uninitiated it was a fair question.
Who do you admire in Sweet Adelines?
Many and most of our chorus coaches who so happily share their skills with me and the chorus and have become good friends I can rely on. In particular, the late Melanie Wroe, who shared many insights and helped us find our way with performance successes and Mary Rhea who has been a constant wealth of support and encouragement. There are also many choruses and quartets who we admire from within the Sweet Adelines Australia region and internationally who we gain inspiration from as we see the amazing things that are achievable by ordinary women – just like us.
What is your favourite song you have sung?
Golly! I love a good ballad, but I also get a buzz out of a rollicking uptune, or a heartfelt patriotic song.
My very first ‘favourite’ was Back in the Old Routine – which coincidentally NBC competed with when I first directed them in 2004, after just a six week lead in. Then: Joint Is Jumping – just so much fun; If I Give My Heart To You – easy to relate to, and I think everyone loves our latest ‘chorus’ favourite Go The Distance. Every song has some meaning or relevance, it’s really hard to choose.