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- 20 Women, 20 Years
Read more about Wendy here.
How long have you been a member of NBC and Sweet Adelines? How did you come to join?
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been a member of NBC for 20 years. Initially, I joined when a friend, who was a member of Sydney Town Chorus, told me a few of the ladies from there were starting a new chorus on the Northern Beaches. Since I had been to their concerts, I knew I would like to sing the Sweet Adelines style, but I was not too sure about the costumes – too many frills and sequins!!!! Luckily, I like the NBC outfit, so have been there ever since.
What were you doing 20 years ago when the chorus began? (1997)
At that time, I was working 2 days a week as a relief pharmacist, my children were almost independent, and there was time to indulge in a new hobby, as a contrast to my normal sporting activities.
What do you most enjoy about the chorus?
What is great about NBC apart from the challenge of mastering ever more difficult songs, is the friendliness and inclusiveness of the other women. Some people feared we would lose this as we grew from 20 to 70 members, but the happy “vibe” is with us still. There is no doubt aided by the cheerfulness, enthusiasm, patience and encouragement of our director, Linda, and her able assistants, Kylie, Geesje and Trish.
What have you done in Sweet Adelines that has taken you out of your comfort zone?
When I first started, singing in public it was very “scary”, but now I love it. Even my grandchildren can see how much it thrills me to be singing Christmas Carols to the public at large. In fact, the Christmas Carols and Australian songs are the ones I most like to sing, as their the emotions of both the audience and the singers.
What is the funniest memory of being a Sweet Adeline?
One of the funniest experiences was singing the song, “Your Feet’s Too Big”, at the Manly Art Gallery. As we sang, one of our women came through the audience dressed as a country bumpkin wearing huge clown shoes. The audience laughed uproariously and it was very hard for us to maintain our composure.
Who do you admire in Sweet Adelines?
For me, over the years, Janet has always been the star, because of her amazing musical talent and willingness to help whenever asked. Many times in the past, when we only had one or two tenors, she would stand beside me and shift from Bari to Tenor to get me through the difficult sections.
One of the best things for the Tenors was when Kylie joined, a young woman in her twenties. She has brought her great talent and expertise to benefit, not just the tenors, but the whole chorus. It was a great thrill for us when we were asked to sing at her wedding, we felt like she was one of our children.