I was a Teenage Choir Nerd | Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life

Thursday, 13 March 2014

I was a Teenage Choir Nerd

Growing up I have always been singing for one way or another. Its started out as a little kid,  was obsessed with music and Mum has video of me dancing around the lounge room with my microphone, twirling the cord (there were no cordless mics in the early 80s!) and singing to my favourite song and one of my first records, Frankie, by Sister Sledge.

Since then I was always in choir at school and sang at church. In high school I was in the vocal ensemble, as well as various small singing groups, as well as the NSW State Vocal Ensemble. I was also in a band for about 6 months back in 2008 but had to leave due to needing more time to organise our wedding.

I've performed at church services, carols by candlelights, official state ANZAC Day ceremonies, the Paralympic games, Schools Spectaculars, Australia Day concerts, Sydney Town Hall, and hundreds of private company functions. Not to mention having performed at my most favourite venue of all, the Sydney Opera House, too many times to count.

Today at The Lounge, over on Robomum's blog the theme is music, so I thought I'd share with you some of the highlights of my 90s singing career!



The Band Played Waltzing Matilda


) In 1994 I was in year 6 and the choir teacher asked me to sing this song at the school's ANZAC Day ceremony. I've never been more nervous in my life. It was my first solo in front of such a huge audience (the entire school as well as members from the local council and the local community) and I almost backed out. But I made it through and that's when my love of performing really took hold.

Love is in the air with John Paul Young


) When I was in the State Vocal Ensemble we were always singing at various functions around the place and would quite often be performing at the Australia Day concerts in the city. One year we were the choir at the Aus Day concert at Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour and we got to sing with a number of famous singers, including Julie Anthony and David Campbell. The most exciting one for me though was getting to sing Love is in the Air with John Paul Young. As a little girl this was one of my favourite songs. I think Mum was pretty thrilled too, just quietly!

One of Us by Joan Osborne


) This was a pretty big one hit wonder back in the 90s and of course it was the perfect song to be performed at one of our Church's youth services. I had the honour of performing it. My cousin's friends actually thought that I was the one that had recorded the song as my Uncle, who is a total joker, told them that they had gone to see me perform it, leaving out the fact that I wasn't actually Joan Osborne! They still give me shit for it to this day!

Advance Australia Fair


) I know heaps of people don't like Australia's national anthem. I am not one of those people. I LOVE it! Having sung it at so many ceremonies and concerts and occasions, with a full orchestra, and once conducted by Maestro Tommy Thyco (his arrangement is the one you will hear used at most sporting events and national ceremonies) at the Australia Day concert where we sang with John Paul Young (Julie Anthony was the lead singing, we were the choir backing), I have a real sense of pride in our anthem.

My favourite times to sing it was at the ANZAC Day ceremony at the War Memorial in Hyde Park every year, and in 2000, live on The Midday Show. That was awesome! My friend J and I made sure we were in the middle and had the biggest smiles on our faces as we sung, as we knew that a big smile and animated face was the guaranteed way to make sure you got plenty of air-time. Which we did.

Anthem for the Year 2000 by Silverchair


) In 1999 the State Vocal Ensemble was asked to record backing vocals for a special, secret project. It wasn't until we got to the recording studio that we found out that this special recording was in fact for the next Silverchair album to be released! If you listen very carefully (like really carefully, you can hardly hear us, I sometimes wonder why they even bothered using it! You can probably hear it better off the album on a stereo rather than through the computer) to their song Anthem for the Year 2000 you can hear the voices of our choir singing in the background in the chorus. We didn't ever get to meet them or see them but it's still pretty cool to say that we sang with Silverchair, and to know that my voice is one of the many in that song.

So that's a little walk down memory lane for ya, a little history of my years as a 90s choir nerd!

Got any musical claims to fame you wanna share?
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12 comments:

  1. One of Us is quite a weird little song really but I remember singing it at some school assembly or other too. I'm guessing the teachers thought they were letting us sing a hip and groovy pop song rather than a traditional churchy number. They were SO down the with kids.

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  2. You are just full of surprises!!! I love Silverchair - that song is just all kinds of excellent. Love is in the air is special to me too - Strictly Ballroom is one of my favourite movies ever. I can't get sick of it. Our anthem is one of the best. I always look forward to it at school and at sporting events. I haven't seen Julie Anthony in years. She was one of the best anthem performers. Cheers for linking. Robo X

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  3. Total choir nerd here. I remember singing Bette Midler's 'The Rose' in choir when I was ten or so. That's who you want singing that song. A group of primary school kids!

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  4. Oh, look at you! My choir days were in the primary years, as we're my... wait for it... recorder ensemble days! Ha! High school was all sports and drama - dramatic arts, not social drama, but I'm sure there was plenty of that too. X

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  5. I am tone deaf and can't stay in tune, but I did some primary school choir singing. I do love singing in church when no one gives a rats if you can sing or not.

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  6. So you must be great at karaoke?? My voice is horidable! I'm more of an INDIE girl, must bought Smashing Pumpkin's latest CD Oceania, and my 4yo loves 'the guitar parts' BOOM! A rocker in the making xx

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  7. Wow Kylie, very impressive! I would have to have the worst voice in the world, but that doesn't stop me from smashing out a song or two at home. I'm so glad that Bell is in the school choir, look where it could lead! x

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  8. I was a choir nerd too! Now all I sing is "come for a ride we'll see what we find today, we'll visit our friends and that's where the journey ends" etc. And Im dam good at it btw. Bonus points to those who know what song thats from.

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  9. My only performances are in the car, and not very good ones lol! My youngest is often telling me "no!", I am not allowed to sing most songs, especially kids ones, and ones that she is already having a fair go at. Good on you, sounds like a fine singing career. Have to listen to that Silverchair song :)

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  10. How fun! My daughter is a choir nerd, and just got first prize at her camp talent show for singing (which amazes me because she ain't no Whitney Houston - but she's enthusiastic and I love that she had the guts to get up and sing on her own without music). I hope she gets as much enjoyment out of it as you have. :)

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  11. Awesome! I was a choir nerd too! But in the '80's! Biggest music claim to fame? When me and my 3 music geek friends won a national song competition for the Peer Support Program. We won $250 each and got to go to Manly for the awards presentation. 4 young Canberra girls in the big smoke. We thought we were rock stars!

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  12. Not surprised to learn you have a thing for singing too, Kylie. I'm starting to think we are long lost rellos xxx

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