I’ve never really been a confident solo singer, sure I’ve sung in choir, theatre productions and done the odd gig with my sisters for mother’s day concerts but I have never really sung solo. Admittedly I did sing karaoke at the Student Union one night but I am assuming no one was really focussed on my singing.
So when Becki (the director of OmniArts where I volunteer who is also a singing teacher amongst many other things) asked if I would sing at her Earth Hour Unplugged Event I was excited but also very very nervous. I would be performing in front of her other students (I did not know) and would be singing acapella (without music/backing track) so I would have to rely on the power of my voice alone.
Earth Hour takes place towards the end of March every year and is organised by the WWF. It aims to encourage people to switch off their lights for an hour to help promote environmental causes. It started as a lights-out event in Sydney, Australia in 2007 but since then 7000 cities and towns worldwide partake in the event.
I arrived early to help Becki set up and light the huge array of candles and believe it or not it got very hot very quickly! It soon felt like a wonderful atmosphere with snacks galore and the whole room lit up by candle light.
I sung first and I was very nervous, the first song I sung was I still believe from Miss Saigon as a duet with Becki and then I sang My House from Matilda the Musical. Both these songs were filmed so keep an eye out for those!
Standing up and singing acapella is very different to singing with a backing track. With a backing track you have the main tune hidden in the accompaniment somewhere so you can be sure as to what notes your singing. Singing acapella is just you and your voice. After we had all sung our set we had a discussion about how we felt it went and what we found scary about it. For me, I had no one in the audience (apart from Becki) I knew so I was singing in front of complete strangers which I had never done before as normally my parents, sisters, grandparents or friends are always at events to support me. After this we were all encouraged to sing another song and I chose For Good from Wicked. By this time I had become comfortable and apart from a few gear change issues (changing my register) I performed this song well.
This event has really boosted my confidence and when Becki and I were tidying up after we had a nice little sing song of some more classical musical theatre songs. It was a lovely atmosphere and I hope I get to do something like this again.
*Should anyone want to find out more about Becki or have singing lessons here is her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/beckishortsinger/?pnref=story*