Bernay Studio Singers Go Gondwana In The Summer Of 2024 – Tom Stiles

Feb 7, 2024 | News

Here’s what Bernay students have to say about the wonderful time they spent in Sydney this past summer

Tom Stiles

What inspired you to audition for Gondwana’s national choir, and how did you feel when you found out you were selected?
I didn’t know a lot about the Gondwana National choirs, but with encouragement of my teacher and family I decided to give the experience a go. I was a little apprehensive as well as happily surprised when I was selected.

Can you share a memorable moment or performance from the summer program that stands out to you?
“Six Swans” was my favourite performance piece. I particularly enjoyed all the different melodies, and how the story is told and unfolds through the lyrics, alongside the beautiful melodies. After each individual voice part is introduced the voices join together and the chords and harmony create a beautiful ending.

How did being part of Gondwana’s national choir enhance your singing skills and musical knowledge?
Being part of Gondwana National choirs enhanced my sight- singing and ability to focus on one melody line with other competing vocal parts. Singing six hours a day for nine days improved my vocal skills in general, and helped me settle into my slowly breaking voice. It helped provide groundwork for my singing within the tenor range. My theory and knowledge didn’t expand as much as my singing skills, as this wasn’t the major focus, but meeting artists and performing their work and learning to bring to life the lyrics to the music was certainly eye-opening and helpful.

Describe the camaraderie and teamwork within the choir. How did working with other talented young singers influence your musical growth?
Inside the choir the teamwork was a great experience. Outside of choir it was also fun and a great experience including for new people. Inside the choir there was plenty of camaraderie and encouragement, everyone helped out and if you made a mistake it wasn’t a problem, and we could continue to learn together. It was great to sing our hearts out together. The leadership of both conductors was amazing and helped give us a combined focus. With the detailed teaching it was easier to perform technically well together as the program progressed and during performances.

In what ways do you think this experience with Gondwana’s national choir will impact your future involvement in music or singing?
After my experience in the Gondwana Singers I am impacted in my music pursuits as I would love to do the National choral school again. The experience helped improve my choral teamwork skills and proficiency.

Laura Bernay
Tom (far right) and Gondie friends. A lot of singing AND a lot of fun!