“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.”
– Johnson, Earl King, The Sound of Music (1965)
At seven, Emma joined the school choir. This choir took part in a collaborative performance with a collection of primary schools. Select students from these schools were put forward for an audition to sing the solo, “Castle on a Cloud” from Les Misérables. Armed with the only piece of advice that her choir conductor had given her, “take a big breath” Emma stood in line for a turn to sing. She took a giant breath and sang the whole first verse in one go. Despite turning a little blue from oxygen deprivation, she was chosen to sing the solo at the choirs’ collaborative concert. This marked the beginning of her passion for singing and an understanding of the importance of supported breath! Throughout her schooling, Emma continued to perform at every opportunity that presented itself, including; ensembles, secular choirs, church choirs, competitions, musical productions and international tours. Emma achieved first in music at St Andrews Cathedral School and became inspired to pursue music at a tertiary level. In 2013 she was invited to come back to The University of New South Wales as a performance major and complete an honours thesis, investigating the ‘diva’s’ etymology with the aim of qualifying the conclusion that a diva is a performer with artistry and allure who commands an audience, distinct from the concept of a prima donna, whose outrageous behaviour makes for amusing stories. In conjunction with her theoretical journey Emma has continued a practical passage under the tutelage of Ghillian Sullivan and Gail Pearson.
Photo courtesy of: St Andrews Cathedral School, Sydney. (Emma rehearsing for Cosette, Les Misérables)