The song forms in jazz that we use are predominately the swing form, characterised by a walking bass and swung quavers, with the fractional tones of ‘blue’ leading notes. These may be in the accompaniment or in the vocal line. The tension between off-beat phrasing and rhythmic setting drives the energy of this style. Add some harmony and there’s plenty of spice!
SOLSTICE SINGERS ARE…
Anne started singing at the age of 5 sitting beside her mother at the piano on the family property in The Flinders Ranges (“the hills were alive with the sound of music”!) Educated in the city, she began piano lessons, which later became singing lessons.
1976 to 1989 was spent singing with State Opera of SA chorus, then with Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus and as an inaugural member of Solstice Singers from 2007.
Music has always been a part of David’s life and began in a church choir in 1950’s London. Later, also in his home town he played in a jazz band doubling between bass (tuba) and rhythm guitar. Now living 70kms from Adelaide at Palmer, he considers musical highlights as being fortunate to have seen live performances by Count Basie, Duke Ellington Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. Personal performance highlights include singing the Mahler 8 at the Sydney Opera House as part of an eight hundred voice choir.
A retired ambulance paramedic, David appreciates the value of music in health promotion and healing and, as a humanitarian, its value as a universal language.
Heather has been singing since she could talk. Family stories of someone walking around the garden telling stories and singing to herself, showed what was in the future. Learning piano, recorder and clarinet, year 12 music, then university choral society and university choral intervarsity set the scene for an adult life of singing in large choirs and small choirs and training school choirs for the Public Music Festival and for the joy of singing for many, many years. This has developed a love of all sorts of music, but especially the close harmony, swing style and joy of being part of the Solstice Singers.
Jo has been singing since she picked up her mother’s G&S scores and serenaded the family cat for hours at a time. Singing expanded to music theatre, the Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus, the Australian Ballet and a variety of small vocal ensembles, across a wide range of genres from jazz to classical. She brings a background in events and the arts from her work with Community Arts Network and is looking forward to another sell-out Fringe show in 2012. ‘Singing to a packed house is always exhilarating and the Adelaide Fringe is such a vibrant experience!’
After 50 masses, Requiems, and other classics with the Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus, singing swing with Solstice provides a much needed musical balance to Professor Leon Lack’s academic and sleep research life. Having been raised by a violinist father and pianist mother he took up the baritone horn at 10 years of age and transferred to singing in high school, church choirs, and the Stanford Men’s Glee Club at university. However, then came the dark decades of “imbalance” without music. Daughter’s singing with the Adelaide Girls Choir renewed the spark and the SA Trade Union Choir provided his renaissance in 1998.
Margie was raised in a large family in rural Victoria where singing was an everyday part of home life – around the pianola, as well as at the local one teacher state school and at church. Indeed several of we Ripper Sisters still gather to sing with Chorus Oz at the Sydney Opera House in June of each year. Since Margie’s recent retirement from full-time academia she has been ‘singing as if there is no tomorrow’ and relishing the variety of music that a typical week brings … swing (with Solstice) classical (with the Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus) and the whole choral spectrum with Adelaide’s women’s choir Illumina …and of course performing torch songs and solo arias in the shower!
Michele grew up in a family that sang and enjoyed a wide range of music from classical to jazz and popular, and has developed a special love of the ‘Swing’ era. She has sung in church choirs, with Chandos Chorale and since 1994 with the Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus. Having a special love of Gershwin and his contemporaries she and a group of friends decided to form a ‘vocal swing’ group, ‘Solstice’, to indulge that love. It has been wonderful to find how many others love to hear what we want to perform.
A child of the 60’s, Pebli loves grooving into the new century. Raised on folk, she moved into group singing with Choir Cecelia (Dido And Aeneas), rallies, peace marches and events with the SA Trade Union Choir, to big works with “the Adelaide Phil”. In Alice Springs she has sung the classics and madrigals; and now to swing with Solstice. Totally untrained in intervals, dots and lines, sheer delight in creating music together keeps her going and maintains her mental health.
Hmm. School choirs. Church choir. A grumpy first piano teacher – it was enough to put me off for a while!
Some music at Uni. Making TV and Radio out of music – I got paid for that!
A Political choir. A ukulele band – Trendoid!
And now a rising love of Swing and the new audiences that go with it.
Unlike many others I did not come from a musical family or sing at an early age: my foray into singing began as the wardrobe mistress for the Mt Gambier Choral Society. Sitting sewing while the others sang, I was encouraged to give it a go, and as they say the rest is history. I have been involved in a number of musicals and more serious singing, with the highlight being in the community singers for Trojan Women at the Festival Theatre. As a newer member of Solstice, I am enjoying the challenge of close harmonies and thoroughly enjoying the great swing songs of another era.
I started to play drums at 17, studied at the Yamaha Drum School in Tokyo then a Bachelor of Music Production and Engineering at Berklee College of Music, Boston’87, USA. Have sung tenor with choirs in Los Angeles, Tokyo International Singers and Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus, Solstice Singers, and play jazz drums with various groups around Adelaide.