Even though I am the director and organiser of this project and the arrangements, it would have all been for nothing if I hadn’t had the dedication, help and support of the team of people in this photo. I wrote the parts with these people and their voices in mind. Their participation was integral to the project’s success and I will be forever grateful that they are the ones who ensured the dream became a reality.
Maddie, my best friend, is an extremely talented musician (a musical genius as she likes to joke) in her own right. Her involvement in my project has been extensive; being my sounding board for ideas and final edits, being moral support, giving me honest and constructive feedback, being my confidant, and remaining involved in the recording and mixing process in the same ways. Her incredible work ethic and determination to produce a high standard final product for me is more than I could have ever asked for, and I am incredibly lucky to have had the privilege to work so closely with someone as loyal and amazing as her. Maddie began the Bachelor of Music at Victoria University in 2017 and graduated in 2019. During this time, Maddie has evolved as an artist, developing an extensive collection and repertoire of original music. In her 3rd year of the Bachelor, Maddie has spent time writing and recording a concept EP in which she explores the use of colour and the emotions associated with them. It has been a pleasure to have been part of her project as well.
Gabrielle Di Mauro
Gabby is one of the sweetest, kindest and most talented musicians I have come across. The accuracy in her vocal technique is out of this world! She has a big love for all things Jazz and Soul, with Ella Fitzgerald being a major influence on her. She began her time as a Bachelor of Music student in 2017 and graduated in 2019. Her keen ear for Jazz harmony meant that she was always able to perfectly pitch the difficult lines I gave her in the arrangements, particularly ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ which include notes that venture outside the key signature. Like Maddie, Gabby’s determination, persistence and work ethic to create the highest of standards for my project exceeded all expectations. She would not rest until she had got her part right; it is a blessing to have had her on the team. During her time as a Bachelor of Music student, Gabby has formed the ‘Gabrielle Di Mauro Trio’, dedicating countless hours to their professional development, even making their social media presence and advertising plan her studio project for 3rd Year. They play many live shows around Melbourne, often at Compass Pizza! Definitely worth checking out!
If Dannie ever had to miss a rehearsal for some reason, she always assured me that she would have her part learned by the next rehearsal. And you best believe that she did! I don’t remember ever having to teach Dannie her part for any of my arrangements. She was organised, prepared, well-rehearsed, patient, and no one else could have sung those Soprano lines the way she did as she consistently rounded off the sound with those beautiful upper register notes. Dannie unfortunately suffered through a number of illnesses during her time being involved in my project, but she always remained determined to be part of it and finish the job she started! The rest of the original group always commented about how empty the arrangements sound without Dannie, and this extends to how empty the group would feel without her; such a loyal person and friend. Dannie began the Bachelor of Music alongside Maddie, Gabby and myself, but will be graduating in 2020 due to a timetable clash with one of her subjects. As part of her studio project, Dannie has been working on an EP, spending her 3rd Year of the Bachelor of Music writing and recording original music, one of which is A Cappella!
Loki arguably had one of the hardest roles in my arrangements, acting as the bass the majority of the time meaning that his parts often didn’t work against or bounce off the others. Nothing was ever too difficult for Loki or too much to ask of him, and he embraced every part and every challenge the arrangements gave him, nailing them and perfecting them every time. Even when I would ask him if he would like it changed and made simpler, he always said no because it was how I had written it and wanted it to sound. I hope Loki enjoyed working on my project since he commented at the start that he had always wanted to be part of a barber shop quartet/ doo wop shop. It certainly wouldn’t have been possible to complete the project without his rich tenor vocals and his patience and persistence in getting a high-quality final product. Loki began the Bachelor of Music in 2017 and graduated in 2019, spending his time developing his original songs and collaborating with the finest musicians the course has to offer, with his studio project being the production of an EP. He has done countless gigs as part of his duo ‘Sam and Loki’, and has since started to make solo appearances.
Extra Members for ‘Polaroid’
Turk, as he is fondly referred to as, jumped on board my project to sing the bass part for Polaroid. Before I had even asked him to sing for it, I had written the bass part with him in mind as no one else I know has a voice as deep as his, so if he said no it would have been a slight disaster for me! But thankfully he did. During the recording process, Turk was determined to give his best performance and provide parts that would make for the best outcome, even suggesting his own ideas which we ended up recording. He was great at delivering how I heard his part in my head, and we eager to practise and get my feedback as to how he could do it differently or make it better. I am very grateful to Turk for being part of ‘Polaroid’, without his input, the arrangement would have sounded extremely empty. Throughout Turk’s time at uni he has spent a large amount of his time developing as a front man, which has all come to fruition in his band ‘Dick Willoughby & the Dirty Stop Outs’.
Sang Don Park
Sang, my late but necessary inclusion. Before Sang came to Australia I had intended to record a bunch of people stomping and clapping to creative a percussive element. Then in July I learned that we had an exchange student for the semester who is a beat boxer. How could I pass up the opportunity to work with a beat boxer on an A Cappella project! Sang was so patient with me as I was slightly unprepared to work with a beat boxer; I didn’t know the terminology, or exactly how he could flesh out his part more than the basic beat I had written for the stomps and claps. He recorded the basic beat I had, and as we progressed through the song I developed my own ideas and he managed to understand what I wanted and meant by everything I was describing! And wow did he deliver! I could not be happier with the final result he contributed to ‘Polaroid’, it has a life it would not have previously had. It was meant to be that he came on exchange in the semester I was recording ‘Polaroid’. Sang is a stand-up comedian, bringing a fresh routine with his inclusion of beat-boxing! Melbourne’s comedy scene is a big reason he chose to come here on exchange, and he is already starting to make a name for himself!
Resa, someone with a soulful, powerful soprano voice was the perfect addition to my vocal arrangement to add variety to the voices already being used. Her upper register also perfectly supports the Soprano vocal Dannie delivers throughout the entirety of Polaroid. Resa is so enthusiastic in everything she does, and is always happy to help out her friends, there was never any doubt in my mind that she would give her all to recording her part. Despite the fact that she was unwell on the day, Resa did not rest until we were both happy with the results. Throughout her 3rd Year of the Bachelor of Music, Resa has been working on releasing her debut single alongside a music video! Follow her Instagram to stay up to date with her music.
Such a sweet voice never came out of a sweeter person. Mia never hesitated in agreeing to be part of my project, and her commitment never wavered, coming into the recording session having learned her part entirely, and just as everyone else did, not resting until she was happy with the final product produced. She was very careful and precise with her delivery, making sure she always knew what I wanted from her in each take so as not to waste anyone’s time. Mia’s voice, working in unison with Resa’s, complimented Dannie’s main Soprano line equally as well. Resa and Mia’s voices blended beautifully together, often sounding as if they were one voice, yet while Resa provided soul and guts, Mia provided a smooth, seemingly fluid and mellifluous tone. Throughout her time as a Bachelor of Music student, Mia has spent time writing original music for her debut EP! Having worked on some of Mia’s projects before for her original music, I can safely say that they are very intricate, detailed yet beautifully simple songs with extremely poetic lyrics. You can keep up to date with Mia’s musical journey and all the information for her debut EP on her social media links.
Honestly one of the most genuine people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, Dominique has a gorgeous, indie/alternative mezzo soprano vocal, and has extensive experience in A Cappella and choir work through her high school’s extensive music program! I hit the jackpot including her in my project! She too came into the recording session knowing her part entirely, and stayed in the recording session until the very end, eager to listen to what I had created and excited to talk about her past experience in this sort of work. She was a strong presence in the studio, being equally as dedicated as the other team members; always wanting to deliver the best results and wanting to record over again until she was happy with the final product. Dominique has spent much of her time as a Bachelor of Music student writing original material for her debut EP! I have also worked on some of Dominique’s songs for previous projects, and was immediately captured by the hooks she created and how clearly you could tell where she drew from her influences yet made the sound entirely her own!
Ruby is a great person to have involved on your projects because no matter how hard the part you have provided for her may be, or how much of a challenge it may feel for her, she will give you %110 of her time and attention to get it right, and does not rest until she has. Ruby sang in unison with Dominique, with her indie/rock alto vocals blending seamlessly into the mix, but in a way that if you were to take them away, it would feel as if a piece of the puzzle were missing. Ruby is currently finishing her 2nd year of the Bachelor of Music, having spent a large amount of time learning from her favourite artists to develop her own sound and become comfortable delivering and expressing her own music. In her 3rd year, Ruby will continue to progress in her development, showcasing it through the creation of an EP and a social media platform to promote herself and her gigs! Stay tuned for future links!
Leonardo Di Stefano
Leo ended up being my saving grace in some ways for Polaroid. I had originally teamed him up with someone else to sing the same part in unison with him, however his partner lost his voice on the day of recording and there was no time for me to reschedule. Leo kindly agreed to record his part twice to still capture the effect of the part being sung in unison. He was so patient in recording everything double the amount of times than everyone else had to, and even suggested his own ideas of recording the parts an octave apart in the final chorus to create more of a balance in the arrangement. He was so good to me throughout the entire process, and I can’t thank him enough for sticking that recording session out with me to get the final product I wanted. Leo is an amazing vocalist and piano player, and has been working on his Lo-fi EP during his 3rd Year as a Bachelor of Music student. Stay tuned for the links to hear it!
Jose has to be the most dedicated musician I have ever met. Waking up before the sun rises so he has enough time to practise his instruments throughout the day and commit to the countless rehearsals he has to attend since he is a part of so many projects! I was very lucky to be able to pin him down just for two hours so he could record on mine! His strong work ethic carried over to the studio as he took initiative to perfect his part without my instruction, but then always sort out my direction to ensure he was executing the parts as I wanted. It was such a pleasure to collaborate with a great musician and someone who has been a great friend to me over the entirety of the Bachelor of Music. Throughout the course Jose has always been driven by the projects he is involved in outside of uni, and always drawn on his Jazz and Soul influences. One of the projects he is part of is the formerly mentioned ‘Gabrielle Di Mauro Trio’. In his 3rd year of the Bachelor, Jose has been working on his debut EP! Stay tuned for links to his social medias and to listen to his EP.
Sam is another musician I was very lucky to pin down for a few hours as he is so busy with the countless projects he has set up himself, as well as being involved in the countless others he has committed to. He is the hidden gem in the arrangement, being a ridiculously talented guitarist, Sam does not normally sing unless it is for fun in a jamming session as a backing/supporting vocalist. It took a bit of coaxing to get him to agree to sing, but I knew I needed my friend on the project. He shone through in the studio, having convinced himself he couldn’t hold a tune, Sam sang his entire part with ease, professionalism, but most of all he had a lot of fun with it especially since he was singing in unison with Jose. I am so happy he came through and completed the recording for the arrangement! As previously mentioned, Sam is part of countless projects, but most recently he has been working on creating his website where he can showcase himself as a musician and all the projects he has been working on, including recording and producing an album for an old friend from his home town. You can also check out Sam in the formerly mentioned projects ‘Sam and Loki’, and ‘Dick Willoughby & the Dirty Stop Outs’.
Meet the mentors who guided me through the creative process for my Portfolio of A Cappella Arrangements
Check out the final products of the arrangements these legends helped me out with for my Portfolio of A Cappella Arrangements
Written by Sir Elton John, Davey Johnstone and Bernie Taupin, ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues’ has long been a favourite song of mine. This was the third piece I arranged for an A Cappella group, and my main goal for the arrangement was to create more lyrical involvement for all the […]
The jazz standard written by Dorothy Fields and Jerome Kern was only the second song I arranged for my Portfolio of A Cappella Arrangements, and given the harmonic structure of this piece, I must’ve been mad to tackle this so soon! I think I’ve done a decent job with the arrangement though and I’m proud […]
Who would’ve thought that such a big project as creating a Portfolio of A Cappella Arrangements would have stemmed from an idea beginning with the creation of this arrangement?! It was a no brainer for me that I would arrange this folk song, with Bear McCreary’s version capturing me from the moment I heard it. […]
Polaroid, written by Imagine Dragons, is the final addition to my Portfolio of A Cappella Arrangements. While I am proud of all my arrangements, I have to say that this one takes the cake for me. My aims for Polaroid were to; Work with more male vocalists since I have arranged mostly for women in […]