I have been very fortunate to have been surrounded by many amazing musicians and people who have always been there to guide me in the right direction. This project is a reflection of everything they have taught me, and is my demonstration of how I aim to continue working and building upon what they have mentored me in.
Words cannot express how grateful I am to Hannah for how much she has supported me and guided me through the arrangement process over the last two years. From the very beginning, every singing lesson I have had with her I could walk in, show her all the work I had done on Sibelius, and she would come up with simple yet such effective suggestions on how something should be rhythmically different, voiced differently, or even being able to identify the chord I was trying to hear and create, and helping me to fix that. She is the one who encouraged me to experiment with re-harmonisation, more lyrical involvement from the team members, and to make my arrangements more “visually pleasing” as an arrangement that looks interesting more often than not sounds interesting too. Not only has she helped with the arranging side of things, but she has been at the centre of my personal development as a singer and musician too. She understands the way my mind responds to music and how I navigate it, and therefore has helped me through countless mental hurdles and barriers that were once holding me back as a singer, and through that she has been able to unlock and strengthen different aspects of my voice that hadn’t been exercised for a while. This Portfolio of A Cappella Arrangements would not have been possible without Hannah’s mentorship; I can’t thank her enough.
Fran has watched me develop from a tentative and unsure first year Bachelor of Music student (at least that’s how I felt) to a now very confident and assured graduate. She’s watched my visions change, develop and evolve, and been very encouraging of my progression as a singer, artist and arranger. What I love most about Fran is how she is always so honest with you; she’ll tell you what she thinks you can do better, but she’ll also let you know when she thinks you are doing something extremely well. She is the one who encouraged me to work with more complex harmony in my A Cappella arrangements, suggesting I could do something by Burt Bacharach, and while I didn’t choose a Burt Bacharach composition, I did follow her advice. I feel I can always go to Fran with any musical idea, concept or issue, and she will always be able to understand my perspective and give really sound, constructive advice. She is also one of the teachers who encouraged me to record my A Cappella pieces, and therefore set in motion the whole concept of creating a Portfolio of A Cappella Arrangements. I have learnt so much from Fran about being a smart musician, knowing that it is good to have someone push you and tell you to do better, to work harder and explore things you hadn’t before. Thank you, Fran.
Greg was the other teacher who encouraged me to record my A Cappella arrangements, therefore also being someone who set in motion my Portfolio of A Cappella Arrangements. What was special for me was that he has been my teacher and guidance for my project planning and management, so from the very beginning he has had a strong picture and image of what my project is. Greg always made it extremely clear that he was here to help, support and encourage us, and that is exactly what he did. He always made you feel like he was deeply invested in the work you were undertaking, and was able to understand the details of your project so easily. He always encouraged me to do more in the aspects of my project planning. He helped me to realise from a very early stage that there are finer details of project management than what first seems to be. In particular for the second semester, he encouraged me to plan out every fine detail so that I could foresee all tasks and risk factors, preparing for them accordingly. My project would have been much more stressful and dysfunctional if it hadn’t been for Greg’s wisdom and support. It’s because of him I have time to write an acknowledgements section. Thank you, Greg.
Darren has guided me so much throughout the entire recording process for my Portfolio. Particularly in the second semester where I sought him out to give me more feedback on ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues’, the recording I submitted in my first semester for assessment. He has taken time out of his day to sit down with me and give me further suggestions, and is always more than happy to answer any questions I have, even if I’ve asked them multiple times. The best part about Darren is how he encourages out of your struggles, and shares your joy in your successes too. Because of Darren I have been able to grow as a musician in the recording studio, have become a better listener, and have developed a higher standard of what qualifies as a better recording and a better outcome from the recording process. Thank you, Darren.
Meet the people who helped bring my Portfolio of A Cappella Arrangements to life
Check out the final products of the arrangements my mentors guided me through
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 […]