2015 has been a year of valuation and consolidating. I am constantly amazed by the length of the agenda and how much the Qld ANATS committee gets through with much cheer and positivity at our monthly meetings. Singing teachers certainly are an impassioned, busy and motivated lot! Thanks to the work of a very active executive all matters procedural have been looked at evaluated and streamlined. An event kit has been put in place with checks and balances setup for the timeline running up to the event. A most fervent thank you to our marvellous Secretary of the past two years, Leslie Martin for her care, patience and attention to detail, Treasurer Elspeth Sutherland who came onto committee this year and immediately took on the position with a wonderful gusto and diligence which is much appreciated and the unflappable and incredibly supportive Vice President and National Council Representative Shelli Hulcombe.
I thank our committed and energetic committee of Francesca de Valence, Kate Schirmer and Mary Carden, Regional representatives Marisa Lee (Gold Coast), Kath Williams (Sunshine Coast) and Vicki Jones (Mackay) and finally, but never last, Dr Irene Bartlett the National Council Vice President for her extraordinary generosity and untiring dedication to the vocation on teaching singing. Sadly we farwelled John Peek, Kim Cook, Gordon Harris and Cairns Regional Representative Lauren Hannay. We thank them for all for their energy and input into ANATS over the past years.
We start each year with a planning meeting in January. One of the innovations this year was that a different, longer standing member of the committee would run each of the events that were planned for the year and mentor a new committee member. This worked well spreading the operational knowledge and the load. Due to the National Conference in Hobart in September and a realization on the part of the committee that we wanted to pitch our events to students and newer members it was decided that we would make our events half a day, thus more affordable and run them with a practical masterclass setup. We also offered a voucher for future half day events to new sign ups which was effective. On the whole this has worked and attendance has been good but is room for improvement. It is always important to be aware of university terms as well as school terms in the lead up and marketing of these events as we are here for beginner singing teachers as well as our long standing members who already know the benefits. Membership has stayed fairly stable but we must always be on the lookout to promote ANATS and its philosophies to our new singing teachers.
There has been a heightened awareness of marketing and getting our word out through all avenues. Facebook activity is lively and debate and discussions are happening between members. It is interesting to note that we have many more Facebook followers than we have members. The website is also a good visual presence online. Many Thanks to Elspeth Sutherland who gallantly also took on the role of website manager. Thank goodness for her tech savvy skills! The setup of the Trybooking system has also been a great success with ease of booking for our members, and setup for the committee. The Mailchip notifications sent out from ANATS Qld also have a very current and distinct look which is giving us a strong professional look.
ANATS Qld offered five opportunities for its members this financial year. The first of these was “Secrets Singers’ Business” in Mackay, once again trying to spread the word to regional areas. The very active and connected Regional Representative for the area, Vicki Jones organised the event and Gold Coast Representative Marisa Lee presented. Though it was well received by the people who attended the turn up was disappointing due to a number of circumstances and we took a loss on this event. A number of checks and balances are now in place to rectify this situation.
When we heard of Chanice Chapman’s involvement with the Cuskelly Summer School in January we realised it was an opportunity to watch a great pedagogue that was not to be missed. Thanks to James Cuskelly who gave ANATS Qld special attendance for the two weeks and a half an hour discussion every day. What a marvellous way to begin the teaching year. All who attended consolidated their knowledge and added some useful tricks to their bag.
Our next event; “Good Singing is Good Singing” was a half day event with Past President Geoffrey Ashendon and Current Committee member Francesca de Valance presenting. The afternoon masterclass setup some lively debate and discussion on cross teaching and left people wanting more. It was well attended and we had a number of new sign ups on the day which was pleasing. Thank you to Shelli Hulcombe and Mary Carden for organising.
This was followed by “The Teachers’ Toolbox”, another regional event held at the Gold Coast and organised by Marisa Lee. Gary May, Jason Barry Smith and our own Irene Bartlett presented at this day event. Many members travelled for this fine event from Brisbane, Northern NSW and Toowoomba. Feedback was extremely positive for this well organised day and once again membership grew.
Our most recent and once again successful half day masterclass, “Winging it to Swinging It” was presented by Ingrid James and John Reeves at the Brisbane Jazz Club. It was a highly informative and enjoyable occasion organised by Elspeth and Francesca.
As a committee we always want to be fresh and innovative. New members to the committee bring with them their passions, ideas and energies. It has been a rewarding time for me, giving back to a profession that has given me a happy career and life. In my three years as President of the Qld Chapter and National Council Representative I have made new friends, shared many laughs and met many new colleagues both in Queensland and around Australia. Being around such likeminded and positive people has constantly invigorated my love of learning and singing teaching and kept my ideas fresh in the studio.
Many Thanks to you all.
Queensland Chapter President (2013 – 2015)