It’s not every day you can say that your teacher is an accomplished singer and musician. At Wellesley, our boys are lucky to be taught by individuals who are specialists in their field both inside and outside the classroom as well!
Mary-Anne Morgan (Specialist Teacher and Head of Learning Support) and Judy Leggett (Learning support Teacher) are both experienced musicians and singers, and part of the Wellington Orpheus Choir. They are performing this Saturday at the Michael Fowler Center, with a rendition of “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff (1935), a collection of songs based on 24 poems from the medieval collection Carmina Burana. The songs (in both Latin and German) reflect the fleeting fickleness of life, of fortune and wealth, the joy of the return of Spring, and the pleasures and perils of drinking, gluttony, gambling, and lust.
“This is so very relatable”, says Mary-Anne, “The music is well known and ranges in tone from delicate to rampantly raucous! It’s fantastic to sing.”
” The opening few notes of Carmina Burana’s “O Fortuna” are electrifying and very loud then we suddenly drop in dynamics to singing really quietly and mysteriously. The audience is hooked then and there!”, Judy says, ” They are treated to a work of vocal and instrumental theatre, really, with its many highs and lows (literally!), fasts and slows, louds and softs. I’ve sung it about 4 times over the years and have always find it so exciting to sing!”
Both Mary-Anne and Judy are long-standing members of the Orpheus Choir, with 15 and 34 years of experience respectively. When asked why they got involved in the first place, Mary-Anne responded:
“I am a pianist but was taking the school choir at the time, so decided to have singing lessons to learn more about singing. My singing teacher suggested I audition, fortunately I was accepted and the choir has been an important part of my life ever since.”
Judy’s journey also began at school:
“Music and singing are my passion. I was always in specialist choirs and non-auditioned choirs throughout my schooling as well as directing choirs throughout my teaching career. I also sang in choirs in Dublin and London so was keen to continue in a choir when I returned home in 1985. Orpheus Choir was auditioning at the time (very scary!!) and the rest is history!”
As Wellesley celebrates Art Week, we are grateful to have, in our midst, a pool of talented teachers,who offer their dedication to our boys and impart their passions, as well as itinerant music teachers and extra-curricular activities to inspire young minds.
Wellesley’s own Choirs will soon be going to Auckland for a Choir Competition- but more on that later…
Happy Art Week!