The Vocal Ranges Festival is a weekend event jam packed with inspiring singing workshops, live performance, singalongs, festival choirs and storytelling. Set in Kyneton, Victoria, our festival welcomes all ages and levels of experience and aims to bring communities together through the joy of song, and the connection that shared music making provides.
I have been involved in Vocal Ranges Inc. (the not for profit organisation responsible for the Vocal Ranges Festival) for the past year. As a festival participant in 2016, I was taken by the sense of community, emotion and connection that both myself and fellow participants shared. In the workshops, even though I attended alone, I instantly made new friends and at the pub singalong I met attendees that had travelled from all over the state to make the day.
After the conclusion of the one-day event, I contacted the festival director, local musician and conductor Polly Christie, and expressed my heartfelt gratitude for providing such an inspiring festival. I also made it known that I wanted to be involved in the next festival in whatever capacity I could be! Following some discussion and meetings with Polly and the committee, I was inducted into the committee as the Festival Marketing Coordinator.
Marketing is a skill that I have acquired initially through my music tertiary studies (because we all need to be marketing managers of our art these days right?!) and thankfully also through my 9-5 office job that supports my current studies. Becoming increasingly familiar with differing social and print media platforms, graphic and web design has been an empowering experience for me and something that I really enjoy.
Through my experience with Vocal Ranges, I have communicated with some wonderful people from local and far-reaching communities, and I look forward to meeting them in person next weekend. We have had really positive interaction with individuals wanting to get involved, which reiterates to me that we’re engaged in creative work that’s important.
Highlights for me include contact from a group of three travelling from Queensland to make the opening night concert, and a future attendee who is so enthusiastic and excited to volunteer they keep putting their hand up for everything - how cool is that?!
Organising a festival is a BIG undertaking. There are grant applications, marketing plans, policy and contract writing, detailed budgeting, insurance organisation, venue management, volunteer and logistics coordination and more, but it’s all satisfying and achievable.
We’re a team of seven women, many of whom juggle other jobs or study (myself included) or do all of that and raise a family! Even though we’re busy bees we approach all of our Vocal Ranges commitments happily and wholeheartedly with a love of music and connection spurring us on.
With 10 days to go there are frenzied moments of elation and hair pulling anxieties. This has been a year of intense learning, information and contact gathering, and endless mental notes, ‘to do’ lists and meetings. It’s been an epic journey and now staring almost clearly at the finishing line, I don’t want it to end.
Next Friday will see the internationally acclaimed contemporary folk group The Mae Trio perform at the festival’s opening night followed by a weekend of contemporary vocal workshops, ‘pub style’ singalongs and further concerts with ARIA award winning Kavisha Mazzella and the “ebulliently eclectic” Mal Webb and Kylie Morrigan.
If you are interested in attending the festival but aren’t in the position to purchase a ticket (hello university!) there are some volunteer positions required in exchange for a full weekend pass. Perhaps you’re a budding photographer or videographer or would just like to be involved? Get in touch!
When: Friday May 5 - May 7, 2017
More info: www.vocalrangesfestival.com/
Photo of the Mae Trio by Kate Atkinson