I hope you all had an amazing 2015, and I wish everyone a new year filled with music, dreams, goals and loved ones! A new chapter of the story, but the plot only has meaning knowing the previous chapters!
In no particular order, here are a few highlights in my 2015 musical journey:
1. Launched my own website and Facebook business page
On February 28th I launched my own website - www.annakho.com - and my Facebook business page, Anna Kho Music, accompanied with amazing photos by Maya Luski after our photo shoot around Brisbane's beautiful scenes. Also make-up by my beautiful friend, Senija Hadzich, and photo editing skills by Jess Sollis - I couldn't have done it without you all! This has been a dream of mine for a while, and it finally came true to begin my 2015 musical journey. The website and Facebook page has been absolutely successful and an amazing connection with my gorgeous supporters. Thank you so much for your continuous help and love to you all! Keep an eye on these pages for any updates! The first anniversary is in two months! :D
2. Amateur Musical Productions
Another year of amazing musical production performances! This time with new companies as well - Legally Blonde (PRIMA) and Mary Poppins (Ipswich). Met new people, friends, and amazing talents! Had so much fun playing these musicals, and they were all amazing scores, music, cast, backstage crew and production! I also played with Savoyards again for Beauty and the Beast and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying! I've been accepted into all these beautiful families, and I fall in love with musical productions! Though the post musical blues are always upsetting, but the memories are forever! Can't wait to play more in 2016! Will be playing Legally Blonde again for Savoyards in March - look out for the gig dates! :)
3. Steve Reich
At the beginning of the year in March, I collaborated with Nonsemble for the Queensland premiere of Radio Rewrite by Steve Reich at Dots+Loops. It was an amazing concert by artistic director and Nonsemble violist, Kieran Welch. What an amazing score, and the musicians were beautiful people and talents! It was definitely a concert to remember! Another Steve Reich piece I performed this year with Ba Da Boom Percussion Ensemble, and twice too, was Drumming! This piece is absolutely amazing in so many ways, and was so much fun to play and fantastic to listen to - a whole new way of experiencing music! Steve Reich has contributed so much to music, and these two scores are definitely ones to look out for! It's fantastic to know musicians today are still performing great pieces like these! :)
4. Conservatorium Big Band and Con Artist
I never thought it would ever happen, especially since I was a vibraphonist in jazz. I thought to go for it anyways, and I got accepted into Conservatorium Big Band rhythm section under the direction of John Hoffman! An amazing man and so generous in sharing education and musical knowledge. It was such an honour to play under his direction, and the band were gorgeous talents too! The performances sounded and felt amazing, and this big band experience has been so worth it. Another amazing experience was performing with Con Artist in their Standing Waves concert in collaboration with Band of Frequencies! The music was arranged by some of the best in Queensland, and the concert was so much fun and fantastic music of course! At the end of the year I also arranged West Side Story's Cool for the Con Artist, and that was awesome too! Big bands are definitely a new world I'd like to further explore, and I hope to play more in big bands too!
5. QCGU opera production of Hansel and Gretel
This would be the third opera production I've played with Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University Opera Orchestra. In 2014 I took part in Cunning Vixen as well as the World Premiere of Floods that included four opera compositions by some of Queensland's best composers. In 2015 I performed in Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University opera production of Hansel and Gretel directed by the one and only Johannes Fritzsch. The production looked amazing and is one of the best I've seen at this venue. The music is absolutely gorgeous, and the singers and musicians in the orchestra were fantastic! Johannes Fritzsch is one of the best conductors I've worked with, and what a privilege it was to play for him! It was a short season, but it was so much fun and the audience loved it! Can't wait to see what the next opera is!
6. V&V (Vocal and Vibraphone)
At the beginning of this year Victoria Sly and I decided to do a jazz duet of vocal and vibraphone as a new project. I've never played as the only accompaniment with vocal, and she's never done any duets with vibraphone. It was a new experience for us both, but we were super eager to get it started. We have similar love in jazz, pop and musical songs, so we decided to do jazz covers of these genres, and we've come up with some awesome arrangements too! At the start of the year we did a mini concert, and the later in the year we premiered publicly at Queen St Mall. This duet has been so much fun, and also a new skill and experience within my musical journey. I hope to do more with Victoria on this project, and perform some new arrangements too! Definitely look out for any future V&V gigs!
7. Anna Kho-tet
A percussion friend of mine once mentioned 'Anna Kho-tet' to me as an ensemble name. I thought that was hilarious, and a great name for my future jazz ensemble! In my first jazz recital in 2014, I performed with Anna Kho-tet for the first time and it was so much fun and a success, scoring an overall High Distinction for it too! From there I was asked if I wanted to perform at Queensland Performing Arts Centre's Green Jam Session, which is one of the biggest honours I could have gotten this year. I've always attended those outdoor performances, and dreamed of playing there one day. Only to have that dream come true sooner than I thought! It was also the public premiere of my jazz ensemble, and the first gig too. I had such an awesome time, and I can't wait to do more with Anna Kho-tet! You'll definitely be seeing more future gigs with this group!
8. 2015 Classical and Jazz Recitals
In 2014 I performed my first cross-study end of year recitals in classical and jazz. It had an amazing turnout, and was so much fun! Though I didn't know how next year could top it, but it did! Never have I done all chamber ensemble pieces in both recitals, and with amazing, beautiful musical friends of mine! I also performed some of my favourite repertoire that I've been dreaming to perform since my first year, such as Marimba Concerto No. 1 by Ney Rosauro, Minuano by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays and Sugar Plum Fairy by Tchaikovsky, arranged by Alexey Chizhik. You can check out the recordings in the Soundcloud link below! I could never forget the lovely audience! Without all the support and love from the crowd, the recitals wouldn't have been as successful as they were! It was definitely recitals to remember in my musical journey! Looking forward to my next one, and I've already started planning! ;)
9. Bachelor of Music with Honours
I wasn't sure about this decision, as I began the degree loving the practical more than the research. Though the more I wanted to discover music, the more research I did, and the more love I developed for this world of music research. There's so much more out there than I thought, so I felt applying for Bachelor of Music with Honours would be a great idea! I wasn't sure if I was going to get in, but I got the good news and I'll be starting my degree in Bachelor of Music with Honours this year!
Of course being accepted into my new degree meant I was graduating from my Bachelor of Music majoring in cross-studies of classical percussion and jazz vibraphone. I didn't expect this to come so soon, but I guess it doesn't change much as I'll be heading back to university anyways. Though I'm super proud of my fellow friends who graduated with me, and of course seeing the smiles on my family members was a treat! The support was beautiful, as initially some family members weren't too happy with my decision in music as a career. Though I guess it all turned out alright, and I can't wait to continue my musical journey for more amazing gigs, discoveries and meeting new beautiful people too!
However, any year isn't only filled with major chords and perfect intervals! I definitely had my stressful times, tears, anger and frustration. Though without all those chapters, I wouldn't have had all these highlights. I've loved every bit, and it's all been worth it to my growth, dream and life! I hope you all had an awesome roller coaster ride to conclude with a fantastic 2015! It's the journey that counts, not the end!
There will also be new projects coming up in 2016, and I can't wait to share them with you all! New goals, new dreams, new plans, a new year! Happy New Year to one and all!
Laugh, Love, Live 2016!
P.S. Did you get my Sound of Music reference in the title?
This blog is a space to share my thoughts, past, present and future moments in my life. Feel free to leave a comment, like the blog or share it! - Anna