NBCA Staff Profile - Ms Mandy Lyn Brook

NBCA Staff Profile – Ms Mandy Lyn Brook

September 21, 2016
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1. How did you start in music/what was your ‘in’ to music?
When I was three my parents enabled me to start playing the violin and this along with dancing was my start in music (I had pestered them to start for about a year and they finally gave in). My big break in singing occurred after many years of performing as a child when I landed two operatic roles in my first year studying music at Monash University—Little Red Riding Hood (title role) and Drusilla (Coronation of Poppea).

2. What do you enjoy the most about working with the NBCA?
I love the variety of music we get to teach the boys and how no week is the same.

3. What do you find the most challenging about working with the NBCA?
Trying to remember all the names of boys from three choirs. One week I’m doing really well and feel like I have finally mastered the boys’ names and the next week one or two will have had a haircut or wear something different and I have to start again.

4. What is your favourite piece/work that you have done while at the NBCA?
My favourite song so far has been Take These Wings. It is a beautiful two-part song.

5. What has been your memorable moment at the NBCA so far?
Apart from my first concert and Carols by Candlelight (being able to be involved again after many years ago performing in the orchestra), the most memorable moment would be when the boys noticed that Miss Brook wears Brooks shoes and when I changed my footwear they got upset. When I wore them out I went specifically to buy another pair of the same brand.

6. What have been some of the challenges that you have overcome in your life and how did you succeed in those moments?
I have a tendency to love being extremely busy and this can be very overwhelming. To deal with this I have become an excellent list maker. I work out what needs to be done then fit each thing in. Also, finding down time is something I now value as life becomes busier.

7. What has been the most valuable lesson you have learned during your music studies?
You can never spend too much time learning new music and spending time talking to experts, other performers and researching, where it has come from and what it means. Each composer and piece of music has so much to teach us and in my early music years I wish I could have seen the value I do now in preparing for performance properly so that I understand what I am performing.

8. What has been the most valuable lesson a student has taught you?
That no matter what you must always find the fun in what you are singing. To do this when I teach, I now make sure we have a laugh and share something about the week, which is important for building a respectful and friendly relationship.

9. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like entertaining (nothing like an Aussie BBQ) and renovating (although not painting). I am also trying to teach myself the Ukulele.

10. Do you pursue any other passions outside music? Travel, hobbies, etc?
I love to travel! I was fortunate enough to live in London for a year and being so close to Europe would just skip across the border every few weekends to see what the world has to offer. It is a pity Australia is so far away from so many places, although Australia has just as much to offer and I would never turn down a chance to explore all this wonderful country has to offer.

11. Do you like to create in other ways that don’t involve music?
I sure do! I have just finished directing Seussical the Musical and during this process I was able to design and make costumes, design makeup and I even taught myself to knit a scarf.

12. Finish this sentence: I would absolutely love to….
Grow my own herbs and veggies. It is a dream of mine when I have a big enough garden/courtyard to have my own herb and veggies garden.