|Rosemary and her guitar
I may be a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to the performance world but I have been singing since the age of four when I took some lessons and sang for a benefit in London, England. I put singing on the back burner until I got my first guitar at age 18. Since then I took a few lessons with Gloria Ferrer (Toronto) and Patricia Dalquist (Vancouver), took to the stage and sung with choirs and performed solo.
Well it's been over forty years! My how time flies. But during those forty years, while continuing a career as a designer and writer (among some of my professions), I have sung for special events, concerts, fairs, festivals, churches, schools, hospices, community events, coffee houses, senior's residences, and house concerts.
Audiences evidently have loved my voice and for years have told me I should be making recordings and appearing on television. Others tell me I should be performing more for children. I guess I never took all this too seriously as I kept on being a writer. Recently, in the last ten years, I've been taking it a bit more seriously! Well, not too seriously, for I'm still a writer. But, I have done quite a few performances in all kinds of places. My most relaxing was this last year in City Park in Grand Forks. I wore a mu'u-mu'u over what I call my Elvis-impersonation outfit (a gift from Toronto designer and friend Ray Staples), and just crooned my favourites... that felt so good! I hear the audience really enjoyed it...
Some Past Performances
|Rosemary (right) clowning|
with Bibble Squeek
"One Seed" for schools in British Columbia and Ontario (2002 to present)
Port Hardy Literacy Fair, Port Hardy, BC 2008
"Music in the Park" stories and songs - Grand Forks (2004-2005)
A few stage concert highlights
** "Peace Concert", GFSS Auditorium, Grand Forks BC 2003
** "Over the Rainbow", Port Theatre, Nanaimo BC October 1999 (the next 'Healing Concert') with Francine Jarry, Jim Salmon (Fish), John Forrest, Winston Wuttunee, Marjorie Koers, Peter Leclerc, Gwyneth Evans.
** "Rosemary & Friends", Sid Williams Theatre, Courtenay March 18th 1995
** "Love Songs", Tidemark Theatre, Campbell River February 11th 1995
** "Rosemary & Friends", Tidemark Theatre, Campbell River September 1994
"Nunsense", role of Sister Leo, Rivercity Players Spring, 1993
** "Healing Concert" with Ann Mortifee, Blu Mankuma, Ed Henderson, Dido, and a cast of musicians and poets to include percussionist extraordinaire Jim Salmon (AKA Fish), Brenda Johima, Mo Davenport and more at the Tidemark Theatre April 1992. Introducing a new concept of concert.
(** = Produced, promoted, and performed.)
Mediumship & Music - Talking & Singing with Heaven:
Quadra Island, BC (2009); Calgary First Spiritualist Church - Alberta (2009); Spiritualist Society of Burlington - Ontario (2009); Church of Universal Love - North York, Ontario (2009); Lighthouse Centre - Cloverdale, BC (2009); Cowichan Valley Spiritualist Centre of Light and Healing (2008, 2009); International Spiritualist Alliance, New Westminster (2006, 2007, 2010); Brotherhood Spiritualist Church, New Wesminster (2006, 2010); Inner Garden Balance Point On-Line Chapel, Surrey (2007, 2008, 2010); Celebration Centre, Penticton (2006); Grand Forks, BC (2004-2006, 2010); and Port Hardy, BC (2008).
For CRTV-10 Campbell River (producer and host):
“Spotlight” - bi-weekly show for the Tidemark Theatre to promote shows and activities
“Campbell River Unlimited” - bi-weekly live phone-in show on Healthy Community issues
“Opening Doors, Keys to Health and Happiness” - a weekly series on issues of health, conventional and alternative.
Creative Long Biography
My first ever public performance was at the tender age of four singing “Animal Crackers” for an orphanage benefit in London, UK. In no way did I resemble curly-top Shirley Temple – my hair is naturally dead straight – in addition I believe I got ushered off the stage before I finished because I wouldn’t face the audience – I was rebelling because I wanted to sing “Teddy Bear’s Picnic”. I have been singing for audiences large and small ever since, wherever I happen to be.
I took a few vocal lessons when I was four, sang in a school choir until I was eleven and then stopped singing after a stern matronly teacher, who must have been having a bad day, told me I didn’t have a voice. I rather took that to heart until I was in high school in Canada and tried out for the school musical "The Boy Friend". Inwardly I knew I was a singer, and hoped for the lead role of Polly, but because of my English accent I ended up with the role of Lady Brockhurst. The production never got to the audience. Then, thanks to Jane, I bought my first guitar, for $25. I learned a whole bunch of songs to sing for guests at Allen’s Restaurant, run by Jane’s mum and dad. The chicken-house restaurant was situated on a Canadian island in the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River, the boating playground off New York State. (Never tasted chicken like that since – it was delicious.) Oh, the stories I could tell!
|Rosemary singing for
Commander Connell and his guests
Tips were very good that night.
Guests were often known to whisper in my ear, “You gonna sing ‘The Shrimp’ tonight?” My picking up the guitar was a guaranteed boost to tips for all the waitresses on those evenings, and an excellent way for me to get out of washing dishes – by hand. Except for one night when Joan Crawford’s daughter came for dinner; I was so nervous I hid in the woods out back. I had lots of dishes to wash that night.
Glo Ferrer - vocal coach
At age 21, after my often-swollen tonsils were removed, I was invited to take singing lessons from Glo Ferrer in Toronto. I was in my fourth year at Ryerson at the time, taking interior design, so I didn’t take the singing too seriously – I mean, wasn’t I supposed to be an interior designer? So when Glo sent me off to audition for Godspell (1972) I guess I really didn’t have my heart in it. I was too shy, standing beside all those professionals, or should I say, those who became professionals, like Martin Short and Gilda Radner.
Finally bringing out the talent
It was while living in Vancouver that I took a few more vocal sessions this time with Patricia Dalquist who remembered me from days in Toronto with Glo Ferrer. With a bit more encouragement, church performances, coffee houses and community concerts the singing developed. Over the years the voice has mellowed and matured, dropped about an octave to tenor, but I can still do soprano. And I do feel much more comfortable and relaxed on stage even though I may trip and get tied up in cables. Better late than never eh? And because I'm still a writer, singing is still a bit of a passtime. It's never too late for dreams!
I don’t have any awards or anything, just lots of thank you cards, certificates of appreciation, smiles, and warm hugs and handshakes. Knowing that someone has been touched by my singing and performance is award enough. Even now, I feel so blessed and get quite choked when someone comes up to me and tells me, "I play your CD almost every day!"