Q&A with Songstress Tessa Marshall
Tessa will perform at the BMI on November 5th taking the audience on a journey through song, featuring female singers of the last century from Billie Holliday & Ella Fitzgerald right through to Lana Del Ray and Rihanna. Amy Tsilemanis caught up with Tessa to find out a bit more about her love of music and the great cause that this gig will support.
Tell us a bit about your musical inspiration. Did you grow up in a musical family?
From a young age I was exposed to many types of music, which included attending live music performances, such as concerts and musical theatre shows. As well, I listened to Dad’s old records and I also have fond memories of listening to Jazz music on cassette tapes with my Grandma. The extent of my musical family amounts to my sister who played the piano, and an aunt who sang and played the piano and organ. On a lighter side, my aunt’s organ one day caught on fire whilst she was playing! This exposure to different types of music ignited my keen interest in music and prompted me to explore a vast array of musical genres over the many decades.
How long have you been performing for? What do you love about it?
I first started performing close to 20 years ago in Jazz and Tap dancing concerts. In terms of singing, I sung in public for the first time 10 years ago at a school Showcase night. I love the magical world I seem to transition across into when I’m performing. I do enjoy the constant challenge of learning new materials, and I gain a sense of freedom and feel uplifted with a positive energy when performing. I think music and performance is very important, especially in a world where the negatives and doom and gloom in society is highlighted more often. Music and performance uplifts the spirit and often brings a great sense of joy and hope to people.
Your show at the BMI includes a donation to WRISC, Family Violence Support. Tell us a bit about this.
As my concert is based on showcasing the music of female singers I thought it was very fitting that I involve WRISC who help women and children in need of assistance after experiencing domestic violence. As a young woman I am quite concerned about the violence within our society, which seems to be targeted at women in particular and I would like to make a contribution to an organisation that assists women and children who find themselves in this unenviable circumstance. So 20% of all ticket sales will be donated to WRISC to aid the much needed work that they do, and hopefully raise their profile. They are a worthy cause and deserve greater support and recognition by the community.
Who would be your favourite artist to do a duet with, living or dead?
That’s a tough one so I will nominate two: Liza Minnelli and Missy Higgins who I think it would be great to do a duet with. Liza had a great theatrical voice and she has had incredible success in her career starring in movies and performing on stage; I think I could learn a lot from her. As for Missy Higgins she is a home grown talent who is quite unique. I would enjoy singing with a down to earth kind of person which she appears to be. I’d like to get some songwriting tips from her too. I do have some association with her already being the proud owner of two of her glittery dresses she’s worn at her concerts!
Join Tessa in the relaxed ambience of the Humffray Room at the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute at 7.30pm on Saturday November 5th.
$15 Adults, $12 Concession Card Holders, BMI Members & Students
Enquiries/bookings/payments to: Ron & Tessa 53387696 or 0404341051 or Rosemary at the BMI 5331 3042.