Having your original music orchestrated, and then getting to share the stage with a 53-piece orchestra is surely high on the bucket list for musicians and songwriters.
It certainly has been for local singing sensation Lucy Sugerman, who will get to live out one of her dreams later this month when she performs with the Canberra Youth Orchestra (CYO).
Sugerman told Canberra Weekly the concert came to be as a result of her winning the arts and multimedia category of the Canberra Youth Citizen of the Year Award.
“Leonard Weiss, the conductor for the CYO, won it one or two years ago; he’s done a lot of amazing conducting work … his contribution to music locally is incredible,” she said.
“He reached out, we caught up and he told me the orchestra was looking for more modern singers, and to attract a younger audience being a youth orchestra.”
CYO Conductor Leonard Weiss said the concert is a result of a gap emerging in the orchestra’s schedule.
“It was just the perfect occasion to create a concert that was focused on young people both within the orchestra, the soloist and a young audience,” he said.
“It’ll be an exciting, energetic concert. I think hearing Lucy in a very different light with the orchestra supporting her will be incredible.”
Weiss said that accompanying pop singers and performing film scores is becoming huge business for orchestras around the world and, as conductor, he’s set out to do so with the CYO.
“With my programming hat on, it’s good for us to perform a wide variety of music; it’s good for our performers’ musical language.”
The concert’s repertoire will feature covers of pop classics and some iconic film scores including Star Wars and Indiana Jones, as well as Sugerman’s original music.
“I sent him a bunch of my songs, we’ve then met a lot, and he’s orchestrated and arranged my music especially for the CYO, and I got to orchestrate one of my pieces which was really cool, and difficult,” she said.
Weiss described orchestrating Sugerman’s music as an “amazing collaborative process”.
”She had a really good sense of her own music, and what she wants to hear from the orchestra, she could give me a really strong guidance of what she wanted very early on.”
Sugerman said the concert will be a pretty exciting premiere of a lot of new songs from her.
“I’m a string player, I love orchestras, and I love it when artists do orchestral versions of their songs, so to get to do it myself is very special … I just love the emotion in an orchestra.
“What’s also really cool is that it’s a youth orchestra, so it’s a bunch of kids my age playing this music.”
After a 2017 that saw Sugerman perform live on national television with The Voice, she said she came into 2018 planning a more laid-back year.
“I was like ‘I’m in year 12, I have to focus on school and I’ll get to do music after’, but music is what I want to do and I can’t turn down opportunities like this,” she said.
Sugerman said her calendar is chock-a-block for the remainder of 2018, with a bunch of gigs including the Canberra Moon Festival and Floriade’s NightFest, along with a host of year 12 responsibilities that include being a school captain.
She’s also been making the trip to Sydney frequently to work with Universal as part of the development deal Sugerman signed with them last year.
Canberra Youth Orchestra Concert 3: Lucy Sugerman will be held at Llewellyn Hall, ANU on Saturday 29 September; musicforcanberra.org.au