Western Suburbs Weekly - - Weekly Life - Tanya MacNaughton

YU­LIA McGowan’s life has been a se­ries of in­ci­dents be­ing in the right place at the right time.

Not only did the Rus­sian meet her fu­ture Aus­tralian hus­band dur­ing a Bali hol­i­day, but the former Moscow­based mu­sic school grad­u­ate joined Perth Sym­phonic Cho­rus at the start of re­hearsals for Rach­mani­noff’s Vespers.

“I moved to Perth in March 2015 and joined Perth Sym­phonic Cho­rus al­most three months ago,” McGowan said.

“My hus­band’s nanna has a friend she plays golf with who sings in the choir and she sug­gested I join them.”

McGowan’s knowl­edge of the Rus­sian lan­guage has been in­valu­able in re­hearsals, with cho­rus mem­bers ask­ing her for the cor­rect pro­nun­ci­a­tion of the Rus­sian com­poser’s work, in­spired by text from the Rus­sian Or­tho­dox Church.

“It’s amaz­ing that hardly any­one in the choir knows Rus­sian but are able to sing in Rus­sian,” she said.

“They’re do­ing a won­der­ful job be­cause I know how hard it is to speak a for­eign lan­guage, let alone sing in it.

“It feels awe­some when I’m singing in Rus­sian and I feel like ev­ery­one around me is Rus­sian too.

“Then our con­duc­tor Mar­garet (Pride) will say some­thing in English and it re­minds me where I am.

“It makes me feel valid when peo­ple ask me ques­tions about it but some­times I feel like I’m get­ting too much at­ten­tion; I only just joined.”

McGowan said she en­joyed singing with bari­tones and tenors after per­form­ing with an all-fe­male choir in Moscow.

Yu­lia McGowan.

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