Image from Dominic Natoli’s website
Where will choral music take you? Dominic Natoli shares his life-changing journey…
As a child of seven my mother took me one Saturday morning to try a new pursuit she promised would be life-changing if I gave it a chance. We rolled up at the corner of Malvern Road in Armadale to the “old” choir house and I was asked to sing for this old guy at a piano. Turns out I had just auditioned for the Australian Boys Choir!
Did I want to be in a boys choir? No! Did I understand what it would lead to in the future? No! Am I sorry I stuck at it for the seven years I was a member? Absolutely not, despite that there were lots of times I wanted to leave because of the flack I got from my school mates about it. It was not until I was an adult that I understood that they were envious of the many wonderful things that Choir entailed. Annual music camps in far away places, tours interstate and abroad, concerts in arenas, halls and television across the globe. I was lucky enough to have gone on the choir’s premiere overseas tour to Japan in 1971, since then the choir has ventured abroad with ever increasing success. Had I not heeded my mother’s advice to ignore those less fortunate peers I would surely have missed out on experiences that made me the performer and human being I am today.
My mother knew I had a passionate interest in singing because I always sang around the house. What she had no way of knowing was that the seven years I was a member of the choir would be the cornerstone of my now over forty-year professional international career as a singer. A career which has taken me to every corner of the world to sing for all sorts of people from hard working factory hands to Kings, Queens, and highest level statesmen of many nations in venues that take your breath away.
Australia is a country of great opportunities with a well established reputation internationally for nurturing world class people in all sorts of fields, yet the funding for the less mainstream non-sporting pursuits still remains disappointingly under-resourced. If you could see your way to making a difference to that imbalance by generously supporting the Australian Boys Choir then not only will you be helping young people today to develop their passions and skills but also ensure that Australia grows as a place that can hold its head high for pursuits other than sports.
Please help to redress the imbalance, help to support gifted youngsters in developing their own skills and help to sustain an organisation that has a well-established track record of excellence in their field. The most insightful benefactors understand that pursuits such as the ABCI cannot survive without generous and passionate support. It may not be that you have a child who will join the choir at the moment, but they might have a child in their future who would benefit from it – it won’t be there for them if we do not support it today.
Sincerely, and gratefully,
Tenor & Voice Teacher
Professorial Staff – Voice and Italian Language Coach
(Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance)
excellence is… a shared gift