Have you ever wanted to get on stage and belt out an ABBA song or another pop tune from the ‘80s or ‘90s? Now you can.
This winter, the Nepean Creative Arts Centre is offering ABBA Greatest Hits and Pop Performance workshops, a series of courses for adults and youth, led by instructor Peter Grant Mackechnie. The classes, which run from January to March, can be done as a fun parent-and-teen experience.
“These workshops are just for fun,” says Mackechnie. “You don’t need a lot of experience, just lots of enthusiasm.”
Mackechnie says the music of ABBA and other pop tunes is readily accessible. “The movie Mamma Mia! a few years back really provided a resurgence of ABBA music,” he says. “And now the movie is getting a sequel in 2018, so we’re going to hear even more ABBA.”
“I think people like ABBA because the music is uplifting and it’s easy to sing along.”
Mackechnie will walk participants through the musicality and vocal projection, as well as improving and enhancing singing ability. He’ll even tackle stage fright.
“Everyone gets stage fright, even the pros,” says Mackechnie. “It really boils down to just ‘sucking it up’ and getting out on the stage.”
He says when aspiring vocalists start to sing, they’ll let go of stage fright and just enjoy performing.
Mackechnie loves musicals and is a lifelong piano player, enjoying everything from jazz to pop to classical. He has a bachelor’s in music from the University of Toronto and just recently completed his bachelor’s in education at the University of Ottawa.
“I discovered musical theatre in high school,” says Mackechnie, “and loved every aspect of it. I’ve performed as a singer/actor and been both pianist and music director.”
He’s been actively involved with Ottawa community musicals and works as a ballet musician with the School of Dance, as well as teaching piano at NCAC.
“I’m currently doing the music direction for the uOttawa production of Legally Blonde,” he says, “and it’s uplifting, feel-good music, just like ABBA.”
Find out for yourself what it feels like to get on stage and belt out a tune. Mackechnie will help you learn the songs, work with you on getting the tunes and provide excellent coaching.
“I’ll help you find your voice and learn how to sing in a healthy way,” he says, “so your family and friends will be totally impressed with your performance at the final concert.”
Find out more about the ABBA Greatest Hits and Pop Performance workshops at the Nepean Creative Arts Centre by visiting Ottawa.ca/NepeanCreativeArtsCentre.