While she has been singing for as long as she can remember, Loralei McMeekin has joined Bundaberg Regional Council’s Spark Starter Program in the hope of gaining more confidence as a performer.
The initiative gives local talent the opportunity to work with project coordinators to showcase their performance talents, network with likeminded people, attend free workshops with professionals, work within the industry and fast track their careers.
After seeing the advertisement on Facebook when looking to buy a new guitar, Loralei, along with her mother, discussed the opportunity before she decided to apply.
“I was looking at guitars on Marketplace actually and found the ‘buskers wanted’ advertisement and spoke to my mum about it,” Loralei said.
“I have been performing in my local park and we decided this program would be a good way for me to get experience and gain more skills.”
Having only taught herself the guitar in the past year, Loralei said she was looking forward to continuing to learn new skills as part of the program.
“I have been singing for as long as I can remember,” Loralei said.
“I have only been playing guitar since last year because I remember talking to one of my friends and he was playing ‘Riptide' on the guitar, but I could tell it was not right, so I grabbed my ukulele, got the cords, and ended up playing it better than he did.
“I got my older brother’s electric guitar and started playing on that and taught myself my favourite song in about six months, and then mum and dad bought me this guitar for Christmas, and I have been playing pretty much ever since then.”
Loralei is looking forward to working on her confidence, looking to learn from the others who are taking part in the program.
“I am looking forward to getting out there and going out of my comfort zone as I do have some anxiety talking to people in general,” she said.
“I believe it will help me to gain confidence in my own musical abilities and being able to meet new people and learn from their skills.
“While we have been practising, everyone is amazing, and I cannot believe there are so many other talented people in this community.
“There are people in the group who are singing metal and they sound great, but I personally did not like metal but now I think they are out here performing that and there will be people who like it and there will be people who do not and that is something I have to learn as well like for my own music style.”
Although she has been singing for as long as she can remember, she said she was still working on defining her style.
“I do not have a determined music style at the moment because I have some songs that are indie and alternate and then some pop and some that are quite mellow,” she said.
“I am learning a classical song on guitar, but I do not really like determining my style at the moment until I figure it out on my own because I am planning on writing my own music and having my own style.”
You can find out more about the Spark Starter program here.
The Spark Starter project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.