Music is in Di Making’s bones.
She has been involved in music her whole life as a fan, a singer and a teacher.
Di has sung and gigged professionally with duo ‘JD Play Here’ for 20-plus years around the Surf Coast and Geelong and just last year joined five-piece band Miss Chief, an 80s rock band, whose rise has been interrupted by COVID-19.
Alongside her years on the gruelling gig circuit, Di has led various community-based initiatives, all with the same goal: get people singing. She was a singing teacher for five years in Torquay and even set up the local glee club which ran for three years.
Interestingly, it would be a combination of her singing and her work which would lead her to start her latest project ‘Local Vocal All Abilities Choir’, a choir which is all about having fun in an all-inclusive environment, while celebrating the joy of singing.
“I work at St Joseph’s College in Geelong in the education support department, so we support lots of boys with learning needs through music. Just seeing them thrive when they play an instrument… just seeing them flourish with the help of music really drives me,” she said.
“It’s an opportunity for them to be them. No one is judgmental, you don’t have to be able to sing. You can just come and enjoy the process.
“It was that work that gave me the idea to commit to this process.”
Di came up with the idea for a choir that truly welcomed everybody. An exercise in community building, encouraging people to step outside of their comfort zone and sing.
Her friend and former pupil Michelle believes Di has a rare combination of skills which make her the perfect candidate for the job.
“It’s the perfect combination really – working in education support and being a vocal coach. She knows how to read people and how to support them… they just have to show up,” she said.
“I was just a car singer, I started with Di. I used to sing quietly, like a cat. Slowly I gained confidence and sang more loudly. It is amazing, once you start, how your confidence grows if you’re with the right person.”
Di intends on choosing triumphant songs for the Local Vocal choir to sing. Songs of joy with a strong message, and according to Di, the term ‘choir’ is a loose one.
“If there is anyone that wants to play an instrument, we can incorporate that, if anyone wants to participate in any way, then I’m up for it,” she said.
Di is laid back, softly spoken but honest and direct. It is easy to see why Michelle thinks she is the right teacher for the job.
“For those feeling nervous, I’d say just come along for a trial and see if you like it. I’m sure you will,” she said.
Local Vocal begins on Monday February 8 and will run from 5-6pm at a cost of $10. Her post announcing the news was shared a whopping 21 times, so head to the Facebook page and say hello!