YULIA McGowan’s life has been a series of 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 Moscow-based 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.
What: Rachmaninoff’s Vespers
Where and when: All Saints Church Floreat, September 24 and Government House Ballroom, September 25