A Musical History of Hazel Hannam…
Hazel started life singing at every opportunity in the church in which she was brought up, be it solos, (first one aged 4 at a carol service) or in duets and small ensembles, making up harmonies as she went. She accompanied herself on the guitar and on the piano.
In her growing-up years outside of church music, Hazel developed a love of Jazz at first being inspired by Ella Fitzgerald, and this in turn led to other great jazz vocalists like Peggy Lee, Julie London, Nat King Cole, which in turn led to great jazz musicians, realising that you didn’t have to ‘sing’ to be expressive and you could pick up fantastic articulation and expression from musicians like Stan Getz, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane on horns to amazing pianists like Bill Evans, Bud Powell and Hampton Hawes. (to name but a few)
She studied Jazz Singing part-time at the City Lit as well as Jazz Piano for 3 years. For 10 years, Hazel sang jazz at clubs in London including Pizza on the Park, various Pizza Express restaurants and in the Consort Cafe at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as at private functions from weddings, birthdays and anniversaries, to corporate events such as launches of New Cars or Art Gallery exhibitions.
Hazel studied a City & Guilds 7303 Award in 2009 at Guildford College for Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector.
In 2009, Hazel started her first choir, Soundbytes. Also in 2009, Hazel studied Fundamentals of the Singing Voice 1 at the City Lit, London. This is a professional development course for singing teachers and singers covering the anatomy, physiology, acoustics and health of the singing voice, with lecturers eminent in their fields leading the sessions.
In 2010, she went on to study an Introduction To Accent Breathing for Singers, a technique from speech therapy which works on diaphragmatic-abdominal breathing and support for the voice. It develops the efficient co-ordinating of breath, sound and articulation. After a year of starting Soundbytes, Hazel decided there needed to be an opportunity for people who didn’t want to sing for concerts, but wanted to sing for fun without strings attached! And so SongWorks was formed.
In 2011, Hazel completed and graduated from an Intermediate Level of Choral Conducting. This course is run by the Association of British Choral Directors and is accredited by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. The course was under the tutorship of highly respected Neil Ferris and Community Choir expert Jo McNally.
In September, 2016, Hazel was asked to launch and run a choir for the staff at Headley Court, a rehabilitation centre for injured military personnel.
“It is amazing how much can be achieved in one hour per week!…and within just a few weeks they are starting to sound like a proper choir! I might be motivating them, but they are inspiring me.”
“The choir was set up to inspire and bring together the staff and already there is a growing feeling of unity and camaraderie.”
In January 2017, The WI of Bookham -The Bookham Belles, approached Hazel as they wanted to start up a choir for themselves…The Decibelles were formed and have a membership of around 25 ladies.
In January, 2018, Leatherhead-based company Babcock 4S asked Hazel to start a choir on their behalf and by April it was up and running. They want to sing their first performance to the rest of the company in mid-July! Not bad for a choir of 17 and who have only been singing together for 12 weeks! But they are not only keen and enthusiastic, they can sing too!
Are you interested in having a choir at your place of work?
Would you like to form a choir within your community or leisure group?
Would you like to attend a Singing Workshop?
Would you like your choir to have a singing workshop?