The story behind Smack Bang in the Middle....CAST YOUR MIND BACK TO 1991. Picture two nervous “would be” jazz vocalists, mustering the courage to audition for the Canberra School of Music before the legendary Gery Scott. Passing the audition was like winning lotto. Our egos were bursting, but we were soon to discover it wasn’t all beer and skittles. The Canberra School of Music was a brimming pool of talent and we felt like small fry in a big school. We were also newlyweds with young children and mortgages. Not exactly a recipe for stardom, but we had a lot in common.
From those first days we’ve always been on the same creative page. Over the years we’ve worked together on cabaret shows, children’s shows and toured nationally and internationally, taking a break to raise our families (kudos to our husbands, mums and dads!) and getting real jobs. But we were always drawn back to our love of creating and producing music. A couple of years ago we teamed up with our singing buddies Lisa McClelland and Gaye Reid to form The Marvellous MizDemeanours and we continue to enjoy the success of this four part harmony group. For the past three years, we’ve been writing an original Australian musical comedy, Winging My Way to the Top to be co-produced with the ‘Q’ Theatre, Queanbeyan, in May 2014 - Oh yes, we’re excited!
Karen was compelled to take time out from the musical to write a tribute song to Canberra for the centenary. I said “Canberra. Really?” Lucky for me, Karen can be persuasive. After a lot of brain ache and bubbly the song finally came.
The very next evening at a Channel 10 reunion, Karen was fortunate enough to pitch the song to Jeremy Lasek, Executive Director for the Centenary of Canberra. He heard a hit and said “Let’s do it!” Harnessing local talent, we invited as many artists (known and unknown to us) to take part in the project. The response was just thrilling. What an honour to have the cream of Canberra record our song. We want to thank each and every one for being so generous with their time, talent, humour and great spirit. It was ironic to find ourselves back at the exact same building we walked into with sweaty palms over 20 years ago. The old Manuka Jazz campus is now ArtSound FM 92.7, who so generously volunteered their recording studio and Senior Sound Engineer extraordinaire, Tony Hunter! And so we recorded Smack Bang in the Middle with another brimming pool of talent in that same room where we began all those years ago. Some things are meant to be. We hope you enjoy. Karen and Jill