Kelly MacKenzie-Thurley has spent her time singing during the lockdown. Recently, the Hamilton woman had the opportunity to be a part of a virtual overture for the forthcoming production of “Cornavirus the Musical Musical.”
The virtual overture was created by 112 self-isolated musicians from around the globe, including MacKenzie-Thurley on vocals. MacKenzie-Thurley was joined by artists from all over the world, including the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The YouTube video, which was released mid-May, has been viewed thousands of times.
The new satirical musical was inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic and it came about because of a mandatory quarantine in a Melbourne hotel by leading Australian composer and orchestrator Sean O’Boyle and his partner, writer and performer, Amanda Jane Pritchard.
“They were sitting there, and everyone had lost all their revenue and all of their gigs, and artists will (make) art, musicians have to make music, or else we die. We have to create. So, Sean and Amanda Jane decided to make a satirical musical,” said MacKenzie-Thurley.
Her piece were captured on video from her home in Hamilton using the GarageBand app.
“You want to have something fun to do, and a creative outlet, and you also want to help out your friends. Everybody around the globe that Sean knew seemed to be in the same mindset, and we all jumped on board and thought it was fun. That is how it started,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.
One thing she said she enjoyed the most was having a global connection with so many other musicians, particularly at a time when everyone in the music industry and in the arts are struggling and hurting.
“I think it’s nice that we could come together and make something that no one else has done before. Creation is a good thing,” she said, “It was really fun to collaborate in this way, and work with all of these amazing performers.”
MacKenzie-Thurley is a 1990 Hamilton High School graduate. She is also a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She has performed in operas, musicals, cabarets, recitals and concerts throughout the United States, Australia, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, the United Kingdom and Germany, including performances at Cincinnati’s Music Hall, Harlech Castle in North Wales and at the Sydney Opera House.
MacKenzie-Thurley serves as an adjunct faculty member at Northern Kentucky University’s School of the Arts, and has also managed voice studios in Sydney, London, and Cincinnati, where she has worked with private students, recording studios and vocal ensembles.
In 2018, she took over as Director the NKU Vocal Jazz Ensemble and has continued her studies with Darmon Meader of New York Voices. MacKenzie-Thurley is also active locally on committees for the Junior Women’s League, Hamilton Community Foundation and Hamilton City Schools.
“I wanted to be a part of the project, because I wanted to take something that was scaring people, and turn it into something positive,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.
Pritchard said the overture itself covers multiple genres including modern classical, jazz, rock, country, Celtic and choral and sets the opening scene, which is a brawl in a supermarket.
“We wanted to get started immediately. Sean wrote an overture and I wrote a dramatic opening scene. With many artists losing their gigs, we then asked musical friends from around the world to record their parts in isolation,” said Pritchard.
She continued, “‘Coronavirus the Musical Musical’ is a story of one caused up bogan’s attempt to put on his mediocre musical in a period of self-isolation and social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.”
For the latest news and updates on “Coronavirus the Musical Musical,” go to www.facebook.com/coronavirusthemusicalmusical/ and www.instagram.com/coronavirusthemusicalmusical.
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