Angela came to the Queensland Conservatorium as a mature-age student to study with renowned lecturer Dr Irene Bartlett, who has mentored some of the country’s top singers including fellow Griffith alumni Katie Noonan, Dami Im and Megan Washington.
In a career spanning three decades, she has performed on the same bill as everyone from Miles Davis to Salt ‘n Pepa. Now, Angela’s powerhouse vocals have propelled her onto the national stage.
Since submitting a video audition for The Voice, she has been on whirlwind journey. Last night as part of the Blind Auditions, she performed a spine-tingling version of Amazing Grace to more than a million TV viewers across Australia.
“I was so overwhelmed,” she said.
“I was shaking and had my eyes closed the whole time I was singing.
“I haven’t been that nervous since my audition for the Con!”
Angela said her journey on The Voice had given her a focus during recent months, with many of her regular gigs and tours cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.
“I think this series will go down in history, despite all of the restrictions, they’ve been able to keep the show on the road,” she said.
“All my gigs were cancelled once COVID hit, and the show has given me a way to keep singing and touching people with my voice.”
Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Angela began singing gospel in a church choir. From there, she toured North America with an all-girl group before entertaining US troops from Bosnia to Somalia. After several years performing on the jazz and blues circuit, she married an Australian and settled down in Brisbane.
Angela graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium with a Bachelor of Music, and said her studies had given her the skills and confidence to compete at a national level.
“I had always sung by ear, and I didn’t read music, so in my early 40s, I decided to go to university,” she said.
“I learned so much at the Con, and they all accepted me with open arms.
“Irene (Bartlett)had studied as a mature age student too, and she kept me inspired.
“Now I feel like I have so much to give, and I’m never going to stop following my dreams,” she said.
“Angela had been a professional singer who had toured the world, so when she auditioned, I asked her why she wanted to study at the Queensland Conservatorium,” she said.
“For her, it was about filling in the gaps that were missing from her musical education and helping her become a more efficient singer.
“She was a great student, very motivated, and my work with her was about taking the gift she already had and making sure she had a good, healthy technique.”
“Like Dami, she has a big, strong voice, and she’s put in the work to build her instrument,” she said.
“Angela deserves to do well, and a show like The Voice is a great way for her to reach a wider audience.”