Fraserburgh-born singer Wendy Carle Taylor has just released a new CD.
Wendy, who is now based in Edinburgh, has been performing for a number of years and is delighted with ‘The Vanishing Day’.
Singing has always been a part of her life and her interest in it took root in the Broch.
Soon after Wendy’s birth in the old Maternity Hospital in Fraserburgh, her family moved from their prefab house (her mum’s “pride and joy”) in West Road to a council house at 2 Mormond Avenue where pigeons had been residing in the wardrobes and the grass had grown so high that her three year old sister got lost!
Once renovated the house was the family home until Wendy’s mum passed away five years ago.
Music was always part of Wendy’s life in Fraserburgh:
“Music always provided lots of fun and new friendships. I really appreciate the fact that lots of local people devoted a lot of their time and energy to providing youngsters like myself with opportunities to socialise as well as to perform,” the performer told the Herald.
For example, Wendy overcame her initial shyness to sing in the Central School choir led by former head teacher, Mr Booth, and joined the West Church choir led by Mr and Mrs Stephen.
Summer shows and concerts with the Girls Brigade and the Fraserburgh Junior Arts Society soon followed and at the age of 12 she became their youngest ever principal girl in the annual FJAS pantomime.
“I brought the dress rehearsal to an hilarious conclusion by tripping on my crinoline in the finale, falling backwards and displaying my cotton long johns (fortunately also provided by the hire company) to the assembled audience!” she recalled.
To help support her studies of modern languages and history of music at Aberdeen University Wendy would head back home for holiday jobs, ranging from day shift at Maconochie’s fish factory as well as night shift at Macrae’s.
She also enjoyed working at the local Youth Centre, at Fraserburgh Hospital and at the Faithlie Eventide Home where her mum, Lois Helen Carle, was assistant matron and where Wendy often sang with residents and staff.
“I was lucky to have been raised in such a close community with lots of good friends and family around. I have especially happy memories of spending summers exploring Broadsea and the beach with friends, my sister, Jenny and brothers, Jack and Raymond - my dad, Henry, worked at the CPT and would often join us at lunchtime.
“Part of the reason that I enjoy teaching songs, and in particular songs of the sea and the land, is because of my NE heritage.
“My career involves singing in various languages and I especially love the richness of the Doric.
“Although I never met her, my dad’s mum, Mary Strachan, passed on her love of Scots poems and in particular the songs of Robert Burns.
“My mum’s dad, Jacob Carle, had a lovely sweet voice and sang for his comrades in the First World war. As Brochers we are basically bi-lingual from an early age and for me this inbuilt awareness of language was a huge advantage when it came to studying English and modern languages at the Broch Academy and in later years,” she said.
Wendy studied music and modern languages at Aberdeen University, and gained a Postgraduate Diploma with Distinction in Education from Edinburgh University.
She trained in voice coaching under Frankie Armstrong and at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Wendy has a wide range of personal and corporate clients, and runs voice workshops. She is a qualified Personal and Professional Development Coach.
She has had a highly successful career in education, both in the UK and France, becoming a head of modern languages. Her department was featured on BBC2 ‘Newsnight’ as a model of good practice, and was commended several times by HM Inspectors of Schools.
She is an Associate Tutor and Specialist Lecturer at Edinburgh University.
Wendy found making ‘The Vansihing Day’ inspiring:
“When planning my CD we asked audiences for their favourite songs from our concerts - I am pleased to say that one of the clear favourites was a beautiful poem in dialect which has been set to music as well as songs in Scots and French.
“There is also a 60’s peace song by Tom Springfield ‘The Olive Tree’ which I used to sing for the family as a child. The CD is dedicated to my mum and dad,” she said.
The CD can be ordered via Wendy’s website at www.wendycarletaylor.com using paypal or, for those who prefer to phone or write, Wendy can be contacted directly at Wendy Carle Taylor, 50/1 Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh EH10 4JL.
0131 229 2005 or 0779 029 4221 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cost is £12 plus £1 postage and packing.