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Spotlight on Anna Joyce

Spotlight on Anna Joyce
June 5, 2024 Australian Girls Choir

Meet Anna Joyce – Performer, Teacher and ASPA Staff Member.

Anna Joyce is a performer, teacher and arts educator who has explored many facets of the performing arts throughout her career. With the AIGC and ISPA opening in Singapore this year we discovered that Anna is an alumnus of the Australian International School in Singapore (AIS), which will be one of our Singaporean rehearsal venues. A day before going on maternity leave, we sat down with Anna to discuss her childhood in Singapore, her career in the performing arts and her opinion on the AIGC/ISPA opening in Singapore later this year.

Attending an International School in Singapore

In 1991, when Anna was three, her father accepted a job position in Singapore and her family relocated from Australia. Anna started AIS in 1993 as a foundation pupil and attended until Grade 8. Anna has fond memories of attending AIS and the unique opportunities it provided. She remembers taking her passport and green card to school camps because they would often travel to different countries. Anna knew her school friends were transient and they could leave at any time, which was both a challenge and also exciting, always meeting new people.

The Australian community was strong at AIS. Her school tried to include typical Australian milestone moments such as a Year 6 ‘graduation’ (even though they stayed at the same school for high school years). While doing so, her school also taught students to be Singaporean citizens. Anna has strong memories of learning the Singapore National Anthem and because the anthem is in Malay she remembers her teachers focusing on pronunciation. She believes that students were very much taught to be citizens in a country that wasn’t necessarily their own, in a respectful way, which has shaped her as a person.

Singapore is an international hub and the school allowed us lots of travel opportunities. I remember being blown away on a school trip when we went to Malacca and saw the fishing villages!”

Finding her way to ASPA

Anna’s passion for the performing arts blossomed at a young age. Anna was able to participate in dance and music lessons, be a part of musicals and even a cheerleading group at her school. Anna’s journey with ASPA began when she was asked to be a last-minute replacement for an Australian Girls Choir class. At the time Anna was unsure as she hadn’t been a part of the AGC choir as a child and felt there was a lot to learn in a short amount of time. Lucky for us, she took the challenge in her stride and has been an important member of ASPA since 2011.

After completing her foundation musical theatre course at the Victorian College of the Arts, Anna pursued a Bachelor of Performing Arts at Monash University. At 23, she ventured to New York to teach at a musical theatre camp, where she unexpectedly reunited with ASPA staff members Vicki King and Kylie Lee-Archer in Times Square. Following a plea for employment in the arts, Anna returned to ASPA and later pursued a Master of Teaching while tutoring with the AGC. With six years of teaching experience, Anna returned to ASPA after becoming a parent, eventually taking on the role of Team Development Administrator.

“I love how the performing arts is an international language. You can share stories, bond with people, learn life skills and express yourself.”

Anna’s future

Once again we farewell Anna as she goes on maternity leave to have her second child. Fortunately for us, she has already agreed to return. Anna is excited about the growth of the Australian International Girls Choir and the International School of Performing Arts within AIS. She believes it will strengthen ties between Australian and Singaporean communities, echoing her own experience of finding belonging through music while living in Singapore.

Music translates everywhere. Finding a way to be connected to the Australian community was really important to me as a child living in Singapore because I didn’t necessarily have any of my own memories of Australia.”

Do you know someone living in Singapore who loves the performing arts? Our inaugural Australian International Girls Choir is this weekend!