Gospel Project Bega 2012

“It was really well done in all respects, due in large part to Dan Scollay’s great expertise in leading a large group of people, having an excellent musical ear and a light, fun, joyful smile and approach.”

“I couldn’t imagine a more wonderful experience.”

“Fantastic uplifting weekend. Dan is an angel.”

“Dan’s skill in giving us all the right amount of attention, instruction and encouragement was really exceptional.”

“Thank you Dan for your fantastic direction, calmness, humour, expertise, talent…you have lifted my spirits!! Thank you!!”

“Dan is a gem, great asset to the Valley, great way of getting community together.”

“Wonderful experience singing in the community and having such a talented kind director for the weekend.”

“Dan’s direction and calmness and skill was amazing- really impressive. Can’t wait to do another one.”

“This was a wonderful community event- for performers, audience, organisers, band etc. What is better than that!”

“Thank you to Dan- she did such a great job and I loved every minute.”

“What a fantastic experience- uplifting and inspirational.”

“Dan has a lovely way with people- brings them together well and is refreshingly ‘human’.”

“The whole experience was uplifting, refreshing, challenging and 100% rewarding. Just brilliant!”

“Sharing and singing with others under such guidance and intention- it doesn’t get much better. I feel full and in love with life and everyone around!!”

“Couldn’t imagine it any better except to have more of the same! Wonderful weekend.”

“Dan was a wonderful teacher to spend the weekend with.”

“Thank you for an overwhelmingly beautiful experience.”

“Thank you Dan, you’re an angel.”

“Dan was superb in every way.”

“I can’t thank Dan enough for such an amazing weekend. Besides the singing I believe her to be one of the most inspirational women I have ever met. Thank you.”

“Dan is a great conductor, full of heart, skill and commitment.”

“It was a totally spectacular experience.”

“Great concept to bring unknown people together for a very positive experience. Broadens community.”

“Dan is incredibly talented.”

Deep River Choir Moruya 2011

“Dan is a fabulous director- confident, relaxed and fun, (which singing should be). Can’t believe we sound so good after just 3 rehearsals.”

“Truly I am addicted to singing with your choir. I love the mix of people. I just love singing my heart out…Thanks Dan!”

“Excellent project for community music and friendship.”

“Singing in a large group makes me very happy.”

“Beautiful experience.”

“Amazing musical direction- a very talented, humble young lady.”

“It was just wonderful. Great community building and oh so good for the soul!”

Deep River Choir Moruya 2010

“Practising with Dan’s beautiful singing voice helped me over the weeks to improve the clarity, tone and pitch of my singing voice. That is a big gift!”

“Fantastic, couldn’t be better!”

“Very satisfying experience, superb result- the sound was magic, thank you.”

“I love Dan, long live Dan and long live choir and all opportunities to sing.”

“I found that Dan was exceedingly good. I went in without any expectations and ended up coming away feeling on top of the world.”

“I did not expect wonders, considering we were coming from different areas with different levels of experience and only a few workshops. Apparently the participation of so many singers, with good mixture of male and female voices, and their general ability to catch on to the music quickly, proved very successful. Even though I could not hear as well as if I had been in front of the choir, I could hear this wonderful resonant harmonious sound and I was quite elated with our efforts. Feedback personally to me has also reflected this opinion. Worthwhile being involved. Thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Deep River Choir Moruya 2009

“The double act of Dan and Damon was a big factor in my enjoyment of the workshops. Their play/humour and infectious commitment to ‘getting it right’ was the vital ingredient that made the experience such a pleasure to me.”

“I expected to gain some experience in a choir and I did. The standard of direction greatly exceeded my expectations.”

“I thought Dan and Damon did a wonderful job.”

“Having the chance to learn with 2 such talented musicians and the sense of enjoyment shared by everyone were added bonuses.”

“Both Dan and Damon were excellent. Working with such a big group must have been a real challenge but they were up to it. Their sense of humour and endless patience was much appreciated.”

“Loved it, loved that if we weren’t singing, we were laughing Thought Dan and Damon were excellent and did a great job!!!!!!!!!!!  Loved their rapport and that with the choir.  Liked laughing!!!!  Feel honoured to have been a part of it all.”


My Brother Fish

Sunday Age, Sunday, 18th February, 2001

Reviewed by Sian Prior

My Brother the Fish is a one-woman play based on the late English writer Helen Luke. The original story, Salmon Fisher Boy, was discovered by director John Bolton in a book called The Voice Within. Bolton was so engaged by this tale that he suggested to former student Dan Scollay that they turn it into a short stage work.

The result is a captivating hour of story telling, mime and characterisation. The stories are told by Rosie, a young Irish girl who sits gutting fish, every now and then apologising to her victims: “Oh fishies, I love you but I’m going to have to pull yer guts out.” Rosie tells us she has a twin, but that her brother slid out and into the river of water that gushed from their mother’s womb when they were born, and was lost to her.

Rosie weaves an improbable tale of the granny who discovered her brother in the guts of a fish, the man who took him away in a train to school, and the sinister Sister Finnegin, who tormented him there. Each character is portrayed by Dan Scollay with subtle changes in voice and physicality, and she intersperses the story-telling with haunting songs accompanied by a simple one-chord squeeze-box.

Watching this performance I was once again struck by the courage and vulnerability of the solo actor in a one-person play. It takes great skill to keep the audiences attention for an hour with nothing but a couple of buckets, a ladder and some fish as props. Who is Rosie? Did she really have a brother, or are these imaginative tales the product of loneliness? Nothing is explained, but Scollay’s delicate performance inspires great empathy for her character.

My Brother the Fish is an opportunity to enjoy the age-old tradition of storytelling in its simplest yet most complex form. Four stars.

My Brother the Fish

Melbourne Herald Sun, Thursday, 15 February 2001

Reviewed by Kate Herbert

We are still charmed, even as adults, by a simple, well-told story. My Brother the Fish is just that; a poignant, evocative and sweet Irish tale performed by Dan Scollay and directed by John Bolton.

Scollay is a magnetic performer who trained with Bolton in clown and physical theatre. Together they take Helen Luke’s story, Salmon Fisher Boy, and transform it into a delightful, entertaining and skilful theatrical journey.

Rosie is an Irish peasant girl who works gutting fish. She was born with a twin brother who is less than clever in school but has a magic touch with fishing. He is raised by their granny, drawn to the water, fails at school but fills his trawler with fish.

Scollay, dressed quaintly in a pair of Bond’s knickers and a jumper, perches on a tin can and guts two fish in a bucket. Yes, really! As she creates Rosie, her brother, granny and the morose old fisherman, we catch the real scent of fish in the air. It is both disturbing and atmospheric.

Her vocal and physical versatility enhance the characterisations. She does not so much transform into the characters as sketch them with her voice and body. Her depiction of Sister Finnegan, the mean religious maniacal nun, is masterly.

Her comic and dramatic timing is impeccable. Scollay is relaxed as well as poised like a cat for every movement, every subtle shift of emphasis.

Of course, much of the strength of the piece is in the direction and co-writing of John Bolton. His hand is evident in the show’s eccentric twists.

An extraordinary and unrecognisable style of musical squeeze-box features in two songs. Tiny objects, representing an eye and a human finger, are pulled from a bucket. A miniature train makes an epic journey and a giant salmon is filled with the moon and memorabilia.

A sensitive and subtle lighting and set design by Phil Burns completes the picture.

Scollay grabs us in the first moment and holds our attention for fifty minutes. She has a sweet singing voice and manages to people the stage with characters in this engaging and joyful tale.

By Kate Herbert