BY GEMMA MOLLENHAUER
Describing herself as a ‘tall poppy’, Anna Chaplin is Wollongong’s latest musical mover and shaker. Now the manager of UOW’s Band Competition champions Dlinkwnt, as well as the founder and Director of Chaplin Arts, Anna is actively making her mark on the creative community of Wollongong. With a passionate love for all things musical, Anna offers everything from “music lessons, acting classes and yoga (to) No Lights, No Lycra, talent shows and musical showcases” at her Wollongong studio, Chaplin Arts.
Known as the “band mamma” to UOW Band Comp champions Dlinkwnt, as well as the brains behind Chaplin Arts, Anna’s life is never dull, “I try to put on a show every month which allows my students opportunities to work in the community…I can teach you how to sing, but if I don’t get you on stage, you can’t apply that”, Chaplin states.
“I love watching people become more confident in themselves. To grow and blossom is the most rewarding thing on the entire earth”.
With her motivating persona, Anna continuously encourages not only her students but also band members in Dlinkwnt to “aim for the stars”. Ranging in managerial duties, Anna’s main goal is to make sure Dlinkwnt does exactly what they do best: creating, rehearsing and performing.
“I love going out and making dreams happen. A little while back, the boys said ‘I wanna go to Sydney and play at the Vanguard’ And they did. Now they’re like, ‘oh we want to go to Melbourne’ and I’m just like ‘ok, you’re the best band in the country, lets go,’” said Chaplin.
Growing up in a “rich culture of music”, it’s easy to see where Anna’s love and motivation in the industry stems from. She shares her musical influences as being “my Mum and Dad… Being that my father was born in the 20s and is a World War II veteran… my first musical venture was to play the clarinet like my mother, who also plays the organ and is a huge music lover herself”.
It’s easy to understand how music became engrained within Anna’s everyday life. From clarinet to cornet, to joining competitive show choir, there is no doubt Anna was always going to be a performer.
“I was first contacted by a record company when I was 16 after I jumped on stage and grabbed the mike at the County fair”, she says, “I feel like I’ve never stopped, but my life has shifted to be about others. So that has changed, and I’m so happy for that change”.
Although her life is decorated with successes, Anna continues to aim for the stars by moving Chaplin Arts into a recording studio. And with plans of starting a radio show, Anna is actively giving students the opportunity to “record themselves and learn how to use a recording studio as well as showcase up and coming artists”.
Serenading her way into the musical community of Wollongong whilst encouraging musicians, actors and dancers alike, Anna invites singers and musos …“don’t be strangers, if you have any questions for us just come talk to us. We are interested in our community. We are happy, open and inclusive”