The Good Lovelies

LJ Choirs Alumni: The Good Lovelies.

Between the two of them, Sue Passmore and Kerri Ough have notched 15 years with La Jeunesse choirs. Kerri grew up planning to become a rock star “without knowing what that meant,” while Sue didn’t even consider a career in music until a high school music teacher suggested she major in it at university.

Ten years after leaving La Jeunesse, they are two-thirds of The Good Lovelies, and performing all over the country, recording, promoting and managing the group: it’s full-time work for all three of them.

With no individual voice lessons (other than a year Sue did to qualify for the music program at York University), they have relied heavily on the training they got with former music director Marie Anderson and La Jeunesse. “The choir really helped us,” says Sue. “And once I got into high school, I had the confidence to join the jazz choir. When we met up with Caroline (the third “Lovely”) and started singing in three-part harmony, it was so exciting. It was like a mini-choir.”

The collaborative aspect of singing with a choir has also taught some important lessons: learning to work with and listen to so many other people gives you tools for working with people you don’t know. We trust each other’s musicality, Sue and Kerri agree. We don’t think too much about creating harmonies – it’s second nature.

Most memorable La Jeunesse moment:

Kerri: Trip to England, singing at Westminster Abbey, and then to Germany and Austria. “It was an amazing experience.”

Sue: Singing with the choir in Austria’s Melk Abbey (between Salzburg and Vienna, overlooking the Danube River, it is a stunningly beautiful Baroque palace built in the early 1700s, and is now a co-ed monastery school). “It’s my favourite place to sing.”

Advice for today’s La Jeunesse choristers:

Kerri: Carpe diem! “Seize every opportunity the choir offers you – solos, trios, trips, everything!”

Sue: Take full advantage of the instruction you’re being given. “I have used so much of the stuff Marie taught me – I don’t even realize I am sometimes.”

Learn more about The Good Lovelies at their web site: