Lisa Morgan: Oman is Home to me

13254233_10153720008074007_8297071457188489003_nVocalist, voice over/recording artist, choral director and music educator Lisa Morgan’s ‘home grown’ project, ‘Oman is home to me’, is a paean to the nation

‘Oman is home to me’, a joyous rendition of Oman’s mesmerising charm, has found an endearing connect with music lovers in the country, garnering close to 7,500 hits since it was uploaded on YouTube, last month.

Composed and performed by ABA (American British Academy) Choral Director, Lisa Morgan, it is a tribute to the nation, which marked its 46th National Day, earlier this month. It traces Oman’s cultural abundance and reflects on the shared sentiments of residents, both locals and expatriates, who have long cherished the country as their home. The refrain, ‘Oman is home to me’ rekindles those very emotions.

Produced in collaboration with Omani musicians, Idris al Balushi, Nibras al Mullahi, Tahra al Balushi, and Khalid al Rahbi, with Maciej Sokolowski and the ABA school choir, Lisa Morgan’s composition of her instinctive love for the country, has made it to the Oman FM charts. She now wants to turn the song into a music video. As she puts it, “The words of the song are so descriptive of the beautiful scenery and the people of Oman…it is screaming out for a music video with beautiful images complementing the words.”

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With Oman making it to Lonely Planet’s top ten places to see in the world in 2017, a video of the song could help leverage this status. “In my dreams I see it shown on every Oman Air flight…” quips Lisa, who has wowed listeners with her expertise as a lyricist, music composer, vocalist, recording artist and a performer – the latter at schools and organisations where she has been called to perform the song. On her wish list is a   performance at the Royal Opera House Muscat and a presentation of the song personally to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

14203147_10153975900029007_159796306219043240_nLisa came to Oman in July 2011 to join her husband Gerhard and has since found a deep connect with the land and its people. She joined the Sultan School as the head of music before moving to ABA as the Choir Director. It was during a summer holiday abroad that she got inspired to compose ‘Oman is home to me’. It was a strong desire to fill the void in English songs celebrating Oman that acted as a spur.

“I decided to compose a song that honoured the common people of Oman,” she states. Whether it is a line about a Bedouin who lives in the desert or a verse on His Majesty’s inspirational leadership, the song is essentially a celebration of all that Oman is.

Once the lyrics were in place, it didn’t take her long to write the music. Her long and varied experience in the field of music helped in composing the hummable song, which has found a bond with both locals and expatriates alike. Calling it a home-grown project, Lisa points out that the song was put together without renting any fancy studios or receiving any corporate support.
Although Lisa began her musical tryst with piano lessons when she was eight, it was in singing that she found her anchorage. “I could harmonise naturally,” she recalls. By the age of 12, she was singing as a backup vocalist. She joined the school rock band as the lead vocalist when she was 13. The following year the band won a nationwide rock band competition and a year later Lisa won a prize as the best vocalist in the nation. She was only 17 when her music teacher asked her to be the choir director of the school. “That gave me the chance to put my understanding of harmony into practice,” she states.

She earned the Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education from the University of New South Wales and continued singing as well as developing her professional career as a music educator. She was at school when she met her future husband Gerhard, who instilled in her a love for all things travel.

As for the future, she wants to continue singing, directing choirs, teaching music and making music. She describes music as the greatest form of cultural expression. “It is an international language; it is a beautiful way of communicating,” she maintains.
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Up Close & Personal With Lisa Morgan
The home I grew up in…
Was a loving home in Sydney Australia where I lived with my mum, dad and little sister Nicole. We led a simple life but I always remember being happy and surrounded with affection.
When I was a child I wanted to…
Ride my bicycle, play with the other kids up the road and be a tom boy – resulting in many scraped knees and a broken cheekbone!
The moment that changed me forever…
There were many moments – some good, some not. A great moment was my first proper solo singing performance when I was 12 years old. On a sad note, when my sister passed away – this definitely changed me and my family and our perspective on life.
My greatest inspiration…
Has been my husband. He always helped me to believe I could live the life I always wanted to.
My heroes…
My mum and dad. I have seen them suffer the worst thing imaginable – the loss of a child; yet their faith and positive outlook has seen them carry on with dignity and courage.
If I could change one thing about myself…
I would try to develop more patience. When I am determined to get the job done, it drives me crazy when others slow the process down.
I dream of…
Living in a massive house with my family in Kirribilli, overlooking Sydney Harbour.
It’s not fashionable but I love…
Old music – anything from 40’s swing to Mozart, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Disco, Opera…
My greatest regret…
Is not moving overseas earlier – it has been amazing!
You may not know it but I’m no good at…
Whistling – I just can’t do it!
If I have time to myself…
Read, sleep and catch up with friends
My house is…
Open to my all my friends and family any time – Ahlan Wa Sahlan!
My favourite holiday destination…
Could be anywhere that I have never been before.
My favourite weekend spot in Oman…
In summer is chilling in a pool overlooking a beach, and in the cooler months the Sharqiya Sands.
Five things I like about Oman…
The people, the culture, the Royal Opera House, the desert and Salalah.
On top of my wish/bucket list…
Is to go to the Carnivale in Rio – singing and dancing in the parade!
My success mantra is…
All or nothing. If you are going to do something, you gotta do it right and give it all you have got – otherwise don’t bother doing it at all.
In 10 years’ time I hope to be…
Seeing the world while singing, recording, running singers’ workshops to help other singers… and getting paid an insane amount of money doing it!

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