When Marina Florance became an empty nester, she decided to follow her dream and her passion for music. Four years later at the age of 53, she is a finalist in the OldieComposers competition, and has had one of her compositions recorded by Anthony Head , which was performed live on ITV This Morning.
Marina has always written songs and enjoyed singing, performing only for friends and family over the years. But in 2007 she decided, with the support of her husband, to broaden her musical horizons and start performing for the public in small venues. Initially daunting, Marina joined the Norfolk Folk Club where she met with other singer/songwriters and got used to performing for non-family members.
Marina was persuaded by a friend who she had co-written some songs with to attend an event to promote new music. Marina was reluctant to attend, feeling embarrassed at the prospect of showcasing her music in this way – but nothing could have prepared her for what came next. Marina’s music was singled out at one of the listening sessions and championed by someone who felt her music deserved a much wider audience. Marina was given a grant by the East of England Arts Council to record an album – a decision all 27 members of the committee agreed with.
Having her music recorded is a great boost to her confidence
As Marina says, the music industry is seen as very youth oriented, so the opportunity to have a recording funded in her late 40s was a tremendous boost to her confidence. Now, when Marina performs her audience also have a chance to buy her recording- for Marina it is a very rewarding experience to see people queue up to buy her music at the end of the evening – it shows that they have enjoyed her music and the evening.
When she heard about the Oldie Composers competition, a competition for composers over 40 with all proceeds raised going to Barnado’s, this time Marina had the confidence to submit some of her songs- some of which she co-wrote and ‘Cry’ which she wrote on her own. She was thrilled to have ‘Cry’ selected as one of the four final songs, which meant her song being recorded at the BBC recording studios with a professional production team. She was also thrilled to have Anthony Head sing her song and place his own interpretation on it. As Marina said, when he performed ‘Cry’ on This Morning he acted it as well as sang it. It was incredible for Marina to have one of her songs heard by so many people.
If Marina is fortunate enough to win the competition she will put her prize money £500 towards recording another album (the winner will be determined by the number of downloads each song gets). Marina will continue to perform, but most of all she would love to have her songs sung and interpreted by other artists.
Getting this far in the competition has reinforced Marina’s belief that it is not too late to ‘go for it’ in her 50s. As well as her music Marina is actively involved in ‘Turn the Page’, an artist’s book fare in Norfolk.
Marina Florance. Showing us life is fabulous after 50!