Monty Eccleston - Life loves LIVE
Orange is fortunate to have a vibrant and growing local live music scene. So, in conjunction with JAM Orange, we thought we’d introduce you to some of our talented local musicians. Catch them at Jam Orange’s monthly Open Mic Nights, or at a venue near you!
When Monty Eccleston first got up and performed on stage here in Orange, it wasn’t his idea.
“My girlfriend, Lilly, signed me up for this open mic night and said, ‘you've got to get up and sing four songs’ and I said, ‘I don't want to do that’,” recalled Monty.
“She said I didn’t have a choice, so I got up and I did it and I’m really grateful that I did. It opened my eyes to the opportunities in Orange and I've been trying to do as many open mic nights as I can.”
Monty first started playing music when he was just 8 years old, after hearing his brother play the piano on a visit home from boarding school.
“My brother was my inspiration. He'd come back in the holidays and start playing piano in front of everyone and I saw all the enjoyment everyone got from that, so I decided then I wanted to learn piano.”
Not that it was purely the idea of playing music that initially motivated Monty.
“I wanted to beat him at it. I got really competitive … It was just ‘that is what my brother is doing, and I want to beat him at it’. I was like that was the game and that was what I had to do, so that's what I did. That’s where it began.”
After heading off to St Joseph’s boarding school in Sydney, Monty pursued music in earnest, discovering he also had a love for singing.
“I started singing lessons there and I did that all the way up until Year 12 — I did singing for my HSC. Joeys is a really big school for singing, they are very passionate about it, and so it sort of swallowed me up and I took to it and really enjoyed it,” said Monty
“I was in the chapel choir and we'd be singing hymns ever Sunday night and singing at the Wednesday Mass and other services. We did a lot of performances at assembly and there were countless times we sang at the nursing home down the road for the old people.’”
Singing at school or with family is one thing, but until he was pushed on stage, performing just wasn’t something on Monty’s radar.
“No, not really — It never really occurred to me while I was there, we were at school six days a week,” he said.
“But it is really nice to get out, see what other people are doing and you get to learn from what they are doing. I enjoy it and I'm really glad Lilly forced me to do it.”
Monty only completed his schooling last year and is currently enjoying a gap year before heading to Canberra to study finance.
While he doesn’t necessarily see a career in music, he also doesn’t plan on giving up performing any time soon.
“It is always something that I want to have in my life, for sure. After every single day I come back into the house and the first place I go is to the piano, so it will always be a part of my life.
“It brings my family together, it brings my siblings together and I really, really enjoy it — I'm just very thankful. Music will always be a part of my life.”