Each year when the Girton Grammar School Jazz Band and String Orchestra support the Forever Young Rock Choir, music is specially arranged for the instrumentalists to accompany performances by special guest artists. Over the past three years, these guest appearances have included Mark Seymour, Normie Rowe and Wilbur Wilde. This year, Kate Ceberano will sing with the Forever Youngsters.
The enormous responsibility of arranging well-known songs composed by famous composers and which are to be performed by Australian stars has been undertaken by Cally Bartlett. Cally is an arranger, composer and music teacher at Girton Grammar School. Despite currently being on maternity leave with her second child, Cally is arranging music for the orchestra to support Kate Ceberano’s chosen repertoire. Cally will also perform with the orchestra at the concert on Cello.
The arranging of music for the Forever Young concert requires an extraordinary level of skill and is one reserved for the very best of musicians. Carlly Bartlett very much fits this bill.
You can imagine then, the pride with which her parents, as Forever Young choir members, will sing the songs that their daughter has arranged on 18th September at the Ulumbarra Theatre.
Pyrenne and David Tromans will sing together in the choir this year for the first time. Whilst Pyrenne joined the choir four years ago when she turned 65 and moved to Bendigo, her husband David joined the choir this year. Their pride in Cally is palpable.
“At one stage during her music theory studies, there was no one able to teach her at the appropriate level. She is extremely competent with any instrument she picks up,” Pyrenne said.
David plays guitar and his father played the violin. Pyrenne’s father is a tenor, so there is music in the family’s blood.
Pyrenne was born in Sri Lanka and came to Australia when she was 17 years old, in pursuit of a better education, especially after her school lessons were changed entirely to Sinhalese, having previously been in English, Tamil and Sinhalese. It was an interesting time to emigrate to Australia (1948) under the White Australia Policy that was in place. It took more than a year to prove the family connection to Pyrenne’s family members who were already living in Australia.
David was born in London and emigrated to Australia at age 18 seeking sunshine, adventure and a better life. He was keen to escape the distinct class system in England that served to type-cast and therefore, entrench his underprivileged family.
David got what he bargained for when he met Pyrenne at a dance in Melbourne and the rest, as they say, is history.
Pyrenne and David have chased many adventures together including running a Bed and Breakfast in Phillip Island and Pyrenne takes great pleasure in reflecting on her work at the Bureau of Meteorology where she worked on a computer that is now in the Melbourne Museum and takes up an entire room!
David has been self-employed his whole life and with the support of Pyrenne has dabbled in a number of things including mechanical workshops and building.
When they retired, Pyrenne and David were worried about how they might fill their days but Pyrenne, through Cally, quickly discovered the joy of the Forever Young Choir and David discovered the guitar. They are also members of the Bendigo Caravan Club and love going on rallies that take them all around the country.
When asked about the Forever Young Choir Director, Laura Dusseljee, David simply says, “I love her. I love her little ditty’s”. He also describes her as remarkably patient.
At the Forever Young concert in September, Pyrenne is most looking forward to singing “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire, and David is currently enjoying rehearsing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones.
On September 18th at the Ulumbarra theatre, this particular family will be in the right place to wow the audience.
Pictured: Pyrenne and David Tromans