Bev Kennedy on stage.
"I would like to share with you, dear reader, the short tale of a girl from Marrickville, who dreamt of one day working as a Professional Musician.
It all started in my Grandmother’s house, the heart of our family. She owned a pianola that had been bought during the Depression. From the age of four, I would play tunes that I heard by ear, and also imitate my older cousins who were being taught, much to their annoyance.
My Grandmother’s friend from the local school, Sister Dionysus, was the teacher who taught piano there. She heard me playing the music that she had been teaching my cousins; And offered to teach me.
Initially, my parents, who were struggling financially, said no.
They saw a lifetime of expenses, and thought a six year old couldn’t possibly know what they wanted at such a tender age. However, the Sister offered to teach me without any expectation of payment.
And thus, a love affair with music began.
I remember as a child how excited I would be to perform in the Sydney Eisteddfod. My Mother and I would dress in our finest clothes and travel into town by bus or train. We would have lunch and make a special occasion of it.
The most exciting part however, was the opportunity to play for another Professional and hear some feedback.
I would hurry back to my teacher, gleefully holding my report card. She would say, ‘Yes, this is what I’ve been trying to teach you!’ And, suddenly I would understand how I needed to approach my playing.
It was wonderful to hear other young people playing – and all the varied interpretations of the pieces I knew and loved. Wonderful too to meet other young musicians who knew the language and the love that only other musicians know.
Today, I have realised my dream of working as a Professional Musician. I have worked on over 30 Music Theatre shows, and have been fortunate enough to work with some of the biggest names in the business, both from here in Australia and from Overseas.
I am also fortunate enough to adjudicate for the Sydney Eisteddfod. Thanks in no small part to the experiences I had as a child. I remember all my experiences and try to bring them to the adjudicating table. Hopefully to impart my knowledge, inspire, and keep the dream alive for the next generation."
Bev Kennedy is generally regarded as one of Australia’s leading Musical Directors & accompanists, having worked on over 30 professional productions. Shows she has worked on include Billy Elliot, Mamma Mia!, The Producer’s, We Will Rock You, The Lion King, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Chicago, & The Concert version of Sunset Boulevard with Judi Conelli.