MUSIC has always had a special place in Rosemary McCubbin’s heart, a special language that she shares with each and every one she meets. Some of McCubbin’s fondest memories have been around the piano whether it be as a child having family sing-a-longs or as a teacher with her students.
In fact, McCubbin hoped many of her former pupils from Queanbeyan South Public School, where she taught for 18 years, would remember her music-filled lessons. ‘‘At my very first school there was a piano in the classroom which was very unusual particularly for a primary school,’’ she said. ‘‘Music was just part and parcel and great for relaxing and for a break between lessons. We had fantastic concerts and every child would take part.’’
Since retiring, McCubbin has taken on the role of a conductor for a local choir of about 25 people. It is with this choir that she performs at an annual music gathering with the purpose to raise awareness for Home in Queanbeyan, an organisation that helps those with mental health problems.
This year the concert focus is on McCubbin, who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but she does not want to be thought of as a victim. The 75-year-old prefers to think of the afternoon as something more akin to a ‘‘happy hour’’ and she is particularly looking forward to seeing her former students ‘‘I have a genuine interest to know what they have been up to,’’ she said.
Music has always been a part of McCubbin’s life so it seems apt that it is through it that she hopes to reconnect with the community. ‘‘People have been so supportive, friends, former colleagues and pupils. It’s just a chance to meet again and experience joy,’’ she said. ‘‘[Music is] integral to life, it’s not something tacked on. Just listening to music and playing it is a source of pleasure, joy and strength.’’
The grand singalong will take place at the Queanbeyan Uniting Church on Saturday, May 26, at 7pm.