A musical angel named Juliet floated to this earth over 80 years ago. This beautiful angel is gifted with unique qualities; the most outstanding are her passion for music and to give enjoyment to many groups of people with her singing.
Juliet Tripodi organized a group of Italian people in the year 2000 to visit Grace McKellar. Juliet’s large sponge cake with fresh cream became a most welcome flavorful treat. Eleven years later, the sponge cake was still arriving and patients, regardless of their state of health, were entertained with singing. Then other nursing homes took on this entertainment on a monthly basis.
Juliet is well known for her generous spirit and her care for people. For thirty years Juliet had given solo soprano performances in most churches in Geelong. She also played solo pipe organ on a monthly roster at Latrobe Terrace Church of Christ. Juliet achieved qualifications not only in singing teaching, but also piano and gave lessons in both fields.
Twenty years ago, a Club Italia Choir of senior singers and musicians was formed. With Juliet’s leadership the choir gave an enormous amount of pleasure to the community, mainly multicultural, and gave approximately 26 performances each year. The choir name is “Cantiamo Insieme” which means Let’s Sing Together.
A most important part of the choir was Mario Ciach, the accordionist, who could play everything at the drop of a hat. The choir had a repertoire of 150 songs.- WOW
The singing Angel Juliet was always one to be adored and admired. A dedicated wife and mother of two, and now a grandmother. As the years went by choir numbers fluctuated and in 2015 the solid base group learnt twenty Italian and English war songs to commemorate 100 years since the landing at Gallipoli.
Juliet’s dream was to record war songs on a CD. Plans started to seek out a grant to make this possible. Not an easy job to take on. A successful grant was given by the City of Greater Geelong Arts and Culture to produce 500 CDs.
Professional singing development training commenced, and the CD Launch was planned for Seniors Festival 2017. All of this combined, became an exciting time and an event to look forward to. The choir experienced many new things, met amazing people, and even dressed in uniform for two nights recording in a sound studio. How proud they were to have achieved this after twenty years of singing together and giving joy to the community. After the Launch the choir members were thrilled to be mailing CD’s back home to family and friends.
The CD has a booklet of words of each song and now as I write this, the music is playing. It brings back all the memories of joy and achievement. It was a step by step process ending in elation for all. The whole process took twelve months. The health benefits, confidence building and inspiration to others was overwhelming. All gained memories of childhood and culture. An opportunity not to be missed.
Due to sad circumstances the choir is now not performing. The accordionist Mario has had hand surgery, and Angel Juliet is having chemo treatment.
Thank you to Geelong Arts and Culture for making this dream come true. CDs are still available, DM us if you are interested, and the choir will be delighted to share them with those who love Italian music. Music is love…….
Footnote: Juliet received her last chemo session today and our writer Elaine Janes turned 75 yesterday – love to you both!
Written by Elaine Janes for Humans in Geelong. July 2017. Photos: supplied. Choir photo has Elaine in blue top and Juliet, forth from the left, front row.