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March 18, 2015 at 12:52 pm
Music Library Administration
Twenty thousand CDs do not catalogue themselves they lay in the capable hands of Anne Nixon and a dedicated team of MBS Librarians.
Melbourne born Anne was raised in Hawthorn with five siblings a Hammond Organ, a set of drums, a xylophone, piano accordion and several guitars. Anne’s mother was a “down to earth country girl.” Although she could only play one piece on the piano she loved music and would very often be found dancing around the kitchen with any of her family while singing The Merry Widow Waltz.
Anne’s engineer father was a very talented jazz/swing pianist with his own dance band. He was basically self taught and always claimed that the band’s guitarist taught him chord progressions maintaining that if one understood those, the understanding of music followed.
Anne and her siblings all played a musical instrument Anne’s being the piano, she recalls struggling her way through a sixteen page Beethoven Sonata for her matriculation music exam. When her father came into the room having agonised to listen to her efforts, he took over her seat at the piano and commenced sight reading the work from start to finish saying, “That is what it should sound like.” From that day Anne knew her father’s genes had passed her by.
During the 1950s and ‘60s it seemed to be very common to enquire which school one attended and when the reply was Vaucluse Convent eyebrows were raised with everyone thinking immediately of the very exclusive Sydney suburb. However the eyebrows descended very quickly upon discovering that it was the Melbourne suburb of Richmond which was then quite ordinary. Anne recalls the reply of the Nuns to those whose eyebrows had descended, “Girls when Vaucluse was established, Richmond was the Toorak of Melbourne!”
Apart from the aversion to snobbery, the one thing Anne loved at school was the amazingly sophisticated music which accompanied the many religious activities included in her schooling. Vaucluse Convent had a beautiful chapel in the school grounds and next door was an enormous gothic church.
The Convent had bestowed on Anne an intense love of choral music and a desire to sing but she never believed she was good enough. While in Perth she happened upon an advertisement for choristers to join the fairly new Perth Oratorio Choir, she auditioned thinking, as no one knew her in Perth she could get away with making a fool of herself. She obviously passed the audition with flying colours and has been singing with various choirs ever since.
In 1983 Anne volunteered a couple of hours a week with 3MBS and thirty years later the couple of hours has extended to two or more days. She heads a dedicated team of librarians looking after twenty thousand compact discs.