“This thoughtful read continually surprises. The sweeping
narrative details Brisbane’s cultural history from the 1940s onwards, a woman’s
struggles in a man’s world, post-natal depression, temporary homelessness in
England with three small children... Eventually the author was able to say ‘it
was all worth it’. This extremely well-written and engaging book is an
accomplished work.” (Extracts from a recent review.)
To my dear friend and mentor, Matthew
and to the memories of
Mona King, Dulcie Robertson,
Nancy Weir and Bernice Lehmann.
These remarkable people were not only
but “companions on the journey”.
Gympie-born Juliet Hoey has lived most of her life in Brisbane. A professional
musician, she studied with Nancy Weir and graduated from the Queensland
Conservatorium with a distinction in piano. She subsequently studied cello and
enjoys playing that instrument in a community orchestra, Brisbane Symphony. With
this same orchestra she has to date performed a total of nine piano concertos.
In the course of a very busy musical career, she has also given numerous solo
and duo piano recitals. She was an examiner in piano for many years, a frequent
eisteddfod adjudicator and also worked for five years as a classroom music
teacher for Education Queensland. She currently teaches both piano and cello
An experienced writer, Juliet has previously published
three books; Under the Mulberry Tree (self-published) and crime novels
The Sixth Partita and Miranda’s Tempest, both published by Zeus
Publications. She has also written the libretti for three children’s operas,
with music composed by her husband Denis Hoey. She co-founded a national church
music magazine One Voice and subsequently edited it solo for five years.
In addition, many articles have appeared in print over the years, together with
poetry, some of which was set to music by composer Colin Brumby.
Juliet and Denis Hoey have four adult sons. Along the line,
they have also managed to acquire a clutch of delightful grandchildren who keep
them on their toes.
She Shall Have Music is her heartfelt memoir of the
struggles, hardships, and eventual success which accompanied her wish to “have
music wherever she goes”.
I would like to thank my husband Denis for his meticulous
proof-reading, helpful suggestions and constant encouragement. Writing is a
lonely profession and such support is of inestimable value.
I also thank my many colleagues and friends in the musical
profession who have shared some of the journey with me - conductor Antoni
Bonetti and my fellow players in Brisbane Symphony Orchestra. You inspire me
more than you can ever know. No less is the inspiration and stimulus provided by
my fellow choristers in St Brigid’s Catholic Choir, Red Hill with choral
director/organist team Tricia and Roland Bartkowiak at the helm. You make music
truly come alive amid the sheer fun of rehearsals.
My dear friends in the “Monday Club”, pianists Narelle
Doolan and June Butcher are a precious part of my musical - and personal
journey, as is my good friend Jan Lockwood with whom I performed so many
enjoyable piano duo recitals over the years. My thanks also to friend and
colleague Hilary Yates with whom I shared many happy years of piano teaching at
St Ignatius School, Toowong. And let me not forget my deeply valued students. I
learn as much from you as you do from me.
And last but not least, my sincerest thanks go to the
wonderful team at Zeus Publications who for the third time now have provided
such outstanding service, professionalism and courtesy.
“Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fair lady upon a white horse.
Rings on her fingers and bells on her
She shall have music wherever she
This is the story of a traveller who “has music
wherever she goes”. The “fair lady” is far from being a celebrity. Indeed, the
world is liberally stocked with this exalted species, and I have no wish to add
to that over-subscribed number. Instead, I believe that my story is the story of
Everyman — or of Everywoman. Indeed, who among us has not suffered frustration,
setbacks, and failures which may have appeared so devastating that the road
ahead presents itself as an impassable pathway?
My particular story contains both suffering and joy,
in roughly equal measures. In this way, I am no different from anybody else.
However, because I was born at a certain time and in a certain place, I was born
into a culture that was sharply inimical to the very gifts with which I had been
graced at birth. My journey has some unusual features as a result. For this
reason, my professional life, and at times, even my personal life, necessitated
years of the most arduous climbing towards a goal that seemed impossibly high
and unattainable. In the end, the climb was worth it. Exhausted and
battle-scarred, I did eventually reach the top of my own personal mountain.
On the upward climb, I met, and battled, a unique
combination of gremlins not commonly found in the lives of climbers both
steadier and more tranquil than I could ever be. Illness, homelessness, hardship
in a foreign country, poverty, outmoded attitudes to women, poor education – all
these, and more – were dark companions on my particular journey. But it was not
all like this. At every difficult step, light pierced the thick barriers of the
clouds looming above. Accordingly, my tale brims with laughter as well as tears,
success as well as failure, joy as well as sorrow. For this reason, I believe
and hope that it is a story for everyone.
And finally, a word on the physical structure of this
book. I have divided it into five large sections, with each section subdivided
into the usual chapters. These sections I have labelled “movements”, mimicking
the sections of an orchestral symphony. Some symphony writers of the Romantic
period (the 19th century) occasionally drew their inspiration from
literary works with which they were familiar. Accordingly, I have headed each of
my “movements” with a literary quotation appropriate to that particular part of
my story. In this way, I wish to pay tribute to Schumann, to Berlioz, to Mahler
and to so many other giants in the musical canon whose masterpieces live on to
inspire generation after generation.
It all began on an old Hallman piano, a mediocre
instrument of dubious provenance newly transported from Gympie to the Brisbane
suburb of Albion.
War time, 1942. Housing scarce, the family in a
rented home in Lucy Street. The lady of the house had just farewelled her
visiting brother out the front gate when she heard it – the faint sound of piano
music drifting down from upstairs through the golden stillness of a Queensland
“Oh, that must be Margaret,” she idly mused. Then
suddenly turning round, she stopped dead in her tracks. “Hold on! That can’t be
her. Margaret’s at school today.” Bursting with curiosity, she rushed upstairs
and creeping into the lounge, unearthed the mystery player. Calmly enthroned in
regal style on the piano stool and playing by ear sat the four-year-old baby of
The child remembers none of this. She knows only that
there was a far-off time in Gympie long since shrouded in the mists of babyhood,
a time when she didn’t play the piano. And then there was a time when she did;
endless years which never stopped, years heralding a very long journey, an
odyssey sometimes good, sometimes terrifying, but even in its most appalling
moments, invariably fascinating and challenging.
All journeys are unique to the traveller. This one is
the story of a person neither at the top of the career tree, nor at the bottom –
just someone perching happily on a branch partly up and partly down. It doesn’t
matter how far up she sits from the lowly base of the tree. All that matters is
music, and love, and joy, and the rewards that follow a lifetime of honest, hard
Along the way, she will be joined by her husband and
children. But that’s tomorrow’s story.