Concert organisers (from left) Lester and Marlene Budden, and Carlita Keene.
Concert organisers (from left) Lester and Marlene Budden, and Carlita Keene. Yvonne Gardiner

Aveo Robina puts on a dazzling show

WHEN the Music Appreciation Group at Aveo Robina retirement village puts on a concert, they host a professional line-up.

The group was founded in 2006 by performers Brian and Carlita Keene - a duo of piano and alto sax - with Marlene Budden in charge of decorating and her husband Lester as MC.

As well as entertaining Aveo residents close to home for a small fee, the group sought to promote and encourage young developing artists from the Conservatorium of Musical Studies, and the local symphony orchestra, and give them the opportunity to gain greater experience by performing in front of a mature, appreciative audience each month.

Lester said the group's philosophy was also to promote the health and wellbeing of older Australians, in both body and mind through this cultural activity.

"We are aware the older Australians living alone and without musical stimulus can often fall victim to a loneliness that is both debilitating and unrewarding to the human mind," he said.

"Under Marlene's direction, the ladies have provided home-cooked supper for a total audience of over 9000, entertained by 315 artists at 137 concerts.

"Our greatest achievement was when a Gold Coast 15-year-old girl performed for us. In March 2016 she returned to the Gold Coast and performed for us at the age of 26 after performing the lead role at Covent Garden, London, playing alongside two of Europe's male singers.

"Following her success, she was invited by Prince Charles to perform at his Christmas concert at Buckingham Palace."

Apart from the concert, Aveo's activities during Seniors Week included a village fete, Golden Girls, Aveo's Got Talent, Trivia, the best cake/sponge competition and a Fijian feast.

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