Milly Blakeley has been retired from high school teaching for 17 years but she hasn’t stopped being involved with community music groups. For the past 13 years she has been musical director of The Bluebird Singers, an un-auditioned group of women who enjoy singing for retirement villages and other venues. She loves the challenge of helping them to do the best they can with a wide variety of musical styles.
Milly grew up in California where choral and instrumental music were part of her life since primary school. She received her BA with a major in secondary school music and a minor in mathematics at Pomona College where she sang in the Glee Club for four years and developed her life long love of all types of choral music, and began learning choral conducting. She received her MA in teaching atHarvard Graduate School of Education with mathematics and music as her two teaching subjects.
She and her family came to Australia in 1965. Milly spent 32 years teaching in Brisbane, the majority at St Peters Lutheran College. She chose to teach classroom mathematics and to do the extra curricular “fun music” which included operettas, madrigal choir and both male and female barbershop groups. Her madrigal choirs and barbershop groups regularly received 1st prize at competitions.
Milly has been a member of ANCA since it was first formed as ACCA, serving as Queensland treasurer for nearly 20 years and National treasurer for 1 year. She and her husband, Robert, were administrators for a very successful Choralfest in 2002. Her current active involvement with ANCA is proofreading Sing Out. Milly and her husband now live at AVEO Durack Retirement Village, where they are both involved in a variety of activities, and are busier than ever. Their three children and 6 grandchildren live in Queensland.