Cherie at an athletics carnival with Pete Mileson, Sue Arthur and Tori Lidbetter
Audiences normally see the ‘behind’ of Cherie Mason, as she wiggles and conducts her student choirs into their successes at Eisteddfods, Choralfests and Creative Generations. Although Cherie expects the best from her pupils, she is also known for her hugs, laughter and love in the schools of Tin Can Bay, Kia Ora and Rainbow Beach. Cherie spoke to the Community News about her career, saying “I do not consider myself a musician. I am an ordinary classroom teacher who happened to become a music teacher and I am grateful for that.”
How many years were you a teacher?
I began teaching in 1971 after two years training at Kedron Park Teachers College in Brisbane. I taught in Goondiwindi , Meandarra, Kingaroy, Kilkivan, and Kandanga and
St. Pats. I resigned to have my children but I studied for my Bachelor of Education at USQ in Toowoomba while raising them. I began music teaching in 1995 and have been a registered teacher for over 40 years.
Where did you train?
My music education consisted of 2 years studying singing at the Conservatorium of Music in Brisbane, 8 years studying piano and a 10 week Kodaly music course in Gladstone which enabled me to move from the classroom to full time music teaching
Conducting beautiful tributes on ANZAC days
Where did you grow up?
I was born in St George in Western Queensland. My father was a stock and station agent, and we lived on several sheep and cattle properties around Cunnamulla, Blackall, Richmond, Charleville and Goondiwindi. I did Primary Correspondence School ( now Distance Education) until Year 7 when I went to boarding school for my Secondary education.
When did you arrive here?
Ron and I discovered Rainbow Beach while living in Gympie and spent many weekends enjoying the beach before deciding to buy a block of ground and building our own home. To help us realise our dream we moved to Tangalooma Resort on Moreton Island to live and work for 5 years. Both our boys were born while we were on the island.
Why were your choirs so successful?
It never ceases to amaze me how successful my choirs have been over the years, but I was very fortunate to have tremendous support from parents, teachers and principals. How else would I have had such neat, tidy, well dressed and well mannered choirs at our performances! I contribute our successes to having such talented students who loved to sing and perform and aimed, along with me, to be the very best we could be.
What will you miss about teaching?
I will miss the kids and I will miss the lovely uninhibited sounds they make in song. I have been very fortunate to have had a great rapport with all my students and I will miss the love they have given me. It has been so amazing to take the children on a musical journey from Prep to Year 7 and to watch them grow into fine young adults.
Come to the Rainbow Beach State School Christmas concert and games/BBQ afternoon at 4pm on December 9 to the Community Hall and help us farewell Mrs Mason.