Lynette Casey-Brereton

Former Director (Professor) of the Melba Memorial Conservatorium, Prominent Classical Singer

Lynette Casey-Brereton (née Dudley) was a student at Camberwell High School; but she left to do her matric at Power Coaching College because at that time CHS did not have a matric year. In 1955 she was awarded a scholarship (by Sir Bernard Heinze) to the Melbourne University Conservatorium, and graduated with a Bachelor of Music with Honours in 1961. During her time at the Conservatorium, she was dux in her second and third years and an Ormond Exhibitioner.

Lynette Casey Brereton went on to have a distinguished career as a musician, teacher and administrator. When she left Melbourne University Conservatorium, she taught music at Our Lady of Good Counsel primary school in Deepdene for some time, then took charge of music at Whitehorse Girls’ Technical College in Box Hill. Next, she taught at MLC for many years and then became Director of Music at Killester College in Springvale. During her time at MLC, Lynette had also been a part-time lecturer at the Melba Conservatorium and when the then Director (Joan Arnold) retired, Lynette was invited to take over the Directorship, which she held from 1987 until her retirement in 1998. She was also a Professorial Associate at Victoria University, with the title of Professor, from 1995–1998, and was a member of the university’s Academic Board.

Lynette enjoyed a long career as a soprano soloist in Lieder recitals and oratorio and was Artistic Director of the Lieder Society of Victoria. She gave many solo soprano performances in oratorio with leading state choirs and orchestras, broadcast as a soloist over the ABC with some of Australia’s most renowned accompanists and had active involvement over many years with such diverse groups as the ABC Village Glee Club, the Cecilian Singers, the Astra Choral Society and the Melbourne Chorale. Lyn was also a lead singer in backing groups for a number of television shows and films and for Bruce Smeaton film scores.

She has taught singing at tertiary and secondary levels since 1963 and was formerly AMEB National Advisor on Singing and also AMEB Federal Practical Examiner. She is currently the Chair on the Victorian Specialist Advisory Panel for Singing. Lynette frequently adjudicates in Victoria and interstate. She was a member of the International Panel of Jurors, Melbourne International Choral festival, in 1992 and a jury member at (Mietta’s) National Song Contest, 2000. For many years Lynette was also a member (vocal advisor) of the Boroondara Eisteddfod Committee.