Making beautiful music

HARMONY: Val Wills, Verli Gulliver and Ann Saul, have been playing and singing together for 37 years in and around Lismore.
HARMONY: Val Wills, Verli Gulliver and Ann Saul, have been playing and singing together for 37 years in and around Lismore. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

FOR three local women, music is a lifelong passion and something that continues to provide friendship, happiness and longevity in their later lives.

Val Wills, of Goonellabah, along with Ann Saul and Verli Gulliver, of Lismore make up what's currently known as the Verli Gulliver Singers, who perform old-time music for audiences across the region.

"I don't even know how we got that name!" laughed Mrs Gulliver.

The group, which performs regularly at nursing homes and aged care day programs, was originally formed by the late Harry Venn in the 1970's and had seven members.

Now, it's the three women remaining, and they're still lighting up faces with their music, three times a week or more, 37 years since they began.

Together, they entertain the elderly with their voices, piano, guitar, and piano accordion, across Lismore, Alstonville, Ballina, Byron Bay, Goonellabah and Coraki.

"It's fabulous, we just love it," Mrs Saul said.

The close friends and musical companions said what they love is the response they get from their audiences.

"It's very rewarding," Mrs Wills said.

Mrs Wills said the power of music can lift anyones spirits, and who doesn't need that?

"Just to see those, who can barley do anything, tapping a foot or a finger, that's fantastic," she said.

The women said they play all ranges of music, dated up to around the 1960s, from country, to old classics and old dance numbers - the numbers that have stolen their heart and those they love to reminisce upon.

"One day it will be us in there, and we hope someone will entertain us with this music, that we love," Mrs Saul said.

Topics:  music singing

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