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MSO brings music to John Flynn

Written by Margot Taylor
on November 28, 2023

When the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra visited Ryman Healthcare’s John Flynn Retirement Village it was a special day for all, but perhaps none more so than for residents Valrie and Leslie Kollmorgen.

The MSO’s exclusive performance at the village was on September 26th, sixty years to the day since the music lovers were wed at St Silas' Anglican Church in Balwyn North.

“When we got married, we had the Australian Boys Choir perform at the church because I worked at Camberwell Grammar, a very musical school,” Valrie said.


Later, while on a trip in London, the couple visited Royal Albert Hall where they were fortunate enough to acquire a conductor’s baton which Valrie treasures to this day.

“It’s five years since Les and I have been able to go to a concert together, and we used to love to go,” Valrie said.

“The day the MSO visited I had organised an anniversary lunch for Les and I and others including his best man.”

While the couple missed the performance due to their special lunch, interactions with MSO musicians following the performance had been a “fantastic” surprise on an already special day.

“I brought down the baton from Albert Hall to show the musicians and speaking with the performers was such a pleasure for me,” she said.

“It was fantastic.”


Valrie and Leslie Kollmorgen. 


About 50 John Flynn residents attended the special concert, which included a repertoire of excerpts from the Danish String Quartet’s album ‘Last Leaf’.

Valrie said such events made music more accessible to a cohort of people who had supported the arts for many decades.

“Many of us don’t drive now, so the ability to go to concerts is no longer there,” she said.

“That’s why I think it was such a fantastic event.

“I certainly hope members of the MSO visit again so not only can I talk to them again, but I can enjoy the beautiful pieces they perform.”

Ryman Healthcare is a proud Premier Partner of the MSO, enabling music to bring joy to residents and team members every year.

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