Vivien Arnold was born and raised in the UK but came to Australia when she was 22. She has now lived in Canberra for over half a century, seeing it grow from a small town to a city.
Vivien has a bachelor's degree in Education and a master's degree in Analytical Psychology. Her careers were as a teacher in secondary education and TAFE, as a public servant, and lastly as director of her own consultancy business. She retired from paid work several years ago.
Music - in particular sacred choral music - have been a longstanding passion. As choral director of St Christopher's Cathedral from 1989 to 1997, she composed many motets, mass settings, psalms and chants for use in celebrations. In 1991, she gathered together the choir for the Seventh Assembly of the World Council of Churches and taught the music in readiness for the international animaters. Three years later she was choral director and composed works for the inauguration of the National Council of Churches.
Vivien's other strong interest has been in theatre. She has been director and/or musical director for over a hundred productions over the last fifty years. Several of these have been original works:- notably Isabella (published by Orpheus) a children's musical still staged in schools; The New Creation (sung in Yarralumla Uniting Church); and many staged by the Queanbeyan Players - The Sand Fairy (a children's play with incidental music); Queanbeyansnickers (a revue); The Canterbury Bankstown Tales (a story-based revue); and Captain Thunderbolt (an opera).
More recently her company Kaleidoscope Productions - which stages plays, concerts and choral works in aid of Home in Queanbeyan - has produced The Naming of the Women, and Job Pilgrim, both dramatised oratorios, and Blinkers and Choices - plays with incidental music
Vivien is married to Lindsay Roe, who has always given unstinting support not only at home but as the leading tenor in Kaleidoscope and a performer in most of the productions named above. She has three adult children, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren and life is still sweet.