By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on February 28, 2019
A FUNDRAISER concert will be held next month in honour of the late Sheena Prince, Albany Senior High School’s music teacher of more than a decade.
Ms Prince was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer in April 2014 and passed away four years later at Albany Community Hospice on October 9, 2018 aged 68.
She left behind her husband of 48 years, Kevin, children Imogen, Zoe and Morgan, and grandchildren John, Ben, Evelyn, George, Maria and Helena.
The late cancer diagnosis sent shockwaves through her family and saw them travel to Perth every week for six months for immediate treatment.
Daughter Zoe Grosshans told The Weekender her mother’s optimistic attitude never waivered throughout her illness.
“It was a very late diagnosis,” she said.
“We got a crash course in ovarian cancer.
“She was always trying to learn more…she was a glass half-full person.
“She always said that a positive attitude was what helped when she was in the chemo chair.”
Ms Grosshans and her family decided to host a memorial concert as it was part of her mother’s final requests.
She said when her mother knew she was coming to the end of her life, she organised her own funeral with a concert.
Music was a large part of Ms Prince’s life and her family wanted to ensure her legacy lived on.
Ms Prince picked up her first clarinet when she was 10 and didn’t stop playing music.
From singing in choirs to learning the bass guitar to playing at her 50th birthday, there wasn’t anything music-related Ms Prince didn’t give a go.
Her husband Kevin reflected fondly on her passion for learning and her dedication to music teaching.
“She was at ASHS for about 15 years and a music resource teacher before that,” he said.
“She created a music program at ASHS for people to enjoy music, not just as a career.
“She taught about participation and organisation, and she organised many ASHS concerts.
“When she first started at the school, all the kids were into rock music and she said to me, ‘I’m about the classics! These kids are all about rock!’
“So she did lots of professional development and learned everything she could.”
“She was big on lifelong learning,” Ms Grosshans added.
“She had a huge belief in people and in realising their potential.
“So, we want to celebrate Mum and continue her passion as an advocate and her legacy.”
Sandra Woonings, fellow music teacher and colleague of eight years to Ms Prince, said Ms Prince always saw the positive in people and situations.
“Sheena’s motto was always to ‘choose your attitude’,” Ms Woonings said.
“She had endless enthusiasm and that together with a ‘can-do’ attitude helped her to achieve enormous results.
“She loved her students and spent her life encouraging them as well as all the staff around her.
“She always had time for people, and was a joy to work with.
“We all miss her so much.”
A Concert for Sheena will be held at Albany Baptist Church on March 23 at 11am.
The artists selected to perform are all people who shared a special connection with Ms Prince, and they will play her favourite music.
Tickets will cost $20 per person and can be purchased via trybooking.com or at the door.
All proceeds will go to Ovarian Cancer Australia.