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Charlie Donnellan, a 2023 graduate of Willoughby Girls High School (WGHS), has just released her debut single alongside band, Røsemary.

Up-and-coming indie rock band, Røsemary, formed by Big Music graduates, is on the rise. Led by talented vocalist (HSC Encore nominee) and songwriter Charlie, the band blends folk and jazz influences to create their unique sound. They’ve already won a local Battle of the Bands competition and released their first single, “Ghost of Us,” to much acclaim. With two more originals on the way, including the fan favourite “Planetary Motion,” this band is one to watch.

Charlie recently signed with US talent manager Venture Entertainment and will be furthering her musical education at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying a degree in songwriting and music production. We sat down with Charlie to talk about her time at Willoughby Girls and her future career in music.

Your dad Rhys posted in the Willoughby Living Facebook group about your single and raved about WHGS. How did your education at Willoughby Girls help your music career? 

Willoughby Girls was a really great high school and I was lucky to get some of the best teachers who really encouraged and supported creative pursuits. My Year 12 Music teacher Ms Jarvis particularly supported me always informing me of new music opportunities and put me forward as a school representative for a North Sydney schools music competition.

Willoughby also prepares you well for life after school and those same principles of backing yourself and patience are fundamental to building a music career.

Congratulations on scoring an agent! How did that come about?  

Since I was eight, I have attended The Australian Institute for the Performing Arts (AIPA) in Artarmon and fell in love with acting as I already had music. The school opened up an agency a few years ago and as a long time student I, as well as my younger sister Susannah, were offered representation. They are completely amazing and have provided me with so many opportunities including a master class programme in LA last December, as a result of which I met and then signed with management, Venture Entertainment Partners.

Tell us more about your music. You’ve released the first single, and you have two more on the way? 

Yes my band Røsemary release our first single Ghost of Us in March! We have been so happy about all the love we have received on the song. We have recorded two more songs and are planning to record more soon.

We also competed in the ‘Battle of the Bands’ at Riverview and Loreto, and were selected for the North Ryde contest, winning Riverview and placing second in the other two.

You’re about to begin studying songwriting and music at The Conservatorium. It’s early days, but what are your aspirations?  

I start my degree at the Con next year and hope to gain skills in music production to expand my creativity with my music and meet people with similar goals. The dream is definitely being able to work full time as a musician and actor but I would have to be writing my own music, that’s definitely what is most important to me.

My ultimate goal is to win an Oscar for Best Original Song for a song I wrote for a film I acted in. A bit of a big one but that’s the goal.

How did you meet the other band members? 

We met through a program called Big Music Bandits, a music program where we all played for a few years. Shenuka, Joey, Dylan and I aren’t the original lineup of the band but two years on this is definitely the best version of our band, and I love them all.

What’s next for you and Røsemary?

Our goal is to release an EP at the end of the year. Definitely focusing on that and smashing out some recordings as opposed to performances this year as half our band is going through Year 12. Outside of Røsemary I am releasing my debut single on May 16th. It’s called Stationery. I spent about six weeks working on writing, recording and producing the song and am incredibly excited to release it.

Listen below!

Let’s rally behind our local talent by streaming Charlie and Rosemary’s music on Spotify and share it with your friends and family.

Follow Charlie and band Røsemary on Instagram:

@charliedonnellan_

@rosemarybandd

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