Bruce Rowland

Bruce fondly remembers his days at Caulfield Grammar, where he spent most of his time walking around the oval with a toy aeroplane, dreaming about becoming a pilot. He also aspired to become a research chemist. Yet, amidst these pursuits and considerations for his future, music always remained a constant passion, although he was unsure if it could be a sustainable career. 


Growing up, Bruce fulfilled his dream of becoming a pilot and spent 4 to 5 years based at Melbourne’s Coldstream airfield. However, he quickly realised that piloting was more of a hobby than a lifelong career. Before this, he had considered chemistry, which also proved unfulfilling. Amidst these career explorations, music was always present, thanks to his family’s rich musical heritage. 


Bruce hails from a musical family; his parents were musicians, and his grandparents ran an entertainment business during the war. This musical environment nurtured his love for music. Additionally, he was keenly interested in basketball and was part of the YMCA team. Being close to the YWCA, where social events often occurred, Bruce discovered social groups and made new connections. 


A memorable moment for Bruce was when he overcame his shyness at a social event by playing the piano. This act attracted the attention of a lovely female, and consequently, he formed a band for the YMCA and YWCA. This period was a significant part of his life, and he continued to play in the band for about five years. 


Looking back, Bruce appreciates how these varied experiences have shaped him into who he is today. His journey from aspiring to be a pilot and a chemist to finding his true passion in music reflects his adaptability and openness to exploration. These experiences have given him a unique perspective on life and have played an instrumental role in his personal growth. 



Bruce cherishes his days at Caulfield Grammar School for the convenience of living with his grandparents nearby and the lasting impressions of two remarkable teachers. The assistant headmaster, Billy Morcom, and the French and German teacher, Dr. Billigheimer, profoundly impacted his life. 


In his professional life, Bruce’s schedule is anything but typical. His work hours extend beyond the conventional 9 to 5, often filled with composing music and managing various projects. Bruce’s illustrious career encompasses various creative endeavours, from motion pictures and cable movies to mini-series, series, animations, and unique live events. His outstanding contributions to the film industry have earned him numerous accolades, including a prestigious APRA International Achievement Award in 2006. 


Bruce’s career is marked by his cinematic compositions and significant contributions to grand live performances. A major milestone was in 2000 when Bruce had the honour of composing and conducting music for the Sydney Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. His score for ‘The Man from Snowy River’ has been a sell-out in Melbourne, and it’s set to open in Sydney at the Opera House will feature the Sydney Symphony Orchestra before continuing its tour around Australia, hitting stages in Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Tasmania, and then returning to where it all began in Melbourne.  



His career trajectory has been shaped by several key decisions, such as learning to conduct, studying orchestration, and turning his hand to jingle writing. These skills have enabled him to work independently and maintain high standards. He even co-owned Flagstaff Studio, where he composed thousands of jingles. 


One of the aspects Bruce loves most about his work is seeing how his music makes an impact. He delights in the transformative power of music and its ability to evoke emotions in viewers. Looking ahead, he envisions himself aging gracefully, potentially mentoring others while continuing to contribute to his creative industry. 



Bruce draws his inspiration from witnessing brilliance in any form. Over 45 years ago, he made his first trip to the United States to meet the renowned pianist Floyd Cramer, a figure he deeply admires. That encounter has left a lasting impression on him and fueled his belief in the power of music to create enduring memories. Continuously inspired by that experience, Bruce continues to inspire others through his work. 


Website: https://brucerowland.com/ 


Related content

Arts & Design, Young Alumni
Arts & Design, Young Alumni
Arts & Design, Creativity, Writing, Young Alumni
Arts & Design, Construction & Engineering, Mid/Late Career Alumni

© 2023 The Caulfield Grammarians’ Association. All rights reserved.