Jacqueline Ward’s Resilient Melody

Juliana Muniz, Adventist Record
Jacqueline Ward’s Resilient Melody
Australian soprano Jacqueline Ward is emerging in oratorio and concert performance throughout Australia. [Photos: courtesy of Jacqueline Ward, for Adventist Record]

Almost four years ago, classical musician Jacqueline Ward’s world seemed to be falling apart. After a life dedicated to music, her soprano voice, described by The Courier-Mail as “honey sliding down crystal,” was silenced by a major car accident. The injuries she sustained were severe — spinal, chest and leg fractures — leading to months in a wheelchair and a painful process of learning to walk again. 

Recovering body movements required effort and dedication, but rediscovering her voice proved to be the most challenging and crucial part of the journey back to the stage — one that required hope deeply rooted in her faith in God.

Before the accident, Jacqueline was making significant accomplishments in her career. Winning the Australian Songwriting Contest at 17, she pursued her passion, studying music at Avondale University and later on doing postgraduate studies at Sydney Conservatorium of Music. 

After an album released in 2016, her talent crossed international borders, with performances in the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom.

The unexpected pause to her ascending career was a brutal hit to take. “I was halfway through my master’s when the accident happened, and with a long recovery journey and caring for a trauma-affected baby, I eventually withdrew. Multiple Sydney orchestras had engaged me as a soloist, and these appointments were cancelled due to my injuries,” Jacqueline remembers. 

The second blow came with a second COVID-19 lockdown, further delaying her retraining and coinciding with personal tragedies, including the loss of her second child.

After enduring so many challenges, Jacqueline and her family felt a compelling need for a fresh start. In pursuit of peace and a new perspective, they left behind the hustle of Sydney for the tranquillity of country living in Tasmania.

“There was major disappointment and grief in letting all these things go. But I trust God, knowing that sometimes closed doors are His doing and that He opens doors when His timing is right, and He has grown me to be ready,” she said. This faith was a key factor in Jacqueline’s recovery and return to music.

The return to the stage happened in 2023, when Jacqueline performed with a prestigious Tasmanian early music orchestra — Van Diemen’s Band. Soon after, she hit a significant milestone: winning the Hobart Eisteddfod, a notable adjudicated performance competition across Australia. Entering six categories, Jacqueline won five, including the Sacred Music section in which she sang an aria about the beauty of Eden and the earth from The Creation by Franz Josef Haydn. 

For the long-silenced soprano, the Eisteddfod wins were a gift from God after so many losses. “I felt so excited to return to the stage and very encouraged by my Eisteddfod wins. I know that even though something may be objectively bad, God can bring good out of it, as in Romans 8:28. Trusting God has been a huge anchor for me through this whole ordeal,” she says. 

Now fully recovered, Jacqueline wants to share her talent with others. “My goal is to travel around the country as a soloist for performances of sacred classical music — such as the beloved Handel’s Messiah — for orchestras and choirs and giving solo recitals that uplift audiences,” she says.

The original version of this story was posted by Adventist Record.

Juliana Muniz, Adventist Record