Our Vision is Creating New Zealand’s Voices of the Future.

Fundamental to achieving this is the recruitment of an exceptional, qualified and experienced faculty.

Students have the opportunity to work with a faculty of national and international acclaim, providing experiences they might not otherwise receive through their regular training.

Our world-class faculty continue to be a key driver to the Singing School’s success.

The NZ Singing School Trust is committed to providing the best tuition possible to New Zealand’s future singers.



Catrin Johnsson ARAM – Principal of Faculty & Curriculum

Catrin Johnsson, mezzo-soprano, was born in Sweden and trained at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and the Royal Academy of Music in London. Awards include the prestigious Christina Nilsson Award. Catrin has lived in London for many years and has recently moved to New Zealand.  Operatic roles include the title role in The Duchess of Malfi for English National Opera, Dido Dido and Aeneas, Medoro Orlando, Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro, La Ciesca Gianni Schicchi and Dimitri Fedora for Opera Holland Park., Dorabella Così fan tutte, Carmen,  Meg Page Falstaff, Hansel Hansel and Gretel, Adelberto Ottone and Idelberto Lotario (London Handel Festival), Nicklausse Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Zerlina Don Giovanni, Second Lady (NZO) and Third Lady The Magic Flute. She is also active on the concert platform in Europe, Scandinavia, UK and New Zealand. Catrin teaches voice and stagecraft at the University of Auckland, is vocal consultant for Voices NZ Chamber Choir, and was the 2017 National Adjudicator for the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition. In 2018 she was awarded an ARAM from the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Judy Bellingham MNZM – Principal of Faculty & Curriculum

Judy Bellingham currently holds the position of William Evans Associate Professor of Voice at the University of Otago.  Although an accomplished performer internationally in all genres, Judy has now retired from the concert stage.  Judy is a widely respected singing teacher and was President of the Newzats for 6 years. In addition to her university work, she operates a busy private studio. Judy is in demand as an adjudicator of both vocal and choral festivals, and as a vocal clinician. She has worked with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, the Royal Copenhagen Chapel Choir, the David Jorlett Chorale in the USA and the Dan Laoghaire Choral Society in Dublin. She has taught for Glyndebourne Opera, and from 1998 – 2011 was the Guest Vocal Lecturer at the International Music Festival held annually at Tunghai University in Taiwan.  She is the author of a book on how to learn to sight-sing Sing what you see, See what you Sing, has recorded a CD of New Zealand songs and 2 DVDs Songs of Old Dunedin, and Warm me Up, Judy!

David Harper – Head of Advanced Classical Studies

Born and raised in New Zealand but based in the UK for many years, David has earned a glowing reputation worldwide for his accompanying and vocal coaching skills.  His London coaching clientele includes numerous prominent international artists as well as students and young aspiring professional singers from all points of the globe. Over the last 18 years David has made a conscious effort to reconnect with his antipodean roots, establishing for himself a significant professional profile throughout Australasia to complement his prolific northern hemisphere activities. Biannual visits enable him to fulfill a variety of commitments including private and guest institutional vocal coaching; song recital collaborations; CD recordings; and on-going engagements as official accompanist for the IFAC Australian Singing Competition Semi-finals, as well as for the combined Finals of the Bel Canto Award and the Elizabeth Connell Prize – all three of which occur annually in Sydney.  2017 marks David’s seventh stint as leader of the Specialist Tutor team for the advanced students stream at the biennial New Zealand Singing School.

Dr Irene Bartlett – Specialist Tutor

Dr Irene Bartlett is a multi-faceted singer, performer and educator who has dedicated her career to performance and teaching. Spanning more than four decades, Irene’s performance career has encompassed all contemporary styles (Jazz combo to Pop/Rock band, Big Band swing to Corporate Duo). Across this lifetime of singing she has been privileged to work alongside top professional musicians everywhere from clubs to jazz festivals, from civic halls to concert stages and on TV.  She is currently the Coordinator of Jazz/Contemporary Voice and Voice Pedagogy at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, where she has mentored and developed the singing talent of some of the best-known names in the modern Australian music industry. As an accomplished performer, teacher and scholar, Irene has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters while presenting workshops, masterclasses and conference papers both nationally and internationally. In her heart she remains as passionate about music, singing and performance as she was back at the beginning of what she describes as “an amazing journey”.

Andrew Dalton – Vocal Tutor Classical

Andrew Dalton won the ABC’s Instrumental and Vocal Competition (now the Young

Performers Awards) and continued his studies in London. Since then, he has toured extensively throughout Europe, appearing at most major festivals including Munich,Berlin,Paris,Edinburgh and Salzburg,and has undertaken concert tours in Australia, the Far East and U.S.A.(with the Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble). In 1991 Andrew Dalton returned to live in Australia. Since then, he has appeared with Opera Australia in Death in Venice ; Il coronazione di Poppea; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and in the highly acclaimed production of Handel’s Julius Caesar. He has given concerts with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and performed with all the Symphony Australia Orchestras and has made several internationally acclaimed recordings) including solo recitals of Henry Purcell and John Dowland. His television appearances have included the title role in Stradella’s San Giovanni Battista for Swedish Television; a film on the life of Queen Christina ( which won the Prix Italia Award); a documentary on Handel for Granada Television; and Opera Australia’s production of Julius Caesar.

Robert Tucker – Vocal Tutor

Born in Australia and raised in Dunedin, baritone Robert Tucker completed a Bachelor of Music at the University of Otago and spent time living in Australia and the UK before returning to New Zealand in 2012. He was an Emerging Performer at the Australian Opera Studio and Freemasons Opera Scholar with New Zealand Opera. Robert’s previous roles include Kuligin: Kátya Kabanová, Pish-Tush: The Mikado, Adolfo Pirelli: Sweeney Todd, Baron Douphol: La traviata, Tommo: Brass Poppies, Yamadori/ Sharpless (cover): Madama Butterfly, Masetto: Don Giovanni, Schaunard: La bohème, Noah: Noye’s Fludde (NZO); Ford: Falstaff (IFAC Opera Japan); Count Almaviva: The Marriage of Figaro (English Chamber Opera); Moralès: Carmen (Scottish Opera, AOS); Guglielmo: Così fan tutte (Australian Opera Studio, Opera Otago); Papageno: Die Zauberflöte, Harlequin: Ariadne auf Naxo, Lescaut: Manon, Mr Peachum: The Threepenny Opera, Garibaldo: Rodelinda (AOS); and Opera Highlights tour (Scottish Opera).   After being a student in 2003 and then Artist in Residence in 2015, Robert is looking forward to coming back to the New Zealand Singing School in 2019 this time as a tutor.

Martin Snell – German Language Tutor

Bass Martin Snell was born and educated in Dunedin. After law studies and professional qualification at the University of Otago, he entered the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, to commence postgraduate vocal studies, graduating with distinction in 1994. Martin gained his first professional stage experience at the International Opera Studio Zürich and has subsequently been a resident artist with Theater St Gallen, Theater Basel, and Luzerner Theater.  Martin has been engaged in opera productions with Grand Théâtre de Genève, Oper Graz, Berliner Staatsoper, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Statní Opera Praha, Theater an der Wien, Teatro alla Scala Milan, Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Opéra national du Rhin Strasbourg, Tiroler Festspiele Erl, Athens, Bangkok, Brazil, Bucharest, Denmark, Germany, London, Katowice, New Zealand, Paris, Prague, Riga, Singapore, Spain, St. Petersburg, Sydney, Taipei and Tokyo, and 2005-2013 at the Bayreuther Festspiele and recently at the Bayerische Staatsoper.   From the Season 2019/2020 Martin Snell is to join the Solo Ensemble of the Bayerische Staatsoper.

Dr Karen Grylls ONZM – Ensembles & Oratorio Conductor & Tutor

Dr Karen Grylls is Associate Professor in Choral Conducting at the University of Auckland. She conducted the New Zealand Youth Choir from 1989 to 2011, founded Voices NZ in 1998 and is currently Artistic Director of these two internationally acclaimed national choirs. From 2011 to 2013, Karen was also Artistic Director of Toronto’s Exultate Chamber Choir.  She received an Auckland University Distinguished Teaching Award in Music (1996), and an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for her services to choral music (1999). She is also the recipient of two national citations for services to New Zealand music.

Jane Keller – Vocal Tutor

Jane Keller graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Vocal Pedagogy. Although classically trained and with over 30 years operatic experience, Jane’s real loves are musical theatre, cabaret and jazz. Since moving to NZ 28 years ago, Jane has concentrated on writing and performing her cabaret shows. Jane’s first two one woman cabaret shows Bigger is better and Do I have to get naked?  were performed in New Zealand and the U.S. to critical acclaim.  Boomers behaving badly had a three week sell out season in Wellington and then a hugely successful 5 week NZ tour. Jane’s most recent cabaret show Yep, still got it !  premiered earlier this year to rave reviews and full houses. Jane will take this show to the U.S. in 2017.  Jane specialises in teaching musical theatre singing styles and repertoire. She has a large private singing studio in Wellington.  Jane also teaches singing on the Musical Theatre Course at Whitireia.

Dr Morag Atchison – Vocal Tutor

 Dr Morag Atchison has firmly established herself as one of New Zealand’s leading sopranos and pedagogues. She studied at the University of Auckland and Royal Academy of Music (London), and was a finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier and Royal Over-Seas League Competitions. Morag’s concert engagements include a recital at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto with the Toronto Children’s Chorus; Mozart Requiem and Mozart’s arrangement of Handel’s Messiah (Voices NZ and Wellington Sinfonia); Tippett’s A Child of our Time with the NZ Youth Choir and NZSO National Youth Orchestra; Beethoven’s Ah! Perfido (APO and Manukau Symphony), with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in an acclaimed performance of Britten’s War Requiem, and a recital tour with Catrin Johnsson and Rachel  Fuller for Chamber Music New Zealand. Morag teaches voice at the University of Auckland, is a vocal tutor for the NZ Youth Choir, the University of  Auckland Chamber Choir, and the award-winning Choralation from Westlake Girls’ and Boys’ High Schools.

Laine Loxlea-Danaan – Vocal Tutor

Laine Loxlea-Danann has a diverse and highly successful career in the music industry working nationally and internationally. She currently works as a singing teacher in the Vocal Pedagogy, Jazz and Musical Theatre Departments at The Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University, and as a Head Trainer at the Brisbane Academy of Musical Theatre (BAMT). Laine graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music 2015 attaining her Master in Music Studies majoring in vocal pedagogy and is now completing a Doctorate of Musical Arts. She has worked professionally in the music industry as a performer, producer, musical director, composer, and voice/singing and performance craft coach for 29 years. Laine has an eclectic career spanning opera, jazz, music theatre and pop. Laine’s recent performance successes include the original cabarets Critical Last Chance Years and The Clint’s Come Again. She also holds a Double Diploma in Vocational Education and Training and Training Design and Development. Laine thrives on music, theatre and the creative arts and works with a song in her heart.

Nick Hollamby – Vocal Tutor

Nick Hollamby is an established vocalist, music director and leading contemporary voice specialist. Nick is a lecturer at the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) and regular presenter at numerous workshops throughout Australasia.  Previous positions include Coordinator of Contemporary Voice, University of Otago, Sessional Lecturer in Contemporary Voice at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University and Artistic Director for the Youth Performing Arts Company, Queensland. Nick is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University holding a Master of Music Studies (Pedagogy), a Graduate Certificate of Music Studies (Performance) and a Bachelor of Music. Past students include international touring performers, successful recording artists and TV/ Film personalities.

Timothy Evans – Accompanist

Timothy Evans was born in Auckland and completed a piano performance degree with First Class Honours in 1996 at the University of Auckland where he studied with Bryan Sayer.  Timothy has been based in London since 2004 where he has worked on the West End productions of Gone With The Wind, Marguerite, Mary Poppins, Chicago, The Drowsy Chaperone, Legally Blonde, Love Never Dies and An American In Paris as well as the U.K. tours of Legally Blonde and Oliver!  Timothy is the Head of Music at Emil Dale Academy in Hitchin as well as working regularly at the Arts Educational Schools, London – two of the U.K.’s leading colleges specialising in musical theatre. Timothy has performed twice in the presence of His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, has played concertos with both the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and has accompanied many of New Zealand’s top opera singers and musical theatre performers including Dame Malvina Major, Helen Medlyn, Patricia Wright, Tim Beveridge, Jackie Clarke and Rima Te Wiata.

Catherine Norton – Accompanist

Catherine Norton teaches song accompaniment at the New Zealand School of Music, and is the artistic director of Songbook, a new Wellington series of adventurous devised recitals. She studied in Wellington with Thomas Hecht and was an Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera, before postgraduate studies in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Eugene Asti and Pamela Lidiard, where she was awarded the accompaniment prizes and was appointed a Junior Fellow. She was a 2013 Britten-Pears Young Artist, is an alumna of Austria’s acclaimed Franz-Schubert-Institut for Lieder, and was a member of Graham Johnson’s Young Songmakers’ Almanac. She is the winner of numerous awards, including the Victoria University Concerto Competition and Britain’s AESS National English Song Competition. She has appeared in recital in concert halls including the Barbican Hall, LSO St Luke’s, and at the Oxford Lieder Festival, as well as around England and in France, Germany, Northern Ireland and Malta.

Grant Winterburn – Accompanist

Grant Winterburn is one of New Zealand’s leading keyboard players. His wealth of experience across a wide range of musical genres has made him in demand as a musical director, pianist, accompanist, jazz organ player, session musician and music tutor. Grant has been a Performance Teacher at the jazz department of The University of Auckland School of Music since 2007. As a musical director Grant has worked on many theatre productions including –The Pirates of Penzance directed by Raymond Hawthorne, Jaques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris for Unitec School of Performing and Screen Arts, and Richard O’Brien – One Night Only. As a freelance keyboard player Grant’s credits include – Eye TV  “Fire Down Below”, Coca Cola Christmas in the Park, Lady Sings the Blues, NZ’s Got Talent, Stars in their Eyes, Midge Marsden, Carly Binding, The Ladykillers, and Mamma Mia. As an accompanist he has worked with Richard O’Brien, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Helen Medlyn, Jackie Clarke, Tina Cross, Suzanne Lynch and Annie Crummer.  He recently appeared on the CD “Ace Tone”  by Ron Samsom and the Neutrino Funk Experience.

Rachel Fuller – Principal of Faculty & Curriculum

Rachel Fuller studied at the University of Canterbury with Diedre Irons; and went on to gain her Masters in Piano Accompaniment from the Royal Academy of Music in London. As an experienced vocal accompanist, répétiteur and coach, Rachel has worked at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, at Opera Kristiansund and Opera Nordfjord in Norway, and also with leading British opera companies including Diva Opera, London Festival Opera and London Opera Players. She has accompanied some of the world’s finest singers including tenor Keith Lewis and has worked as a regular accompanist and coach for the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation. Rachel has performed as recitalist in leading concert venues such as The Queen Elizabeth Hall and St.Martin-in-the-Fields.

Rachel is an Artist Teacher at the University of Auckland where she teaches collaborative piano and is a vocal coach and accompanist.  Rachel is also a highly sought-after chamber musician and has recently collaborated with cellists Ramón Jaffé, Edith Salzmann and Yelian He as well as violinists Leo Phillips and APO concertmaster Andrew Beer.

Mark Dorrell – Musical Theatre Director

Mark studied at Cambridge University, the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio. After four years on the Music Staff of Scottish Opera he returned to London where he enjoyed a varied freelance career as conductor, accompanist, pianist and vocal coach.  His extensive theatre credits as Musical Director/Conductor at the National Theatre London include A Little Night Music with Dame Judi Dench, Oklahoma with Hugh Jackman , Peter Pan with Ian McKellen, Guys and Dolls, Sweeney Todd, Candide, Lady in the Dark and Singin’ in the Rain. The original London productions of Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods, Assassins and Passion were conducted by Mark.  Since settling in New Zealand in 2007 he has enjoyed a busy freelance career ranging from Musical Director of Marat Sade, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee , Company , and Assassins at Toi Whakaari to teaching at  Whitireia Performing Arts Centre and regularly works for the NZ Opera. He is currently a full-time member of staff at the Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music and  Director of Music at St Barnabas Church, Roseneath.

Christine Douglas – Opera Director

Christine has enjoyed a distinguished singing career with Opera Australia, the Victoria State Opera, State Opera of South Australia, West Australian Opera, Opera Queensland, Symphony orchestras and Festivals Australia wide. Christine has directed opera and mentored young artists since the late 1990s. A Churchill Fellowship took her to the UK and USA after which she became founding Artistic Director of Pacific Opera, Sydney – a springboard for many young opera singers who are now enjoying professional careers around the world. Christine has directed for Opera Australia, Opera Queensland, Pacific Opera, the Opera Studio Melbourne and for the NZ National Singing School where she enjoys being a faculty member. In addition to consulting in the opera industry and for stage and television, Christine has a thriving singing studio, gives Masterclasses and Workshops in Sydney and Melbourne, produces corporate events and continues to mentor the next generation of Australasian opera talent.

Conal Coad – Opera Director

International Bass Conal Coad was born in Feilding, New Zealand.  He trained in the NSW Conservatorium before joining Opera Australia.  In Europe he has sung in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal and the Royal Opera House and Holland Park London, Garsington and Opera North.  He has performed in Washington and in New York and also Israel. Conal performs regularly in New Zealand and for Opera Australia and has performed for all the major Australian opera companies. Concerts include major Australian orchestras, Israel Philharmonic, Royal Opera House, Kensington Palace and festivals throughout Europe and Japan. Recently Conal performed in The Turk in Italy, Elizir of Love in Sydney and Don Pasquale in Melbourne, for Opera Australia as well as the inaugural Opera on the Beach, Gold Coast (The Magic Flute), Aida and Turandot for Handa Opera on the Harbour Sydney and in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Valencia, Spain. Conal regularly adjudicates major singing competitions and has releases on CD and DVD.

Jennifer Ward-Lealand Te Atamira ONZM, CNZM – Specialist Tutor Musical Theatre

Since training at Auckland’s influential Theatre Corporate, Jennifer has worked extensively in theatre, film, television, musical and radio for over 37 years. Jennifer was a founding board member of the Watershed Theatre and a co-founder of The Actors’ Program. She is President of  Equity New Zealand, Patron of Q Theatre, and serves as a trust board member of Actors Benevolent Fund. In the 2007 New Year’s Honours List, she was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to theatre and the community. Her stage work includes Twelfth Night, August: Osage County, Lysistrata and Mrs Warren’s Profession for ATC. The Goat, Brel (Metro Magazine’s #1 Cultural Experience 2012) and The Book of Everything (Best Ensemble & Excellence Awards, Auckland Theatre Awards 2015) for Silo Theatre. She tours her Marlene Dietrich Cabaret, Falling in Love Again, throughout New Zealand and Australia.  Theatre directing credits include. Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, The Last Five Years, Hudson and Halls (Best Production Wellington Theatre Awards 2016), Super Hugh Man for the Auckland Live Cabaret Season, rehearsal directing the National Tour of That Bloody Woman and Madame Butterfly for Festival Opera. Congratulations to Jennifer who was awarded CNZM at the 2019 New Years Honours.

Sara Brodie – Musical Theatre Ensemble Director

Sara has directed and choreographed over ninety productions for companies including: New Zealand Opera, the Melbourne Arts Festival, Capital E National Children’s Theatre NZ, Chamber Music New Zealand, Showbiz Christchurch and Arts Festivals across New Zealand.  Her most recent show was Under The Mountain by Pip Hall for Auckland Theatre Company.  Work has ranged from creating Fault Lines, a dance-theatre production about earthquakes with the Leshan Song and Dance Company of Sichuan, China for the Melbourne and Christchurch Arts Festivals to Tracing Hamlet – a community processional deconstruction of Hamlet at Puzzling World for the Wanaka Festival of Colour.   Highlights include Nixon in China for the Auckland Arts Festival, Graham Tetley’s Riverside Drive (Wanaka Festival of Colour) and The Kreutzer (STAB, Auckland and Christchurch Arts Festivals).  Musical direction and choreography includes Mary Poppins (New Plymouth Operatic), Spamalot, Sweeney Todd, Sister Act (Showbiz Christchurch) and most recently the workshop of The Butterfly Lovers (a new musical by Renee Liang and Fiona Chua).

Frances Wilson ONZM – Vocal Tutor

Born in New Zealand, Frances won a Royal Schools of Music Scholarship to study Piano and Accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music in London.  After studying there for 5 years she stayed on at the college to teach for a further 5 years. She was sequested back to New Zealand in 1979 to become chief Coach and Repetiteur for the then National Opera Company, under the directorship of Raymond Hawthorne. She held this position with the Company in its various forms for a period of 10 years. In 1993 she and her husband moved to New York where she set up her own private studio as a freelance teacher. During this period she continued to conduct masterclasses whenever returning to New Zealand eventually cofounding the Whanganui Opera School ( now known as the NZ Opera School) acting as is Musical Director and Tutor for a period of 5 years. It is Frances’ aim with all of her undertakings to give “breakthrough” opportunities to emerging New Zealand talent. In many cases it’s by providing singers with first roles in an Opera with Orchestra, being professionally staged, directed and reviewed.

Marina Posa – Language Coach

Born in New Zealand, Marina started studying singing at an early age with Dame Sister Mary Leo.  She is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music where she majored in voice performance as a student of  Mrs Margaret Nickson.  After completing vocal studies in London with Madame Vera Rozsa, Marina moved to Rome, Italy where she continued her studies whilst giving recitals and participating in many concerts including performances at the Vatican.  Now based in Brisbane, Marina divides her time between teaching singing, coaching Italian and performing.  She is a lecturer at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and the University of Queensland.  Marina, fluent in Italian has returned to New Zealand many times to teach at the Singing School.  She delights in helping singers with their Italian repertoire using her extensive experience and knowledge to produce the sought after characteristic Italian sounds in all students.

Julie Coulson – Accompanist

Julie performs nationally and internationally as a vocal accompanist, adjudicator at competitions, and presenter of masterclasses for young musicians. Her specialist area of research is French mélodie, arising from interdisciplinary studies which set French Symbolism in context, particularly the interface between belief, poetry and music. She has premiered and recorded a number of New Zealand compositions for solo and combined voices and has worked with many of the choral groups in Wellington. A regular contributor for the New Zealand Association of Teachers of Singing, she sings with the specialist women’s choir Voix de femmes and is an active member of the Wellington Chamber Music Trust. While a lecturer at the New Zealand School of Music she taught vocal accompaniment and published a number of papers on teaching music to children with dyspraxia, also undertaking studies in youth chamber music. She now runs an independent music studio for students of all ages.

Kay Shacklock – Accompanist

Kay Shacklock is a performance graduate of University of Auckland and the London Guildhall School of Music. She has a firm connection with the UoA School of Music, as an accompanist for over 20 years and currently a support role in the voice department. Kay has been Musical Director for several shows run by the UoA English Department, including the 2014 Summer Shakespeare of “Pericles”. In recent years, she has developed an interest in writing and has produced two original musicals (“Stout Heart” & “Patch”) for Howick Children & Youth Theatre, in 2015 and 2017. Particularly interested in working with young people, she has a busy teaching studio (The Green Room) and has strong associations with choral, chamber and drama groups. She enjoys a special performing partnership with noted soprano Gina Sanders and is one half of a piano duo alongside well-known musicians Peter Watts and Dr John Wells (separately!). A proud “South-Eastie”, she is pianist for the Manukau Symphony Orchestra.

Fiona McCabe – Accompanist

As an award-winning pianist, Fiona has an established reputation as an accompanist, repetiteur, musical director, vocal and choral musician. She brings a wealth of experience to her music making across many genres, performing early music to music theatre and everything in between. Fiona studied piano performance at the Wellington Polytechnic, Dip. Mus. and at Victoria University, B. Mus (Perf.), where she received numerous awards. In 1993 she completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Accompaniment at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and in 1999/2000 she studied as a repetiteur at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. In 1997 Fiona was a repetiteur in training at Opera Australia.  Fiona has been repetiteur for the NZ International Arts Festival, NBR New Zealand Opera and Boutique Opera in NZ, and Pacific Opera in Sydney. As a pianist, Fiona has won numerous prizes for accompaniment and other professional awards.  She also has a passion for the voice, obtaining an A.mus.A (AMEB) in singing.

Susan Melville – Accompanist

Susan Melville, a freelance musician based in Hawkes Bay, has been a faculty member of the New Zealand Singing School since 1999. She has accompanied a number of NZ’s leading musicians in recital, including Jonathan Lemalu, Deborah Rawson, Roger Wilson and Patrick Power, and in 2015 undertook a NZ recital tour for the NZSS with distinguished operatic tenor Keith Lewis. Susan has recorded for Concert FM, appeared as guest artist with the internationally acclaimed saxophone ensemble Saxcess, adjudicated for a number of music competitions societies, and had original compositions performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in Berlin. She is currently Director of the Choral Programme at Havelock North High School and Conductor of the Hawkes Bay Youth Orchestra, in which capacity she is part of a young musicians’ cultural exchange to China in April 2016.

Simon Walter – Accompanist

Simon was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand but now resides in Melbourne, Australia with his wife and two young children.  Since making the move across the ditch in 2008, Simon has been the assistant music director on the touring productions of Buddy Holly the Musical, Mamma Mia and Love Never Dies. Simon has also played keyboards for the professional productions of The Lion King, Wicked, Hairspray, Grease and Spamalot. In March 2018 he was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra.  Simon currently holds a full time teaching and conducting position at Carey Grammar School and has been a regular accompanist at the New Zealand Singing School since 2005.

Matthew Everingham – Accompanist

Matthew is a music director, composer, conductor and pianist currently based in Christchurch. He holds a Bachelor of Music (Composition) and Bachelor of Laws with Honours from the University of Canterbury, and an associate diploma in piano performance from Trinity College London. Matthew currently teaches music theory, history and keyboard
musicianship at the University of Canterbury and NASDA at Ara Institute while working as a vocal accompanist at both institutions. He was also recently appointed artistic director of the Christchurch Pops Choir.  Credits as assistant conductor/music director and pianist include: Les Miserables, Wicked, Chicago, Mary Poppins, Legally Blonde, Hairspray, Mamma Mia!, Evita, Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Phantom of the Opera and Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story.  As a composer, Matthew’s work has been performed and recorded in London (Westminster Abbey), Prague (NYU Film Scoring), Malta, Miami and around New Zealand by the NZ Trio.