Become a fan on Facebook Email us now Bookmark and Share

History of Trust and School

The New Zealand Singing School was established as part of the 1978 “Summer Programme” by the late Beatrice Webster MBE, at what was then the Hawke’s Bay Community College. In 1980 the Hawke’s Bay Song & Opera Workshop undertook the running of the School, and in 1983 a Trust was established to take responsibility for the organisation and administration of the School. In the early 1990s the School went from being held annually to being held every two years.

From this small beginning the Trust has run 24 national schools providing learning opportunities for approximately 2,000 students and featuring a large number of tutors and accompanists from around the world. The School has established itself as a major event of its kind in New Zealand.

The Trust is registered under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 and as a charity under the Charities Act 2005 (Charity number CC30934). The School is governed by seven trustees and employs a part time administrator. The School relies on donations, sponsorships and grants alongside fees from participants.

Patrons of the Trust are Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dame Malvina Major and Sir Donald McIntyre.

In celebration of the 25th Singing School in 2011, the Trust has printed a history of the School from 1978 to 2011 titled "Beatrice's Legacy" after the School's founder. Compiled by Diane Hopson from the records and memories of past participants, this delightful memoir will be a good read for past students and those interested in the School's contribution to singing and singers in New Zealand. The Trust would like to thank Diane for the many hours she put into compiling the book; and we would also like to thank Hawke's Bay Tourism for assisting us financially to print the book. The book is for sale at $20.00 plus $2.50 post and packaging. Please email us if you would like a copy.