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2009 School

The 2009 School brought together 81 students with ages ranging from 16 to over 50, from New Zealand and Australia. It was held at the Eastern Institute of Technology from 2 to 11 January 2009. Judy Bellingham (William Evans Senior Lecturer in Voice, Otago University) directed the School for the third time assisted by Robert Wiremu (Vocal Coach, Auckland University) as newly appointed Deputy Director.

Feedback included:

  • I had the most amazing time
  • I would not have traded this experience for the world
  • Fantastic! Encouraging and I learnt lots
  • I had a beautiful magical time
  • I found the school inspiring and personally uplifting
  • Wildly exceeded all expectations
  • It was a blast
  • It was incredible, pretty much changed my life!
Students perform Oklahoma at the Opera House
The School was privileged to welcome the following people back as tutors, vocal coaches, language coaches and accompanists: David Harper, Professor Terence Dennis, Dame Kate Harcourt, Irene Bartlett (Brisbane), Catrin Johnsson (London), Rachel Fuller (London), Glenese Blake, Flora Edwards, Lesley Graham, Peter Hind, Jane Keller, Janice Webb, Jenny Wollerman, Julie Coulson, Hugh McMillan, Susan Melville, Catherine Norton, Colleen Rae-Gerrard and Dr John Wells. New faculty included Richard Marrett (head of NASDA Christchurch) as Music Theatre Director, Sandra Rasmussen (actor, director, and choreographer from Christchurch), Christine Douglas (Artistic Director of Pacific Opera, Sydney) as Opera Director, Marina Posa (Italian tutor, Brisbane), David Vine (accompanist, conductor Wellington), Frances Wilson (singing teacher, Auckland), Lea Henderson (freelance accompanist, Christchurch) and Kirsten Simpson (professional accompanist, Christchurch) .

The trainee programme continued for 2009 with Rebecca Cameron and Colette Alefounder as trainee tutors and Julia Horsnell and Paul Carnegie-Jones as trainee accompanists. Several observers attended the School to sit in on master classes and take part in massed singing.

A very busy ten days started off with the oratorio performed at the Waiapu Cathedral of St John where the full school performed three hymns, several soloists performed, and the School’s Director and a number of the Trustees narrated the readings to celebrate the Feast of Epiphany.

The six in-house concerts were a feature of the school. The EIT lecture theatre was the venue for students to perform songs ranging from the serious to the not-so-serious, the beautiful to the bizarre; jazz, contemporary, music theatre and opera – all sung with aplomb to much applaud from fellow students, staff and the public.

Mid-week a selection of talented music theatre students took part in a cabaret at the Duke of Gloucester Tavern entertaining the large audience in the middle of the week, and later in the week the classical singers took to the stage at Napier’s Century Theatre, impressing the audience with excellent performances of well known arias, Lieder and art song.

The final night concert was the culmination and celebration of the previous nine days of hard work as well as a lot of fun. The full School joined together to perform the music theatre massed item Oklahoma! and the opera massed item from the Merry Wives of Windsor. Various music theatre and opera ensembles and many individual singers also performed.

Audiences at all the concerts were left in no doubt that with the talent emerging at this School, the future of music theatre and classical singing in New Zealand is in great shape.

The staging of the 2009 School would not have been possible without the generous sponsorships, donations and Scholarships Grants provided by the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), Adam Foundation, Appleton Pianos, Creative Napier, Duke of Gloucester Tavern, Eastern & Central Community Trust, Endeavour Community Trust, Fuji Xerox, Hawke’s Bay Opera House, HBS Building Society, Kingdom Music, Morgan Builders Ltd, NZ Post, Print Solutions Ltd, Russell Greer Motors Ltd, Sumner Ryan Investment Advisers, The Farm, Cape Kidnappers, Waiapu St John’s Cathedral and various anonymous donors .

Scholarships to assist students to attend the 2009 School were provided by Hawke’s Bay Song & Opera Workshop, Napier Operatic Society Social Club, Royal Overseas League (Auckland) and an anonymous donor.

Achievement awards given to students at the end of the School were provided by the Auckland Opera Studio, the Barbara Nicholls Memorial, the Dimkal Trust, the Graham Family, the Greg Tata Memorial, the Hastings Music Society, Leading Notes, Music Shed, NEWZATS, Royal Overseas League (Manawatu), Theatre Hawke’s Bay, the von Dadelszen Family and an anonymous donor.

Award List For 2009 School

During the course of the school the Tutors, Vocal Coaches and Accompanists observe students to select those to receive Awards donated by various organisations and individuals. The Staff celebrates the success and potential of all students attending the 2009 School and chose the following as the 2009 School recipients:

James Adams is a Wellington tenor who holds a B.Mus (performance) from the NZ School of Music at Victoria University. Recent years have seen James achieving success at the Wellington, Rotorua and Dunedin Competitions, earning first place in the Otago Daily Times Aria Competition. He has attended masterclasses with Simon O’Neill and Malcolm Martineau and has performed in various concerts and musical theatre productions, including roles in Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof. Flora Edwards at the NZ School of Music is James’ singing teacher.

James received two Awards – one from an anonymous donor for “general excellence and with potential for a career” and a Barbara Nicholls Memorial Prize for “excellence”

Amelia Berry is a Wellington soprano who studies at the NZ School of Music majoring in Classical Performance. Amelia’s many achievements include first place in the 2008 Hutt Valley Performing Arts Society Competitions Lieder section and the 2008 Otago Daily Times Aria as well as third place in the 2008 PACANZ Young Performer of the Year Awards. She is currently a member of the NZ Youth Choir and studies singing with Flora Edwards at the NZ School of Music.

Amelia received the Auckland Opera Studio Award for “general excellence”

Rose Blake is a Wellington soprano who holds a B.Mus (classical singing) from the NZ School of Music at Victoria University. She has earned many awards, the most recent, a special commendation in the 2008 Wellington Regional Vocal Competitions for her performance of a Wolf lied. Rose is committed to her work as a musician and passionate about singing. She has returned to the NZ School of Music this year to study for honours in classical singing under Jenny Wollerman.

Rose received the Royal Overseas League Manawatu Award for “a classical student improved markedly during the School”

Tamara Buckland is a Wellington mezzo-soprano who holds a B.Music (performance voice) and ATCL (voice recital) from Trinity College. Her many successes include finalist in the Wellington Aria Competition and winner of Lieder Class at Napier Performing Arts Competition in 2008. Tamara has been a member of the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus and chorus member in NZ Opera’s Turandot and Lucia di Lammermoor. Tamara studies with Margaret Medlyn and Jenny Wollerman.

Tamara received the Theatre Hawke’s Bay Award for “general excellence”.

Judy Faka’osi is a Hastings soprano who attends Sacred Heart College. Judy’s many achievements include three first places at the 2008 Napier Performing Arts Competition and the IRMT music teachers’ scholarship. She performs at public events and sang at a Chinese wedding to be broadcast in China. Jill Tobin of Hastings is Judy’s singing teacher.

Judy received a Barbara Nicholls Memorial Prize for “excellence”.

Olga Gryniewicz is a Wellington Soprano studying at the NZ School of Music at Victoria University. Her recent public performances include soloist for the Wellington Bach Choir, Victoria University Chamber Music Choir and NZ School of Music concerts. Jenny Wollerman at the New Zealand School of Music is Olga’s singing teacher.

Olga received the Dimkal Trust Award to a “classical singer who has the potential to further advance a singing career”.

James Ioelu is an Auckland baritone classically trained in piano and voice. He is currently completing a BA (music major) at Auckland University. James has performed with various stage and concert bands and the Auckland Opera Factory in recent years. He sang the title role in Handel’s Julius Caesar with the Auckland Opera Studio at the Auckland Music Chamber Festival 2007. Frances Wilson of Auckland is James’ singing teacher.

James received the Hastings Music Society Award for “general excellence to a classical student”.

Fredi Jones is a Rotorua baritone studying at John Paul College. Fredi’s achievements include first place in both the NZ Aria for his age group and the IRMT music scholarship competition in 2008. His music theatre performances include lead roles in Blood Brothers, Les Misérables and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Daphne Christophers of Rotorua is Fredi’s singing teacher.

Fredi received a Barbara Nicholls Memorial Prize for “excellence”.

Edward Laurenson is an Auckland baritone studying B.Com at Auckland University. Edward’s many achievements include first place as most promising vocalist (under 20) at the North Shore Performing Arts Competitions and is the 2009 APO Young Achiever Vocalist. His theatre performances include lead roles in Westside Story, Grease, GodSpell and Les Misérables. Christine Hallett of Auckland is Edward’s singing teacher.

Edward received the Leading Notes Award for the most improved singer of Musical Theatre.

Cassandra McCowan is an Auckland mezzo-soprano. She achieved Distinction for Grade 8 examinations with the Royal School (singing) and Trinity College for drama. Cassandra has performed three times in Coca-Cola Xmas in the Park and was the Lions Anthem soloist at the British Lions vs Auckland rugby game in 2005. Her many theatre productions include Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, and Mayzie La Bird in Seussical. Janice Webb of Auckland is Cassandra’s singing teacher.

Cassandra received the Hastings Music Society Award for “general excellence in Musical Theatre”

Tizane McEvoy is an Auckland soprano who holds a B.Mus (performance voice) from the University of Auckland. Tizane has been involved in numerous productions with Auckland’s Opera Factory including the Raymond Hawthorne directed The Consul and part of an ensemble for the Sealord Gala with Dame Kiri te Kanawa and friends. Her many music theatre performances include Chava in Fiddler on the Roof and Liesl in The Sound of Music. Morag Atchison of Auckland is Tizane’s singing teacher.

Tizane received the NEWZATS award for “excellence” as a student of a NEWZATS member.

Tamsyn Miller is a Havelock North soprano studying a Bachelor of pop music and jazz piano at Auckland University. She has been a member of the NZ Secondary Students’ choir and is currently a NZ Youth Choir member. Tamsyn opened for Eric Clapton at the 2007 and Tom Jones at the 2008 Mission Winery concerts. She sang in the backing choir for Andrea Bocelli in 2008. Janice Webb of Auckland is Tamsyn’s singing teacher.

Tamsyn received the Royal Overseas League Manawatu award for a “Musical Theatre student improved markedly during the School”

Kate Murphy is a Havelock North soprano at Woodford House secondary school. Kate has been learning piano, drama and singing for over eight years. Her many achievements include IRMT competitions, Trinity Guildhall examinations and RSM grades. Kate’s theatre performances include Grandma Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof for Stage Right Youth Theatre and a postulant in Theatre Hawkes Bay’s production of The Sound of Music. Kate sings in the Woodford House Chapel Choir and competed in the Big Sing National Concert winning the award for best NZ composer. Jill Tobin of Hastings is Kate’s singing teacher.

Kate received a von Dadelszen Family Award for “general excellence in Musical Theatre”

Christina Orgias is an Auckland soprano studying at Kristin School for the International Baccalaureate. Her achievements include ABRSM Grade 5 (Piano) and Trinity College and ABRSM Grade 7 (singing), both with distinction. Christina’s many theatre performances include Guys and Dolls and West Side Story, NBR NZ Opera’s Genesis Energy Spring season of Carmen, as well as being a Finalist in Opera Factory’s Opera Idol for two consecutive years. Christina sings in Kristin School’s Senior Girls Choir “Euphony” and in solo recitals for The Cancer Society, Diabetes NZ and The Heart Foundation. Shelagh Richardson of Auckland is Christina’s singing teacher.

Christina received the Graham Family Award for “a student who shows excellence with potential for tertiary study in singing”

Grace Park is a Korean born Auckland soprano who came to New Zealand in 1995, and studies at Westlake Girls High School. Her many achievements include first place in the Sacred Oratorio section for her age group at the North Shore Performing Arts Competition and first place in both the Sacred/Oratorio solo at the Lockwood Aria (now NZ Aria). Grace toured Europe as a member of the Key Cygnetures choir which was awarded first place in the choir section at the “Summa Cum Laude Festival” international music festival in Vienna. Morag Atchison of Auckland is Grace’s singing teacher.

Grace received The Music Shed Award for “general excellence during the School”.

Kawiti Waetford is a Whangarei baritone who was Head Boy in 2008 at Kamo High School. Kawiti’s achievements include thirteen years Kapa Haka and Maori Performing Arts training plus the Championship Award at the Northland Performing Arts Vocal Competition 2008. His many performances include Opera in the Garden, guest soloist for Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra Flight of the Birds Concert and Auckland’s Christmas in the Park 2006. Joan Kennaway of Whangarei is Kawiti’s singing teacher.

Kawiti received the Greg Tata Memorial Prize for “excellence” and included an invitation to perform at Opera in the Pa 2009, Rotorua.

Hannah Wheeler is a Christchurch music theatre performer who has recently completed a Bachelor in Performing Arts at NASDA. Whilst at NASDA Hannah enjoyed lead roles in Once on This Island, Radium Girls and most notably as the role of 'Alexandra' in the Witches of Eastwick. Other performances include the role of Agnetha in the ABBA tribute tour plus Canterbury Opera's Concert Tour with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Hannah is currently teaching contemporary voice and looks forward to playing the role of Hope Harcourt in the Court Theatre's summer musical, Anything Goes beginning October 2009. Juliet Reynolds-Midgley of Christchurch is Hannah's singing teacher.

Hannah received a von Dadelszen Family Award for “general excellence in Musical Theatre”