Interviewing the intern: Matthew Everingham

22 year old Matthew Everingham is the conducting intern for our October course and performances in Christchurch. He’ll be working with NZSSC Artistic Director Andrew Withington to learn all he can from him, particularly, says Matthew, in terms of refining his gesture and exploring Andrew’s new AWJITS system.

Matthew went to St Bedes College in Christchurch then Canterbury University, where he gained a Bachelor of Music in Composition. An accomplished pianist, he also has an ATCL piano performance diploma from Trinity College London and has worked as both a conductor and composer. Matthew says, “After hearing NZSSC sing at choral connect in Auckland this year I can’t wait to conduct them myself!”

We asked him about his own musical aspirations so far.


Always loved music?
Of course! We always had a piano at home that I would tinker on.  I also remember the music from childhood movies, apparently Snow White was the first film score I fell in love with at age 3!

I’m certainly still ‘closest’ with the piano but orchestrally, I also have a secret admiration for cello and French horn


Other inspirations?
I love watching Leonard Bernstein’s incredible masterclasses in conducting and all things musical. Also Stephen Sondheim’s books on composition and writing.


You’re a composer as well as a performer and conductor. What do you love most?
The buzz you get from hearing your own work performed is pretty awesome, but then again so is conducting!


Tell us about your film and theatre work?
Theatre makes up a large part of my freelance career, most recently I conducted a season of Sister Act at the Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch. I’ve also worked at The Court Theatre, Showbiz Christchurch and NASDA as a music director, composer and pianist. I recently returned from the New York University summer film scoring workshop in central Manhattan composing and orchestrating my own short film score which was incredible. I got to work with composers Mark Snow (The X Files) and Michael Levine (The Hunger Games).


What’s on your playlist?
The film scores of Alexandre Desplat, Bernard Hermann and John Powell, not to mention jazz artists like Miles Davis and Keith Jarrett. I’m also a fan of the Spotify low key electronic vibes playlist, as well as minimalists like John Adams …. I really can’t make my mind up!


Any advice for school leavers with dreams of a career in music?
Never be afraid to follow a career in music and the arts, it’s a world of opportunity both in New Zealand and abroad. Study your passion and while doing so look for every opportunity to put your love for music into practice in the real world.  Never forget that it is numerous other people who make your music-making possible, so treat them well!


Image above: Wendy Riley (Showbiz Christchurch)