Interesting stuff

Shona at the Bosendorfer Grand Piano in Victoria Hall, Singapore

Shona Murray: Music Educator & past NZSSC Accompanist

It’s hard to keep up with Shona Murray. Meeting her for the first time, her enthusiasm is infectious—and her resume impressive.

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Taking the lead: meet Elizabeth and Carson

Carson Taare from Palmerston North Boys High School and Elizabeth Hayman from St Cuthberts College are our choir leaders for 2019/20.

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When Roger Met Guy: A National Choir is Born

Now in his 70s, Roger Stevenson’s enthusiasm and passion is still infectious. NZSSC’s first and longest-serving musical director, Roger took the choir to gold three times at Hawaii’s Pacific Basin Choral Festival (1990, 92 and 96).

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High Performance Music Director: We meet Sue Densem

Our new director wanted to be a ballerina. Thank goodness she changed her mind. We catch up with Sue Densem for a quick-fire round of questions and feel exhausted hearing about her many achievements.

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Alumni: Benson brings London to Mangere

High-flying young baritone Benson Wilson, NZSSC member 2007-2008 and 2009-2010, is now studying at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

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Taking the Moon and Stars to Hong Kong

Always up for a challenge, composer David Hamilton wasn’t phased by NZSSC’s brief for a new commission. Not asking much, we were after a work with text in Mandarin and Maori, and that can be performed by NZSSC plus a male-voice choir …

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Our new champion of NZSSC

We’re delighted that Simon O’Neill (ONZM) recently accepted the role of Vice-Patron for our choir.

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Puppy loves

Believe it or not, our over-achieving Assistant Director and Accompanist, Brent Stewart used to find choral music incredibly boring. Not anymore. We asked Brent about performance, pooches and provincial (sort of) living …

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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.

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Alumni: Madison Nonoa

NZSSC class of 2008, Madison Nonoa has just moved to London to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in the prestigious Opera Programme. She spoke to us last month about her music career, and what her time in NZSSC gave her.

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Talking Heads

With the 2017/18 choir’s third rehearsal course coming up fast, the year is whizzing by. We take a moment to catch up with two Wellington members (and head prefects) about their ups and downs at the July course and NZSSC so far. Ren-C and Greta are pictured above (centre) with the other two Head Prefects in NZSSC: Takerei Komene (Dilworth) and Ben Sawrey (Aotea College).

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Meet our Alumni: Clinton Fung

Among his many accomplishments, former NZSSC member Clinton Fung (2011/12) has just performed for Prime Minister Bill English and the Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang. We asked Clinton how he got from the Macleans College Choir to mixing with such VIPs …

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Director Under Fire

NZSSC Artistic Director and Conductor Andrew Withington has just completed the first rehearsal course for our 2017/18 choir and is a busy man. He was the first person to complete a Master of Music in Choral Conducting at a New Zealand University and doesn’t have time to muck around with inane questions. But we asked him ten quick ones…

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Alumni: Chris Bruerton

Christchurch-born and bred, Chris Bruerton (NZSSC Alumni 2002) has been a member of the outstanding UK choir The King’s Singers since 2012. Chris talked to us about his early experiences in NZSSC and what his life is like now, touring and performing with one of the world’s most prestigious male choirs…

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Alumni: Amelia Berry

We’d like you to meet New York-based opera singer, Amelia Berry, NZSSC member 2005-2006 and AMP National Scholarship winner, 2015. We asked Amelia what skills she gained during her time in our choir.

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Alumni: Tecwyn Evans

We recently caught up with international conductor Tecwyn Evans and asked him how he got from Dunedin to the Royal Albert Hall and Vienna’s Musikverein. Tecwyn now lives in Sweden with his wife, soprano Susanna Andersson. He studied music at the University of Otago before a Fullbright Scholarship took him to study at the University of Kansas.

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