Claire Barton - Council Member
New Council member Claire Barton is a mezzo-soprano born and raised in Dunedin. She holds a Master of Music (Performance Voice) from the University of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand) and a Postgraduate Artist Diploma (Distinction) from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music (London, UK).
She made her professional debut in the role of Mrs Slender in Salieri’s 'Falstaff' with Opera Otago at the age of 25. She was a finalist in the Lexus Song Quest in 2007, and in the same year won the Otago Daily Times Aria, the Nelson Sealord Aria and the Wellington Regional Aria. She was twice runner-up in the New Zealand Aria Contest (2007 and 2010). Claire was named a 2008-9 Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera where she sang the role of ‘Aunt’ in 'Jenufa' and understudied the role of Zulma in 'L’Italiana in Algeri'.
Now returned to New Zealand, Claire is based back in Dunedin as a performer and voice teacher.
Previous Featured Members
Jo Fitzgerald is one of our four new Council members. She is a voice teacher specialising in contemporary music styles and has a special interest in vocal function and pedagogy, which leads to ongoing professional development and learning opportunities.
Jo graduated from Victorian College of the Arts (University of Melbourne) with a Bachelor of Music (Performance, Improvisation) and in the years following performed with jazz ensembles around Melbourne and taught singing at various schools.
Jo is based in Auckland and is the contemporary voice teacher at St Cuthbert’s College and Diocesan School for Girls. She is certified in Levels I, II and III of Somatic VoiceworkTM The LoVetri Method and includes the principles of this method in her teaching.
Our newest member is Arlie McCormick who recently moved to Dunedin to take up a position at The University of Otago teaching contemporary voice. Prior to this she was a sessional lecturer at The Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, in Musical Theatre and and a sessional lecturer at JMC Academy in Contemporary Voice. In addition to this Arlie worked as a Voice Teacher at Brisbane Girls Grammar School as well as running her own private studio.
Arlie McCormick is a highly skilled specialist Voice Teacher with a passion for learning and education. In 2001 she graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Voice and in 2015 she completed a Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy also at the Conservatorium of Music under the tutelage of Dr. Irene Bartlett and Dr. Ron Morris.
In 2014 she joined cabaret group 'Babushka'. With 'Babushka' Arlie performed at the Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre as part of the Queensland Cabaret Festival and The Wonderland Festival, toured extensively throughout North Queensland, Melbourne including a season at the Judith Wright Centre, also in Brisbane, with their show, I CAN KEEP A SECRET. In 2015 ‘Babushka’ took their new show DEAD to The Adelaide Fringe Festival. Aside from her cabaret experience Arlie has also played numerous lead roles from ‘Reno’ in ANYTHING GOES to ‘Liza Minnelli’ in THE BOY FROM OZ to ‘Calamity Jane’ in CALAMITY JANE. Most recently she was awarded Best Cameo for her performance as the ‘Bird Woman’ in MARY POPPINS for Taieri Musical Theatre and DKCM Productions. In 2014 she was the recipient of the Best Actress Award for her role as 'Diana' in NEXT TO NORMAL at Spotlight Theatre.
Arlie is also an accomplished pianist and has worked professionally in numerous 5 Star Hotels and venues throughout Brisbane, the Gold Coast and North Queensland. During the sell-out season of WICKED Arlie performed as a soloist in the 'Elphabar' post show for 4 months. She also performed on television for Channel 7 as one of the Quartet for the CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT and has appeared in numerous television commercials.
Arlie's extensive performing career spans more than 20 years and she has effortlessly moved within the genres of pop, jazz, Musical Theatre and Cabaret.
Our newest member is Wellingtonian Paloma Bruce.
Paloma teaches absolute beginners up to post-tertiary/professional level. Her teaching is inspired by the Swedish-Italian school of technique and focuses on developing healthy technique that can last a lifetime. Her pupils sing music from various genres including classical and music theatre to jazz, rock, pop and their own songwriting.
Paloma is passionate about helping singers who cannot sing in tune and has helped many to find their voice and perform in amateur and professional gigs. Paloma has also successfully assisted singers to recover from vocal nodules and polyps and singers suffering from other vocal and lung problems including disphonia and COPD.
Paloma has a Bachelor of Music with first class honours majoring in Performance Voice from Victoria University. She also was an Emerging Artist with NZ Opera and has performed lead roles in operas/operettas and performed with orchestras and choirs around NZ and the UK. After moving to the UK to study at the Royal College of Music in London and working as a freelance opera singer, Paloma realised that her greatest passion was teaching. She was delighted to move back to New Zealand in 2015 and to be able to share her passion with singers here. Paloma is half of the vocal duo Soprani with mezzo Ruth Armishaw.
Margaret Lindsay has been a member of NEWZATS for 27 years. She is based in Auckland, teaching singing, conducting choirs, adjudicating competitions and performing. Her participation in NEWZATS and International Voice Conferences and Estill Training Courses has provided the understanding to help people develop a good vocal technique that will see them through a life time of music making.
Our newest member is Emma Sloman. Emma is a former Emerging Artist and now Resident Artist with New Zealand Opera and a recipient of a Freemason’s Scholarship. She maintains a busy freelance singing career, while teaching singing, working in arts administration, and helping to run Opera Factory with her mum, Sally. Welcome Emma.
Dr Morag Atchison - Auckland
Dr Morag Atchison is one of New Zealand’s leading sopranos and pedagogues. We congratulate her on the success of her student Natasha Wilson, who recently won the Dunedin Aria.
Morag is Lecturer in 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. In 2013 Morag was awarded a doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Auckland, the first DMA in vocal studies from a New Zealand University.
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.
Annabelle Cheetham - Wellington
Annabelle is a council member and hosts gatherings for Wellington NEWZATS members at her gorgeous home. She studied under Flora Edwards at Massey and then with David Harper and Janice Chapman in London. Twenty years later after working as a "jobbing" singer and having a thoroughly wonderful time, Annabelle returned to Wellington reinventing myself as a teacher. Annabelle gained a Certificate of teaching through ABRSM under an inspiring mentor Ross Campbell in her last years away while singing in the Royal Opera Chorus and for London Voices. Annabelle's experience professionally is an asset to her teaching and has helped her to embrace all genres of the art.
Lisa Rangi - Incoming President
We are delighted to congratulate and welcome Lisa Rangi as the elected incoming NEWZATS President, taking up the position on April 1st. Lisa has played an active role in the association and committee for many years. Based in New Plymouth, Lisa teaches in several schools as well as teaching singing to private pupils at home. Her strength is Music Theatre and she has played many lead roles over the past 30 years. Look forward to Lisa's inaugural President's column next month.
Ruth Armishaw - Wellington
Ruth Armishaw is a performing and teaching freelance musician based in Wellington. With a Bachelor of Music and a BMus(Hons) in Vocal Jazz Performance from Massey University and the New Zealand School of Music, she also holds a Performer’s Certificate in classical piano from Trinity College London.
Ruth has been a member of the NZ Opera Chorus since 2002, and will perform in this year's productions. She is an inaugural member of new professional vocal ensemble, Inspirare, which will perform 4 concerts in 2017.
After attending the 2016 NEWZATS conference in New Plymouth, Ruth has offered to help with the administration of the NEWZATS Website.
Sharon Yearsley - New Council Member
BMus(Hons); MMusTher (Hons).
Sharon is 34 years old and has been teaching singing in high schools as an itinerant singing specialist and as a private practitioner for 12 years.
A member of Wellington's newest (and professional) vocal ensemble, Inspirare, she is also enjoying more performance opportunities. Inspirare have a Christmas concert on Sunday 11 December, 7.30pm.
Sharon has a Bachelor of Music (Honours) in Voice Performance and a Master of Music Therapy (Honours). She has performed extensively as a soloist and ensemble member in many operas and concerts, and has professionally sung with the NZ Opera Chorus for 10 years. She also currently sings as a member of Inspirare, a professional choir in Wellington. Sharon trained and worked as a Registered Music Therapist for two years. Her teaching experience includes teaching mainly singing; but also piano, barbershop groups, choirs, and vocal coaching and musical direction for musicals. Sharon’s approach to voice teaching is not genre specific and is focused on vocal health and beauty. Sharon continually engages in ongoing professional development and attended the 2015 New Zealand National Singing School as a Trainee Tutor; and recently attended the NEWZATS 2016 Conference. She is a member of MENZA and a member of the NEWZATS council.
Calvin Baker - BMus(Hons) in Voice Studio Pedagogy
Calvin Baker completed his Bachelor of Music (Honours) qualification in Studio Pedagogy- Voice, and his Bachelor of Music in Classical Performance- Voice, at the University of Auckland. A tenor, Calvin studied singing under the tutorage of Dr. Morag Atchison and Dr. Te Oti Rakena, and has performed in choral, ensemble, and soloist contexts. Having discovered early in his vocal training a passion for vocal science and singing technique, Calvin has carried out independent research considering the effect of laryngeal morphometry on vocal acoustic parameters and, in 2015, music education topics that explored the impact of online learning and technology in the teaching of voice, and gesture as a pedagogical tool. Calvin enjoys teaching students of a wide range of ages, cultural, and educational backgrounds, and teaches at High Schools, as well as in his private studio, in Auckland.
Visit his website to read more, and to contact him directly regarding lessons, choral workshops, research, or performance.
Kath Woodley has had a very varied musical career. After piano, organ and University studies, she was for many years a secondary school science teacher. As a performer, she was a vocal recitalist and soloist. In 1990 she was awarded a PPTA Secondary Teachers Award. Since that time, she has worked in Secondary schools as a Head of Music and as an Itinerant Vocal Teacher in Waikato Schools.
Kath lives in Hamilton where she has a very full schedule-teaching over 40 singers from beginning to diploma level in all genres. Over the years she has been much involved with music in the community: as performer, soloist, conductor, accompanist and also organizer of concerts and workshops. She has been Choir Director for the Waikato Children’s Choir and the Waikato Secondary Schools Choir. Kath has a particular interest in ‘late start’ singers and in teaching good technique to beginning singers.
Kath has done a number of research papers and has completed her thesis on ‘Voice Science and Vocal Pedagogy’ to finish her Master of Music. She presented a paper on Vocal Mentoring to ICVT (International Conference of Vocal Teachers) in Paris in 2009. She is immediate Past President of New Zealand Association of Teachers of Singing (NEWZATS). In 2011 she published her firs family history book, ‘Bog Irish Micks’ which was nominated for the NZ Post Book Awards in 2012 and has since published 2 more.. Kath studied at Ohio State University with Dr Scott McCoy in 2013 where she studied the uses of a Voice Laboratory in Voice Research .She attended ICVT in Brisbane that year. She is currently enrolled at Auckland University for her PhD. Qualifications: B.Sc, Dip.Teach, LTCL, Dip.IRMT, Pg Dip Ed, M.Mus
Geoffrey Coker is lecturer and coordinator of Classical Theory at the New Zealand School of Music (Victoria and Massey Universities) and is an examiner in Music for Trinity College London.
Geoffrey was also President of NEWZATS 1998 - 2000
After graduating BMus from Victoria University, Geoffrey Coker was awarded a Choral Scholarship to King's College Cambridge where he sang in the Choir under both Sir David Willcocks and Sir Philip Ledger. While a member of the choir he took part in eight recordings for the EMI and Argo labels, two programmes for BBCTV, two concerts as part of the Aldeburgh Festival and toured Belgium, Canada, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.
At the age of 12 he made is first professional appearance in a Royal command performance of the New Zealand opera, a Unicorn for Christmas by Ngaio Marsh and David Farquhar. During an active solo singing career as a Counter-tenor in New Zealand and Australia he sang with leading Choral Societies and Orchestras including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Auckland Philharmonic. He has also performed in concerts, broadcasts and Television Programmes in Australia, Europe and North America, and recorded on the Kiwi Pacific and Ely labels.
Although teaching at University, Geoffrey also values the time he spends examining at grade level and conducting workshops for both teachers, and students of all ages. His main interest in workshops is the application of theory and aural skills to performance.
He also adjudicates at competitions and is one of the adjudication workshop panel folk at this year's NEWZATS conference.
Judy a nearly retired teacher in Tauranga but still actively involved in the Tauranga Performing Arts Competition Soc. vocal section; in helping convene the Waikato/BOP BIG SING Regional Festival and conducting the St Mary's Church Choir once a month.
Choral singing is her passion.
Judy is involved in running a workshop in Tauranga this coming weekend.
Gina has a very busy dual career as one of NZ’s leading soprano soloists, and an advanced teacher. After completing several degrees and diplomas in piano, voice, theory, musicology, pedagogy and languages at Auckland and Queensland Universities and Trinity College London, she became the first NZ musician to be awarded a Rotary International Graduate Scholarship, enabling her to undertake post-graduate studies in Stuttgart, Germany, to where she regularly returns for operatic and concert performances. Since 2003 Gina has made six international concert tours, covering over 18 countries and also fulfils invitations to present her courses: The Developing Singer, The Developing Teacher and The Developing Musician in several different languages.
As with most years, 2014 presents a typically varied programme with the constant challenge faced by the majority of professional singers who teach and choose to live in NZ as they juggle performance commitments with the demands of doing justice to their students. It is very much a double life, with giving weekly lessons, special masterclasses and workshops, conducting choirs, adjudicating and marking theory (!) being balanced with one’s own intense rehearsals and performances and all the necessary preparations, administrative and artistic, that accompany this. However, managed carefully, the overlap can definitely be mutually beneficial.
Departing for Italy in March, Gina presents three concerts in Italy - all in or near Rome at Teatro Artemisio, Palazzo Sforza Cesarini and famous Villa d’este in Tivoli, world famous for its gardens and the associations with Liszt (who composed on the Erard piano housed in the concert room), Verdi and Wagner. Being fluent in Italian and German and with a reasonable command of French enables Gina to continue her two career paths while overseas and she has permanent invitations coach singers in various European cities.
After brief sojourn on the island of Jersey (UK) to work with choirs, Gina flies to Stuttgart, where she completed her Postgrad studies at the Stuttgart Opera School and Musikhochschule. She has maintained contact with a number of musicians and colleages over the years. In 2011, she sang the principal role of “Aqua” in the world premiere of the opera Aqua.Terra.Aether with Stuttgarter Choristen, Ballettsudio Royal.
This year she has been invited to sing the soprano solo in another world premiere in the Stuttgart Leiderhalle by the same composer, Vladimir Romanov, presenting his powerful Stabat Mater, which also features a brilliant violinist, Elena Denisova. In the first half she will sing the Pergolesi Stabat Mater with one of Russia’s excellent mezzo sopranos, Irene Gulde. See: https://www.facebook.com/events/653641724673785
Upon returning to Auckland she will adjudicate the North Shore Junior Vocal Competitions followed by two performances with the Handel Consort and Quire singing Dalila and The Israelitish Woman. Then students demands take precedence with exam and competition preparations, Big Sing rehearsals with the award winning Macleans College Choir, followed by more concerts in Auckland.
In her twenty years of membership with NEWZATS, she served six as the Editor of the NEWZATS journal. She has a particular interest in correct vocal placement in the developing singer and harnessing the natural qualities of individual voices through great attention to vowel shaping and correctly co-ordinated onset. Above all, her love of music and singing, driven by the desire to share her God-given talent, both as a performer and a teacher has lead her to believe that music is indisputably one of the most extraordinary human experiences possible.
Magdalena Darby who enraptured audiences in London last year with her artistic interpretation of torch songs deserves to be called a world-class performer in her genre.
Based on styles introduced by singers such as Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf, and Marlene Dietrich; Magdalena Darby has an ever expanding repertoire of well known standards as well as lesser known and unusual material, such as You Don’t Know What Love Is, If He Walked Into My Life Today, and La Vie En Rose.
Magdalena Darby has maintained her European identity and, with her striking and elegant stage presentation, she easily captures her audience with her soul-baring performance. That, together with a sensitive and tantalising musicianship and a voice to match, explains why people come to back to hear her again and again.
Linden Loader, a Wellington based Mezzo Soprano and winner of the 1981 Mobil Song Quest, is a frequent performer on the opera and concert platforms around New Zealand. After completing a performance Bachelor’s in music she continued her post grad studies at the Guildhall in London. She is a recording artist for radio New Zealand and has recorded several CD’s.
Linden has a particular interest in New Zealand composed music. She has recently completed a performance Masters from Waikato University. Linden is currently heading the Classical Singing section of the Wellington Young Performers Programme, has tutored on the NZSM vocal programme as an artist tutor and regularly adjudicates and conducts masterclasses throughout New Zealand. Linden’s large teaching studio has seen many students go on to bigger and brighter things both here in New Zealand and overseas.
Jenny, a foremost New Zealand soprano, is currently Senior Lecturer at Te Koki NZ School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington. Jenny’s extensive study and performance experience overseas and in New Zealand along with her teaching career give her the ideal and relevant qualifications to become a Foundation Trustee.
After gaining a Master of Music in Opera at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Jenny undertook specialist courses at the Banff Centre in Canada and the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh, England. She returned to pursue her career in Australia and New Zealand where she has appeared with all the major arts organisations including the NZSO, the NZ International Festival of the Arts and New Zealand Opera for whom she performed in 2012 a lead role in Hohepa by Jenny McLeod.
Jenny has been closely associated with the Freemasons (formerly PwC) Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist Programme with NZ Opera, having been a member of the audition panel and voice teacher for all Emerging Artists on the programme since 2005. She has been External Assessor and Examiner for most New Zealand universities and Adjudicator for various Aria competitions including the Rotorua Lockwood Aria and Preliminary Rounds Adjudicator for the Mobil Song Quest.
Engagements this year include the 2013 Wanaka Festival of Colour and Psathas’ Orpheus in Rarohenga with the NZSO in May.
Dorothy Hopkins is a highly respected teacher in Auckland, where she has been an inspiration to singers of all ages, for well over sixty years.
Dorothy started performing in her teens when she was inspired by the pop star of the day, Deanna Durbin.
She took lessons from Leo Whittaker, at that time one of Auckland's leading teachers, who encouraged her to look seriously at music and singing as a career
After leaving school Dorothy trained at Auckland Teachers College and came under the influence of Henry Luscombe, known by generations of Auckland musicians as Harry or Gussie Luscombe.
Dorothy was accepted for a 3rd year music specialist music teaching course and at this time was introduced by Harry Lacombe to professional performances and broadcasting, which was to become a large part of her life.
Dorothy distinguished herself in performances of both operas and oratorios with well known NZ singers including Sir Donald Mc Intyre, Max Cryer, and John Rosser, and she performed in the Royal Coronation Concert with Raymond Opie, Stuart Manning, and Dame Heather Begg.
Dorothy married, and for many years with the support of her husband Rod, she successfully juggled a performance and teaching career with a busy family of three children.
Over the years she gained experience, which ranged from singing to the commonwealth troops in Korea to being a member of the famous Ossie Cheesemen Singers on long running NZ television shows.
Although Dorothy insists that she is not that different from other teachers, her own singing experience in a wide variety of musical endeavours, makes her unique, in her ability to train young pop stars, and television and theatre actors, who need to learn and understand the whole mechanism of singing, in a limited amount of time.
Dorothy when asked what was the most important part of her teaching she replied without hesitation - the basics - over and over, to listen, and to practice.
Her pupils ranged from the late Rob Guest and Billy T James to Ray Colombus and several well known actors from today's popular T V programmes that she chose not to name.
Alongside these are past and present members of NZ Opera, and several classical singers working professionally overseas.
Dorothy has taught for many many years, and has seen generations of her pupils take their place on a range of International stages
She has also been very generous and willing with her time to help and encourage young teachers and this has earned her the much deserved title of the teacher's teacher.
In 2012 Dorothy Hopkins was recipient of the NZ Hero medal and in 2013 was one of the three Finalists in the prestigious Senior New Zealander of the Year Award.