Conference 2020 location and dates announced

Wellington has been chosen as the location for our 2020 Conference. It will be held 15-17 April 2020 (Wednesday to Friday). These are the days following Easter Weekend, in the first week of the holidays. Get them into your advance calendar.

These have been finalised by the Council, after two surveys of members and attendees of Conference 2018.

Congratulation Calvin Baker - Our new Vice-President

NEWZATS Council are very happy to announce the election of Calvin Baker as the association’s new Vice President.

We are so impressed by his fresh and proactive approach. He has already committed so much time to our projects, even while studying and writing theses for his Masters in Studio Pedagogy.

We also thank our outgoing Vice President Erica Sim for all her hard work (also as President before that). These are productive times for NEWZATS with a growing membership and exciting plans for the next two years.

Introducing our new Council members

At the 2018 AGM in Auckland, four new Council members were elected. Arlie McCormick, Cindy Jonker, Claire Barton and Jo Fitzgerald were very keen to get more involved in the association and help to build on our work.

Meet the full council here

NEW Competition: The McCormick Opera Award

With a first prize of $20,000, The McCormick Opera Award is a new competition open to singers aged 18 - 32.

It has been made possible by a generous bequest and is presented by Perpetual Guardian and Auckland Opera Studio. The judges are Graham Pushee and Rosamund Illing.

Entries are now open, closing on 20 July. Entrants are required to submit a list of six (6) pieces from which their performances will be chosen.

Auditions will be held on 28th and 29th August, with the final as a public concert performance on the 30th August at Mercury Theatre.

For more information, read the Entry Form document.

Four Presenters chosen to share Research

Four of our members have been chosen to present their research on the voice and voice teaching at NEWZATS Conference (July 9-11 2018).

Day One:
Dr Morag Atchison - Hidden virtuosity: the choral soprano in the studio

Day Two:
Calvin Baker - Male adolescent voice change (MAVC)

Day Three (two presenters):
Dr Beverly Pullon - Relationship of the Cricothyroid Space with Vocal Range in Female Singers
Judy Bellingham - The increasing use of taonga puoro in NZ vocal music

Lisa Tui announced as Barbara Nicholls speaker for Conference July 2018

Council would like to announce the latest addition to the July 2018 NEWZATS conference lineup of speakers in Auckland.

Lisa Tui will be our Barbara Nicholls speaker and will be giving advice and resources for Maori waiata suitable for young people but most importantly, NCEA Levels 1, 2 & 3.

Our President, Lisa Rangi, has travelled throughout New Zealand this year and had several interesting discussions with members about this topic and the need for direction for those unfamiliar with this increasingly important genre. Therefore, Council are confident that Lisa Tui will offer practical guidance to help delegates feel more competent in teaching their pupils.

Lisa Tui Music

Lisa tui

Nick Hollamby - second speaker at Conference July 2018

Nick Hollamby will be our contemporary speaker at the NEWZATS National conference July 9-11. More details about conference will be announced before Christmas.

He is an established vocalist, music director and leading contemporary voice specialist. Nick is a lecturer at the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) and regular presenter at numerous workshops throughout Australasia. Previous positions include Coordinator of Contemporary Voice, University of Otago, Sessional Lecturer in Contemporary Voice at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University and Artistic Director for the Youth Performing Arts Company, Queensland. Nick is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University holding a Master of Music, Graduate Certificate of Music Studies (Performance) and a Bachelor of Music. Past students include international touring performers, successful recording artists and TV/ Film personalities.

Dunedin Aria winner, Natasha Wilson

Congratulations to Natasha Wilson, long-time pupil of NEWZATS member Morag Atchison who won the Dame Malvina Major Dunedin Aria this weekend. The competition is a feature of The Dunedin Performing Arts Competitions Society's Senior Vocal festival, led by Susanne Chambers and her committee. Many of our members were involved in the event including Gina Sanders as judge.

Kathryn Harries on RNZ Sat 15th

Kathryn Harries is a very well known British singing teacher who is here to taking masterclasses at Auckland Uni.

She will be interviewed by Kim Hill on RNZ National, Saturday 15 July from 11.05-11.40am.

David Jones to head NEWZATS Conference July 2018

9-11 July 2018


We have been incredibly fortunate to secure David Jones from New York, USA, as our main speaker!

For those of you who have sat under his teaching or follow his Facebook page, you will realise how special this is going to be.

When: Monday 9 July-Wednesday 11 July 2018.
Where: Auckland University

Scholarships - George Turner Wilson Music Trust - University of Auckland

Applications due 1st July.

Open to Secondary School level music students,

5 scholarships valued at up to $2,500 each.

The Scholarships were established in 1991, in memory of George Turner Wilson, to assist students in the development of their musical talent and education at the School of Music the University of Auckland.

For more information, follow this link.

Jane Keller presents "Let Us Entertain You"

28 July, 2017, 6.30 - 8.00pm
St Andrew's On The Terrace, Wellington
Tickets: $30 Waged, $20 Unwaged

Newzats member Jane Keller will delight with hilarious highlights from her 4 one woman cabaret shows, expertly accompanied by Michael Nicholas Williams on Piano.
"Jane Keller is a terrific performer with comic timing to die for"


Jane St Andrews Flyer July 2017 v5 jpeg

JSRB Bel Canto Award and Elizabeth Connell Prize

Attention all New Zealand Teachers and Singers

Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award and Elizabeth Connell Prize

Applications Open now till 31 March 2017
Auditions in Auckland 14 July, 2017

Application forms on the website:

March Newsletter

Please take the time to read the March issue of the NEWZATS newsletter.

In this issue:
Current President's final column.
IFAC Handa NZ Singing School
Examination Boards News
Mentoring Scheme
and much more....
March Newsletter


Youth Opera Classes - Auckland

Auckland's Opera Factory present:

Youth Opera classes for ages 8 to 18.

Opera Factory’s Youth Opera programme is a great opportunity to try something new – extend your repertoire, knowledge, confidence and passion for singing!

Weekly classes will run on Thursdays from 4-6pm and cover singing, performance and creative projects themed around the world of opera, musicals and classical song. Any skill level is accepted but those taking singing lessons and an ability to read music is a plus!
Enrolment is for Term 1 & 2 and they will be working towards a showcase or production at the end of Term 2. Fees $280 per term.
Classes will be held at the Opera Factory studio, St Marks Parish Centre, 95 Remuera Road, Newmarket.

Download the flyer and enrolment form below.

Flyer thumbnail2

Iolanthe Auditions, Wellington

Wellington's Gilbert and Sullivan Light Opera are producing Iolanthe with performances June/July 2017.

Auditions will be held on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 February 2017 for all Roles, Chorus and Covers. A cast of 40 singers is required. Recalls, as required, on Saturday 18 Feb.

Detailed information is on their website -

To enquire and book an Audition time or to register an expression of interest, please contact:

WGSLO Secretary, Ellen Spear
Phone: 04 479 1685
Mobile: 027 515 5716


St. Cecilia Music Examinations

St. Cecilia’s refreshing approach to music assessment and performance has attracted the attention of Italy’s educational authorities. As a result, our work in Italy will now be expanded into the school education system. Examiner training will take place throughout February and March in order to cater for the large numbers of students who will be preparing for our Concert Certificate examinations throughout the year. Of particular interest to the teachers in Italy is the availability for singers to choose an entirely contemporary repertoire in addition to the more formal classical choices.

Whilst the academic year is now commencing in Europe and Asia for St. Cecilia, our Australian and New Zealand teachers and students are embarking on their end of year examinations. St. Cecilia has experienced a healthy increase in candidature over the past two years with particular growth in the Certificate of Music Teaching and Associate and Licentiate performing and teaching diplomas. Our Concert and Recital Certificate examinations as well as the new Certificate of Performing Arts are appealing to teachers whose studios reflect a very creative and broad learning experience for their students.

2017 will see more exciting innovations introduced. To keep up to date, we invite interested teachers to request our 2017 Information Pack.


Best wishes for a happy holiday break!
Matthews Tyson (Director St. Cecilia Examinations) 

Notice of Annual General Meeting

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of NEWZATS (NZ Association of Teachers of Singing) will be held 9.00 am, Friday 15 July 2016 At CityLife Church, 24 Egmont Street, New Plymouth
Full details at NEWZATS-AGM-notice-2016.pdf

In Memoriam - Gabrielle Barr

Obituary by Joseph Gardner


Gabrielle Barr, one of Taranaki’s most significant educators of music passed away on Sunday June 7th. While in recent years the relentless schedule Gabrielle maintained throughout a long career in music and education had slowly begun to taper, it’s hard to imagine a Taranaki vocal and choral scene without the glorious force that was, Mrs Barr.

Gabrielle wasn’t the first singing teacher my Mum approached back when I was twelve. The first she called felt that for a boy, Gabrielle Barr would be a better fit as she had ‘a lot more energy’. It was exactly this energy that powered Gabrielle to touch the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of students through her work in high schools, as director and coach of multiple choirs, and through her own very successful private studio.

From the ages of twelve to sixteen, Gabrielle had almost weekly performances lined up for her students, a number of which were even paid. I remember meeting the beautifully voiced singers in my first year at Victoria University, and being a little surprised as to comparatively how little performance experience some of them had. The opportunity to perform at venues like The Bowl of Brooklands (capacity 36,000), Yarrows Stadium, the New Plymouth Opera House and in town halls across the region on a fairly regular basis were simply a given when you had Mrs Barr as your teacher.

I would later learn that such frequent performance opportunities provided by one teacher were an enormous gift, and not the norm. This way of nurturing students spoke to a very kiwi part of Gabrielle, recognising that if we are to enjoy opportunities, we must first roll our sleeves up, and make them.

It wasn’t just the years of performance experience that Gabriel’s guidance had afforded; it was also her education, the result of her fearlessly inquisitive mind. What stood her apart, was the audacity she had to ask that most important of questions. Why.

While some show fear of research that illustrates our evolving understanding of voice, Gabrielle believed that knowledge is power; little time was given for such prejudice. As far back as the 90's, I can recall asking her the benefits of smiling while singing. Her answer came from a pedigree of bel canto while illuminating the role of the false vocal folds. A testament of her knowledge was her ability to explain the complex in the most simple of terms. Gabrielle celebrated the artistry and heritage of the beautiful voice, while embracing exciting new insights into how we voice.

I think what encapsulates Mrs Barr, could best be compared to an analogy the tenor, Peter Baillie used to describe Pavarotti’s voice. Baillie once told me what made Pavarotti’s voice so special, was that he sang with the joy of a child who had just discovered how to tie their shoelaces.

I think that’s the way Gabrielle taught, and I think that’s the way she lived.

Conference 2016

Conference 2016 will be held in New Plymouth 14 – 16th July 2016

A word from our sponsors

NEWZATS would like to highlight the wonderful sponsors for the 2014 NEWZATS conference:


    ABRSM is the exam board of the Royal Schools of Music, delivering over 650,000 exams and assessments every year in 93 countries. ABRSM is committed to supporting high-quality music-making, learning and development throughout the world, and to producing the best possible resources for music teachers and students.

  • Trinity College of London

    Every year Trinity College London offers international assessments across a wide spectrum including popular, jazz, contemporary and classical music. Our graded examinations and diplomas span performing, teaching, music theory and composing, with the candidate at the heart of our focus.

    Trinity’s new 2015-2017 Singing syllabus will be available in July and the repertoire lists (which include NZ songs) will remain largely the same, allowing candidates to choose from an extensive and varied list of pieces. Trinity have introduced accompanied sight reading at all grades.

    NEWZATS Conference’s consistently feature a stellar cast of international and national guest speakers delivering inspiration and relevant information. Trinity College London is proud to support ‘Scaling New Heights’ and wishes NEWZATS a successful and happy Conference. Kia ora from all of us at Trinity!

  • St. Cecilia Examinations New Zealand

    NEWZATS is a progressive organisation with which St. Cecilia Examinations can confidently and proudly identify, and we are pleased to continue regular sponsorship support for NEWZATS conferences.

    St. Cecilia constantly explores new ways to develop and promote musicians, including Singers, at all levels – student, amateur and professional. Singers need a structured course to follow from an early age and we believe that our examination syllabus for singers, with its wide choice of repertoire without compromising standards, is ideal for all singers from Beginners to Diploma candidates. New Zealand freecall 0800 151661

    St. Cecilia Examinations is the examining system which has emerged in conjunction with St. Cecilia School of Music, established in Launceston, Tasmania forty years ago, and now operates throughout Australia, New Zealand, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia and Italy. New Zealand sessions are held throughout the country up to four times per year, with a steady growth in the number of candidates entered, as more and more teachers decide to “give St. Cecilia a try.” The popular option of Concert Certificate examinations at all levels is an ideal examination experience for pupils who take performance music as an NCEA subject.

In Memoriam - Elaine Segrove, NEWZATS Member, 2011-2014

Auckland NEWZATS member Elaine Segrove passed away earlier this year. The following piece has been written by her good friend (and membership referee!) Betty Noffke and her husband Peter Segrove.

From Elizabeth (Betty) Noffke and Peter Segrove


I first met Elaine Segrove approximately fifteen years ago, through the West Auckland Performing Arts Competitions. She joined our committee and took over the role of convener for the vocal section. I was impressed with her teaching of a small choir she had trained and I later took my granddaughter to her for singing lessons. Elaine taught piano and singing, her vocal students did very well in the competitions and in their exams.

In 2013 when Elaine was undergoing treatment for her illness she prepared a Grade 8 piano student and two students for Grade 7 and one for Grade 8 singing, all passed with good marks.

Elaine produced a lovely clear sound with her vocal students, she was meticulous with diction, stance, and not singing at the back of ones throat. Elaine also studied dance and could demonstrate to her students how to move in the Song and Costume items.

Elaine had a bubbly and likeable personality and was very devoted to her teaching. Elaine passed away in January 2014.


Elaine’s first teacher and her love of singing came from her mother who was also a teacher of piano and singing. Her mother had high hopes for Elaine to become a concert pianist but Elaine found the pressure too much and left school early to work in a shoe shop.

Elaine continued with her singing and obtained her LTCL in 1985. In the 1980s Elaine started to teach she taught in schools but mostly from home. In 2009 she completed her Bachelor of Music degree at Auckland University.

Elaine particularly enjoyed performing - first as a singer as Elaine Leach in her first husband’s band.

Elaine was however, a soprano and took leading roles for many groups in Auckland:

  • St Thomas’s Light Opera Club
  • North Shore Operatic Society
  • Auckland Light Opera Club
  • Playhouse Theatre
  • Perkel Opera
  • Auckland Operatic Society

She sang Gilbert and Sullivan, Light Opera and Musical Comedy. With the Auckland Bach Society as a soloist and as part of the choir. She was a member of Savoy Singers – a small semi –professional group who presented concert production songs from musical comedy and Gilbert and Sullivan.

Elaine was devoted to her family of three adult children and grandchildren who, with Peter her husband, miss her very much.

Summer, Pelorus Sound by David Griffiths recorded at NEWZATS Conference 2014

The soloists are Olivia Sheat and Olivia Marshall, students from NZ School of Music at Victoria University. The pianist is the composer himself, David Griffiths.

The recording was recorded and mixed by Bob Bickerton at the Suter Art Gallery, Nelson, July 19 2014 as part of the NEWZATS 23rd Professional Development Conference.

Summer, Pelorus Sound

ICVT 2013 photos

The International Congress of Voice Teachers (ICVT), held from 11 – 15 July 2013, was a great event guaranteed to reinvigorate your teaching.

NEWZATS are very proud that NZ had over 40 delegates attending the Congress in Brisbane. Most were members and we had wonderful time learning, sharing and reacquainting ourselves.

Here are some photos from different delegates of their time there:

icvt2013 group

Absent: Lisa Rangi, Flora Edwards and Gina Sanders.

NEWZATS were fortunate to receive funding from Creative NZ to commission a song for voice and piano, as well as a two part version. David Griffiths, an eminent NZ Composer and NEWZATS member composed Summer, Pelorus Sound.

The presentation at ICVT was well received with approximately 60 people present. A group of about 14 NEWZATS members were conducted by Peter Watts and accompanied by Josh Clark as they sang Summer, Pelorus Sound.

In rehearsal:

summer in pelorus rehearsal1 summer in pelorus rehearsal2

In performance:

summer in pelorus performance1 summer in pelorus performance2

before bbq riverlife

Meeting before BBQ at Riverlife - Erica Sim (NZ), Sally Barratt-Boyes (NZ), Lisa Pompeil (USA), Jean Callahan (NZ) Marilyn Reynolds (NZ)

Scott McCoy's book "Your Voice: An Inside View" new edition is now available

voice inside view mccoy2

Your Voice: An Inside View is the premiere multimedia resource for voice pedagogy and entry-level voice science instruction. The book and its accompanying computer program are currently used in voice pedagogy and music education programs at well over 100 colleges and universities around the globe.

NEWZATS members can purchase this book at a discount by logging in to the members area.

To purchase or find out more, please go to Scott McCoy's website.

Queen's Birthday Honours 2016

Our Congratulations to Professor Elisabeth (Judy) Bellingham who has been made a Member of the Order ( MNZM) for services to classical singing in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2016.

Mentoring Scheme

NEWZATS Mentoring Scheme is finally up and running!

NEWZATS has been offered a Creative NZ Quick Response Grant!

The grant to commission of a song for voice and piano by renowned NZ composer David Griffiths. The chosen poem for the song is Dennis Glover's Summer, Pelorus Sound. A uniquely NZ subject.

David Griffiths Photo


David is a long time member of NEWZATS and we are thrilled to be able to commission the song. Premiere performance will be at ICVT (Brisbane) in July 2013.


View his impressive CV.