The latest news from The New Zealand Singing School.
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May 2016


Enrolments for the 2017 New Zealand Singing School are opening soon!

The New Zealand Singing School Trust is pleased to advise that enrolments for the 2017 IFAC Handa New Zealand Singing School open on 31st May 2016. The School will take place from 5th to 15th January, at the Eastern Institute of Technology, Napier.

Student Audition/Enrolment Requirements:

  • Fees are $1,695 per person.
  • Apply online from 31 May at
  • Applicants must provide a one-page resume with highest educational qualification, vocal training and performance experience to date.
  • Applicants must also provide a recent 15cm x 10cm head and shoulder colour photograph and an audition video file.   This video must feature the applicant singing two songs only.   They must be contrasting songs for single course enrolments (classical or music theatre), or one classical and one music theatre song for mixed course enrolments. 
  • Successful applicants will be advised in early October.   

Observer Enrolments:

Enrolling as an observer is an excellent opportunity for singing teachers to take their professional development to a new level.   Watch any of the School's classes in action – it is the next best thing to actually being a student yourself! Observe world-class tutors at work, and get a sneak-peak into the talent of the future. 
  • Apply online from 31 May at
  • Fees are $350 (full time – 11 days) or casual rates are $50 per half day/$70 per full day
  • If you are a singing teacher with two or more students enrolled in the School, you may attend as an observer at no charge.
 Enrolments for Students and Observers close on 31st August 2016. 
Trainee Tutor/Trainee Accompanist Applications:

The IFAC Handa New Zealand Singing School provides an excellent professional development opportunity for aspiring singing teachers or piano accompanists. There are two places for trainee tutors, and two places for trainee accompanists. Trainees are mentored and given opportunities to work alongside the faculty and some students of the 2017 School. The programme is free.

Application requirements:
  • Apply online from 31 May at
  • Include a full curriculum vitae - supported by two referees
  • Include a 15cm x 10cm colour photograph (head and shoulders)
  • An outline of what you hope to gain from this experience

Spotlight on the NZ Singing School Trust

This month, the Singing School Trust wants to share the success of recent events, and profile the Trust members. Please get in touch with us if you would like to share news or find out more about how you could contribute to the New Zealand Singing School.

In the news...

Well done to former student Jonathan Abernethy who was unexpectedly called onstage recently to finish the opera in the role of Nadir in Bizet’s The Pearlfishers after star Nikhil Navkal became too sick to continue. Read about it here.

"Summer in the Park", Hastings, February 2016

Former students Antonio and Hannah performing at "Summer in the Park".

IFAC Handa New Zealand Singing School Aria Competition

Pictured: Aria winners (L to R): Eliza Bloom (2nd place); Chelsea Dolman (1st place); Filipe Manu (3rd place).

The IFAC Handa NZ Singing School Aria Competition was held in Napier over Easter 2016. Congratulations to winner Chelsea Dolman, second place winner Eliza Bloom and third place Filipe Manu.   It was a wonderful night of superb singing. Good luck with all your future endeavours.

Profiles of the NZ Singing School Trustees

Helen Walker - Trust Chair.  A singer, performer and then President of the Waipawa Musical and Dramatic Club for 25 years, Helen has been part of the Trust since 2010.
Orlena Wakeman - holder of an Honours Diploma in Performing Arts and ATCL in singing, Orlena runs a home teaching studio for piano and singing.
Lesley Carthew - Lesley is currently the President of Musical Theatre New Zealand and is a financial advisor based in Napier.
Kate Penny - Trust Administrator.  Kate became the Trust's Administrator at the beginning of 2016. After gaining her degree at Massey University, Kate has worked in corporate communications, branding, media liaison, event administration and fundraising.  
Sonya Aifai - Secretary.  A long time member of Napier Operatic Society, Sonya has been with the Singing School since 1995, initially as the stage manager and then moving onto the Trust in 2009 with the role of office manager.
Mark Oldershaw - Trust Treasurer.  As a musician, Mark is an experienced musical director, conductor, music adjudicator and tutor.  He is currently Deputy Chief Executive of the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT).
Dinah Kennedy - Deputy Chair.  A lawyer in Hastings with an interest in a vineyard on the outskirts of Hastings, Dinah wants to see the NZ Singing School emerge as the foundation school for our future vocal artists, be they classical singers, musical theatre singers, or both.
Jill Tobin - a founding Trust member, Administrator and Chairman at various times, Jill is passionate about the longevity of an institution that gives so much confidence to young students.
John Hudson - John admits to be totally lacking in any expertise in singing or music, but he does bring experience in business having run his own landscape architectural consultancy for 30 years.
Dianne Abraham - previously Chairman of Opera Hawkes Bay, Dianne has extensive stage experience performing as a soloist.  She also teaches singing privately and as an itinerant singing teacher.
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