I’ve been playing piano and singing for as long as I can remember through school, church and around the house!
I began learning the piano when I was young and learnt in group lessons with a fabulous teacher in Lower Hutt who is still a wonderful support to me today. I went through to complete my Trinity College Grade 8 exam.
At High School I began to learn the Trombone as well, sang in the mass and auditioned choirs (who won a few 1st places in the National Competitions – proud chorister!), played in the Jazz Band and Orchestra and accompanied many chamber groups on the piano. At High School I also caught the bug for composition and was over the moon when I received a Highly Commended for a piece in the Westpac Schools Chamber Music Competition.
I left High School with the 7th Form prize for Music and Schools prize for Cultural Contribution – needless to say I lived in the music department!
Through Victoria University I received a Bachelor of Music in Composition, but also had the honour of studying a few years of Trombone under the then Principal Trombonist of the NZSO. During my Uni years I also got dragged (willingly) into the world of Brass Bands and competed in the Nationals with the Evening Post Wellington Brass Band. I had a short stint with the Hutt City Band a few years later and spent some time more recently playing 1st trombone for the Upper Hutt Brass Band.
My trombone playing also got me back into Musical Theatre playing for a show in the Hutt in the late 90’s and then a season of Cabaret in Wellington in the early 2000’s. I have a love of Musical Theatre and can’t wait to be able to spend more time in this genre in the future. I have recently had a short stint as vocal coach for the Hutt City Musical Theatre and loved it!
After University I found a new love to add to my collection in the form of Early Childhood Music. Under the tutelage of Helen Willberg and the team at CHIMES, I became immersed in the world and benefits of teaching music in early childhood and took that on to gaining a Diploma in Early Childhood Music Teaching from the Institute of Registered Music Teachers. I now teach these classes at Arts a Go Go! Performing Arts School for Kids! Where we have a fantastic group of kids and parents learning how to dance, play and sing!
As well as school choirs, I have sung with the St James Church Choir in Lower Hutt and earned my red ribbon from the Royal School of Church Music as a child chorister, later joining the choir as an adult. I also assisted with their children’s choir. I have sung under London Composer Paul Ayre and was fortunate to attend a workshop with English composer John Rutter while over in the UK.
At the beginning of 2010 I took up the wonderful opportunity to become the Musical Director of the Hutt Valley Singers which is a marvelous community choir of over 50 singers. Then in 2012 my friend and colleague Karen Boyce and I started up the Major Minors Children’s Choir. The kids are now part of a 40 strong group of singers and we have been able to create an extension group called ‘The Harmonic Minors’ who work on more challenging repertoire.
When I’m not teaching or creating music with my students I love chilling out at home with the family, when my son isn’t occupied with transformers or planes his interest in music shines and he loves to play the drums while I play the piano or sing. He also loves a song before bedtime and this is a great way to relax for us both!