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Farewell, Paddy Nash

In July we bade farewell to a remarkable woman who contributed enormously to the New Zealand choral scene, Paddy Nash.

Paddy was Administrator of the New Zealand Youth Choir from 1985-1988 and came to that role with a wealth of experience behind her, having been founding secretary of the Dowse Performing Arts Group in the 1970s and then, in the 80s, Manager of the Wellington Youth Orchestra. Paddy managed the New Zealand Youth Choir on its highly successful eight-week tour in 1988 to the UK and Europe, which included performances in Hungary at the prestigious Europa Cantat festival, the first to take place ‘behind the iron curtain’. One can only imagine the challenges involved in preparing for that adventure, decades before email and the internet – challenges of which the young singers in her care were blissfully unaware.

Somehow, towards the end of her first year with the NZ Youth Choir, Paddy also found the time to work with others to establish the Wellington regional branch of the New Zealand Choral Federation. She was also the first administrator for the Wellington Youth Choir when it was formed in 1992.

Paddy played a key role in supporting Peter Godfrey to set up the Kapiti Chamber Choir and one of her colleagues in the choir, Anthony Dreaver, sums her up as having “a sharp brain and an eye for detail, coupled with a humorous and warm personality. Paddy had total integrity and a great talent for friendship.”

Paddy’s work was recognised with a Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) in 1988 and in 2003 she won a Kapiti Arts Award for Music.  The citation for that award concludes: “Her contribution to music was not the ‘up front on stage’ variety but usually behind the scenes, dealing with every detail to make sure things run smoothly… Over the years Paddy built up a huge resource of wisdom and experience which she was always happy to share with others.”

Read the RJ Halliday Award citation for Paddy Nash