We are delighted and proud to share the news that John Rosser has been named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in the 2022 New Year’s Honours List. John’s contribution to choral music in Aotearoa has been one of service, innovation and leadership, with the aim of sharing the benefits and joys of choral singing with as many people as possible.
John has had a lifelong involvement in choral music as singer and conductor. He was a founding member of the NZ Youth Choir, touring with the choir to the UK and Europe in 1982. In 1985 John formed the innovative and highly successful chamber choir Viva Voce, which he continues to direct more than 35 years on. John was the conductor of Auckland’s annual Symphony under the Stars from 1994 to 2009, and was Associate Conductor & Chorus Director for New Zealand Opera from 2000 to 2018.
John has overseen the rejuvenation of the New Zealand Choral Federation from his appointment to the then new Governance Board in 2006 and his election as the NZCF’s first Chair, a position he held for 10 of the following 14 years. He has been the National Director of The Big Sing since 2008 and was Artistic Director for the past three Sing Aotearoa festivals in 2009, 2013 and 2016. In 2018 John’s contribution was recognised by NZCF with a Life Membership award and in 2020 he was elected to the Board of the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM).
More than anything, John’s contribution to our artform is as an innovator and creator of opportunities for others. John masterminded and led the Tallis Project in 2013 and the Rugby World Cup Anthems Project in 2011. More recently, he was the driving force behind bringing the World Symposium of Choral Music to New Zealand in 2020. The Covid 19 pandemic forced the cancellation of that event, but John’s leadership of an outstanding Symposium plan, to international acclaim, was a key component of NZCF subsequently winning the bid to host the World Choir Games in Auckland in 2024.
John’s work has touched the lives of many New Zealanders and we heartily applaud the recognition of his outstanding service with this appointment to the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Read John’s CNZM citation here