Kia ora koutou
It would be pointless to suggest it’s not a daunting prospect taking over from John Rosser in the role of Chair. John’s energy for and focus on the choral world, his deep knowledge of NZCF and his decades of experience as a choral professional make him a hard act to follow!
Luckily for me the Governance Board is a team, and well supported by the National Advisory Committee structure which keeps us in touch with successes and challenges around the country.
The diverse range of skills on the Board now encompasses the law, finance, teaching, change management, commercial production and HR. Our numbers include three The Big Sing parents, four ex Youth Choir members, several who run their own businesses and four choral conductors. We hail from big cities and provincial towns. We’re united by the fact we’re all choral singers, and we’re all committed to the goals of NZCF.
As Chair I offer a different professional background from all the previous Chairs. I’ve never conducted a choir in my life! But my personal story will be familiar to many of you:
I come from a singing family. My grandfather Bert was a member of the Otago University Capping Sextet, my parents as newly-weds sang in St Mary’s Cathedral Choir with a young Peter Godfrey. From my first church choir practice at St Mary’s Levin aged 11 I knew this was where I belonged. When I joined the newly formed National Youth Choir, it changed the direction of my life, and while I’ve not had a career in choral music it’s always been there, forming a backdrop to social and personal life. I have three chorister daughters: the youngest will this year take part in her first The Big Sing as part of the WEGC junior choir.
Professionally I’ve spent 30 years in the world of advertising, where arts and commerce blur. As a commercials producer I’ve had the pleasure of working with many fine filmmakers and artists, and a background in music and performance has been a huge advantage.
Essentially as with many of you, the most meaningful moments of my life have involved choral music – both as singer and audience member. I’m grateful for its impact on my life, and for the efforts of those who’ve created the opportunities I’ve had. Our job as Board is to continue to make opportunities for people to sing together and for others to experience what they create. I welcome our three new board members and look forward to the benefit of their wisdom, judgement and inspiration in our discussions, as we champion this organisation and the joy and satisfaction to be found from singing together.