NZ Singing School Trust - new patrons — 14.08.12

Arts Foundation Laureates Simon O'Neill (tenor) and George Henare (actor and singer) have been appointed as patrons of the New Zealand Singing School Trust

Arts Foundation Laureates Simon O'Neill (tenor) and George Henare (actor and singer) have just been appointed to join existing patrons Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dame Malvina Major and Sir Donald MacIntyre at the New Zealand Singing School Trust

Simon O'Neill is a graduate of the 1994 New Zealand Singing School. He attributes his attendance at the School with his meeting many of NZ's finest singing teachers who helped him to improve his voice and stage experience on his path to becoming a professional singer on the international circuit.

The New Zealand Singing School Trust wanted to represent the full spectrum of vocal opportunity at the School by including a patron from the contemporary singing field, and the long and full career of George Henare filled this objective perfectly.

The School gives students a unique opportunity to experience a range of singing styles with guidance and tuition from an experienced faculty at a time when students are considering what future in music they wish to pursue. Although the reality for most singers is that they must be versatile and able to deliver performances in a variety of genres in order to maintain a full singing career.

Eileen von Dadelszen says adding to the School's patrons in not "gilding the lily", but a way of involving the industry in the education of up and coming singers; and it also helps in the never-ending drive to raise funds for each and every School. Student fees generate only about half the income required to stage the School which is held at the Eastern Institute of Technology in Hawke's Bay every two years. The balance of the money needed comes from generous individuals and organisations.

"The willingness of Mr O'Neill and Mr Henare to represent us as patrons encourages us that there is value in what the School is doing and the excellence of the product itself" she says.

"The Trustees are a group of volunteers who have been running these Schools for over 30 years - our patrons' interest and support is a welcome pat on the back for all of us".

Enrolments for the 11-day School in January 2013 are open, and close 20th August - check the website for details Observer enrolments are also open and run through till the end of the school.