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New Patron for NZ Singing School

Judy Bellingham MNZM
Judy Bellingham MNZM is the new Patron of the NZ Singing School: Te Wānanga Toi Waiata.


The New Zealand Singing School Trust is welcoming back its past head of school, Judy Bellingham MNZM, but this time as one of the School’s stellar Patrons.

Judy Bellingham has headed the school as Artistic Director for eight schools from 2005 until 2019.  Before that, she was a tutor at the school from 1997. 

“Judy is a talented and skilled singer and director, and has been instrumental in shaping the school’s character and programme over many years. We are thrilled that she has accepted our invitation to be a Patron will continue her relationship and influence with the NZ Singing School: Te Wānanga Toi Waiata,” says Trust Chairman Helen Walker.

Judy Bellingham joins the NZ Singing School’s other prestigious patrons - Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dame Malvina Major, Sir Donald McIntyre, Simon O’Neill ONZM and George Henare OBE.

Judy Bellingham was delighted with the invitation to be a Patron.  “Having had such a long association in teaching at the school, I am thrilled as a Patron to continue to support the Trust and faculty in any way possible.”

Judy Bellingham was one of New Zealand’s finest singers of opera, oratorio and song recitals and is a highly respected teacher and vocal coach.  She recently retired as the William Evans Associate Professor in Voice at the University of Otago, a position she held for 25 years.  Judy is passionate about New Zealand music and has commissioned, performed and recorded many works from New Zealand composers and has created six roles in New Zealand operas.

Judy has recorded a CD of New Zealand songs, a DVD called Songs of Old Dunedin, two DVDs on vocal technique and a book on how to sight sing.

As a soprano, Judy has performed throughout New Zealand, and has also given recitals in England, America, and Taiwan.  She has presented many vocal workshops in Australia, England, America and Taiwan, and has taught for Glyndebourne Festival Opera.

“Judy’s knowledge of singing and performance is extensive and has been invaluable in developing the NZ Singing School,” says Chairman Helen Walker.

“We’ve been impressed by the way she has selected top quality tutors for the school and worked with them and the Trust to create exciting programmes that have challenged our students to perform to their best.  Judy has definitely been a prime influence on many of our students in their choice of future career.”

Past students of the NZ Singing School: Te Wānanga Toi Waiata include tenor Joel Amosa who was winner of the Lexus Song Quest 2018, soprano and jazz singer Helen Medlyn and tenor Simon O’Neill who is also a Patron of the NZ Singing School.

Further information: 

The New Zealand Singing School: Te Wānanga Toi Waiata 2021

Where: Eastern Institute of Technology, Napier, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand

When: 6 -16 January 2021

What: An 11 day intensive and life-changing vocal experience for singers wanting to accelerate their skills and confidence in singing and performance.

The residential school is held in Napier, Hawke’s Bay on the eastern coast of New Zealand every 2 years for emerging talent classical and musical theatre students from New Zealand and Australia.  It is the only cross-genre singing school in the Southern Hemisphere.  The school was originally founded in 1980 as a summer singing school and has been held biennially since 1997. 

The school is run by the NZ Singing School Trust under the leadership of Chairman Helen Walker QSM.

Contact details:

Written by

Singing School New Zealand

18 Feb 2020