Our scholars

We are delighted to continue to grow the number of younger singers in the choir  — it’s great to have such a broad age range represented. 

As part of our plan to encourage student musicians, the Board continues to award Orpheus Choral Scholarships on the recommendation of the Music Director. We are very grateful to Todd Corporation Ltd for their generous sponsorship of these scholarships.

Welcome in this disrupted year to our scholars and although we’ve had a slow start to the year, we have an action packed second half of 2020 to enjoy together.

HELEN OLIVER (2019/20)

Helen has been singing in school choirs since 2008 and has had vocal lessons since 2011. She loves singing as a soprano and has enjoyed the opportunity of being in the Tawa College Blue Notes from 2015-2018 as well as the various other choirs and singing groups provided by the school. In 2018 Helen also relished the opportunity to co-direct and conduct the student led Early Birds, gaining an Adjudicator’s Choice Award and Best Student Directed Choir Award at the 2018 Big Sing.This year she is studying for a BA and is remaining a part of both Orpheus and Wellington Youth Choir for a second year, and she is looking forward to singing larger works, as well as singing with an orchestra. The award of this Orpheus scholarship offers Helen the opportunity to continue singing throughout her first year of University study and into the future.


I’ve grown up immersed in classical music, due to both my parents being music teachers, so music has always been something that is essential to my life. My family is more centered around orchestral music, however, and I discovered my love for choral singing when I started at Tawa College. Throughout my 5 years there I was highly involved in many of the music groups available. Currently, I am a member of the Wellington Youth Choir, as well as the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir (2019-2020) and a reserve for the New Zealand Youth Choir (2020-2022). I’m enjoying Orpheus Choir for the challenging and large repertoire it provides. It is a whole different feel to any previous stuff I’ve been involved in. Even though music is something I really enjoy, I’ve decided to take my studies elsewhere – I am currently in my first year at Massey University studying a Bachelor of Creative Media Production (filmmaking).


Bayley attended Tawa College, being a member of the auditioned choir Blue Notes from 2016 to 2019, as well as Dawn Chorus, school productions and instrumental groups. Previously, Bayley was a member of the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir from 2019 to 2020 and is a member of the New Zealand Youth Choir 2020 to 2022. He is currently studying a BMus in Classical Performance Voice at the Victoria University of Wellington. Bayley wanted to join the Orpheus Choir of Wellington because he wanted to expose himself to new repertoire and perform in concerts with a full orchestra.


Philip Oliver is in his final year of study towards a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Software. Philip started singing while at Tawa College and has been extensively involved in choirs since. In his final years at Tawa, Philip sang with the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir, and since has been involved with the Wellington Youth Choir as well as Orpheus. Philip is the current Music Director of Wellington Youth Choir. Philip enjoys the inclusivity of choirs and loves how choirs can come together to make a stunning sound which you can’t get with fewer people. This scholarship will help him to shift some focus from his final year of University to both singing in Orpheus and directing WYC in 2020. 


I am a passionate young singer from Lower Hutt. I have always enjoyed singing and making music. The first ever choir I joined was the Saint James Choir, where I began to learn how to sing properly. From there I briefly moved to playing Jazz, joining Victoria University YMP Program with Rodger Fox, in year 10. In year 11, I decided to try out the Classical Vocal YMP, which restarted my passion for singing. Since then I have been a part of many choirs, sung in many concerts, and have been the pianist at my local church for many years. I am now studying classical voice at NZSM and loving it. Two years ago, I met Thomas Nikora, who accompanied one of the choirs I am a part of. He has helped me significantly with my voice, and he got me to join Orpheus. And so I am also grateful to him. My aim in Orpheus is to make myself a better sight reader, a more attentive singer, to add more pieces to my repertoire, and to enjoy the amazing atmosphere that you get from being a part of such a great choir.


Kassandra is studying a Bachelor of Music in Sonic Arts and Composition at Te Kōkī NZSM. Initially drawn to being the next Taylor Swift, she has been delighted to find choral singing just as exciting (and a bit more realistic!). She now sings in a number of choirs around New Zealand. In her spare time, she can be found blasting Ēriks Ešenvalds, working on her Ella Fitzgerald impression, and humming ‘All We Like Sheep’. She was initially drawn to Orpheus for its thrilling repertoire and the chance to sing alongside so many generous, passionate, and experienced musicians. This scholarship offers valuable support for Kassandra to continue contributing to the incredible sound and diverse projects that Orpheus is known for.


What Orpheus offers

What I have gained from singing with Orpheus is almost without measure. it has been wonderful experience getting to do the big works and the classics that you would never get to do otherwise, as well as getting to understand more of the work required to put these things together.

The comradery and uttermost joy of singing with a brilliant group of people is also second to none and the exhilaration of thunderous applause (hopefully!) from audiences that truly love what we do is just fabulous.


Technically, I have also grown hugely in my sight reading, in creating different vocal colours, and generally improving my musicianship and sensitivity to music. it is overall a delight to be immersed in the classical world and to have such a grounding in a variety of works and composers that i would’ve missed had this not become part of my life.

    Joe Haddow BMus

Orpheus scholar 2015-Preent

lexus song quest finalist 2018

Past Orpheus Scholars

Katherine McIndoe                              2015

Karishna Thanawala                            2015, 16,17

Alex Giandonco                                   2015, 16

Olivia Marshall                                     2015

Pasquale Orchard                                2015, 16, 17, 18

Katrine Brougham                               2015, 16

Ben Reason                                           2015

Joe Haddow                                          2015, 16, 17, 18, 19

Stephen Clothier                                 2015, 16, 17

Priya Makwana                                     2015 (did not complete the year)

Beatrix Carino                                       2016, 17, 18 (did not complete 2018)

Lizzie Callaghan                                   2016, 19

Henry Sim                                             2016, 17, 18, 19

Alexandra Woodhouse Appleby       2016, 17, 18

Francesca Moore                                  2016, 17, 18


Rebbecca Paton (Gilbert)                  2017

Peter Liley                                            2017

Isabel Doudney                                   2017, 18

Lucy France                                          2018

Dani Yourakova                                    2018

Tanaya Shangarpawar                        2018

Cynthia Wratt                                       2018

Kassandra Wang                                  2019

Ruby Parker                                          2019

Jeffrey Dick                                           2019

Helen Oliver                                         2019

Marcel Cole                                          2019

Sam Berkahn                                       2019

Lizzie Summer                                     2019

Alice Mander                                        2019

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