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.

In 2019 we welcome back a number of students as well as new scholars.


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2019

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a singer. I took singing lessons throughout my school years – eventually achieving Grade 8 in my Trinity singing exam. With a huge passion in contemporary music, I also picked up the guitar 10 years ago and haven’t put it down since. I was in a competing song-writing duet with my best friend during my middle and high school years. I have been in school choirs since I was in year 3 at Diocesan School for Girls (Auckland). In addition to the year group choirs, I was in the auditioned St Cecilia Singers from years 10-13. I was also lucky enough to be a part of the student-led chamber choir, Divinitus, which was conjoint with Dilworth School. With choir beginning to take over my life, I took a break in 2018 to readjust in a new city and begin University studying a conjoint degree of Law and Arts (Film Studies and Sociology). I missed music much more than I anticipated, so joined Orpheus to rekindle my passion. Receiving this scholarship means that I can continue to study full time, while pursuing my lifelong love of singing with others


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2019

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 has successfully auditioned for both Orpheus and Wellington Youth Choir, and she is looking forward to singing large works, and 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.


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2019

Henry became involved with music almost a decade ago at Onslow College. Two fantastic music teachers and one Mozart’s Requiem later, he was hooked. High School was a great introduction to the choral universe, participation in multiple Big Sing competitions and an Australian music festival were highlights. In 2019, Henry is completing an honours year in Economics, as a complement to his undergraduate Arts and Commerce conjoint degree.

Singing in Orpheus has provided Henry the opportunity to develop his voice, meet some fantastic people, and sing some exciting repertoire. He is thankful for all the support he has received from Orpheus and hopes to continue singing with the choir for many years.


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2019

Jeffrey Dick (26) is in his second year of study towards a Bachelor of Music, majoring in Classical Performance Voice at the New Zealand School of Music under guidance of his teachers Robert Tucker and Wade Kernot. He started singing from the age of seventeen in his high school choir in Dunedin and has developed a passion for singing over the last decade performing in musical theatre productions, ensembles, and choral concerts. Jeffrey first heard about Orpheus Choir after hearing their performances on Radio New Zealand; from there he auditioned as a tenor at the beginning of 2019 and has been singing with the choir since. As an Orpheus scholar, Jeffrey hopes to increase his profile as a singer by becoming a valued member to the tenor section as well as taking every opportunity Orpheus can offer.


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2019

Joe Haddow completed his BMUS with first class Hons in Classical Performance in 2017 under the tutelage of Margaret Medlyn and James Clayton. In 2018 he was one of the five Lexus Song Quest 2018 Finalists.

Born in Mid Sussex, England, he and his family came to NZ in 2006. He started learning saxophone at Aotea College and in year 12 joined the barbershop chorus, which led to his teachers prompting him to take up singing. From there he auditioned for NZSM, and has since performed in NZSM Voice concerts, NZ Opera chorus and other choirs. He participated in the university’s yearly opera productions, notably as The Forester in Janaček’s The Cunning Little Vixen in 2017. He has also more recently played the parts of Plutone and Caronte in Eternity Opera’s 2018 concert production of Orfeo. This year he is continuing in his third year of a BSc in Ecology and Biodiversity and Cell and Molecular Bioscience.

He joined Orpheus in 2014 and has performed as soloist with the choir. Joe says he has learnt much, and will doubtless continue to do so, from the years of experience and knowledge that lies within in Orpheus choir.


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2019

Kassandra is studying a Bachelor of Music in Composition and Sonic Arts at Te Kōkī NZSM. She was initially drawn to Orpheus for its exciting repertoire and the chance to sing alongside so many other passionate and experienced people.

Kassandra has been singing since primary school as part of school and community choirs, as well as solo and theatre performances. From her background in contemporary vocals she discovered her love for classical singing in Year 11 and is working towards refining and combining these styles to share the joy of music with a range of audiences.

This scholarship offers a valuable opportunity for Kassandra to continue vocal lessons, and contribute to the incredible sound and diverse and collaborative projects that Orpheus is known for.


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2019

I am currently in the process of completing a Masters of Museum and Heritage Practice, and honing my skills as an aspiring employee in the Museum and Heritage sector.

I have been singing for most of my life; in church services, school choirs and musicals, and currently, Mighty Orpheus. I have experimented with many different genres and styles of music, discovering that I love virtually all varieties of music, from Mozart and Beethoven to Scott Joplin and Stephen Sondheim. I joined Orpheus in 2015 after attending a Christmas concert. Orpheus has given me many memorable performing experiences, particularly Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (2016) and the musical theatre showcase (2015).

Being an Orpheus Scholar allows me to enjoy the fun, relaxed approach to singing that Brent takes, and also enjoy performing some truly amazing music. These concerts always turn out to be among the highlights of my year.


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2019

My parents are both singers. My siblings and I have sung our whole lives, as a family or in choirs, in and out of school. As a family, we used to perform around Canberra and at family events. My siblings and I were billed as ’The Cole Miners’, and with my parents, we were ’The Cole Minors and Majors’. Choirs have been a big part of my life since primary school so when I moved to Wellington, I was eager to find a choir to join. Orpheus seemed the perfect option because it rehearses at Te Whaea, the home of the New Zealand School of Dance, where I am a student. Orpheus Choir has given me the opportunity to rehearse and perform beautiful choral repertoire with lovely fellow choristers under the fantastic direction of Brent Stewart. This scholarship will help me to be a part of Orpheus Choir for as long as I can.


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2019

Lizzie is studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences at Victoria University, majoring in Molecular Pathology. She has studied music since a young age and completed ABRSM grade 6 on violin in 2011 and grade 8 on piano in 2013.

Lizzie has been singing in choirs since the age of 8 and has been a member of the Wellington Youth Choir since 2016. She discovered her love for performing big choral works after the Youth Choir was invited to sing with Orpheus in Handel’s Messiah in 2017 and Verdi’s Requiem in 2018. Lizzie joined Orpheus in 2019 as a soprano. This has presented her with the opportunity to sing alongside New Zealand’s top orchestras and to grow as a singer and performer.


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2019

I am a student at Victoria University of Wellington studying Software Engineering. In my time singing I have been involved in multiple choirs at Tawa College, which included trips to Auckland, Dunedin, and Hamilton for various competitions. I was lucky enough to also be involved in the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir in 2015-2016 and we had an amazing trip to British Columbia to attend the International Choral Kathaumixw. I joined Orpheus for the chance to sing large works of music, to have more chances to sing with an orchestra, and to continue my choral singing now that I am out of secondary school.


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2019

My love of singing has been lifelong. I was privileged to be born into a musical family and my parents tell me that I would ‘sing along’ with my dad from as young as 2 years old. As a young child I would often do impromptu ‘performances’ for family members, teachers, or random people on the street – much to my parents delight. In high school I joined the auditioned choir Cantala, lead by Brent Stewart. Here my passion for choral singing truly blossomed. I learned about vocal technique and performed at national and international level. After a ‘year off’ in 2018 I was keen to reintroduce choral singing back into my life, so I auditioned for Orpheus choir. This year I hope to expand my choral repertoire and improve my vocal technique and ability. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be an Orpheus Choir Scholar this year.


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2019

Samuel is a local musician from Wellington, and is currently studying for a BMus degree. Though he is primarily a Cellist, he is also in demand as a tenor for many local community choirs, including Cantoris, Northern Chorale, Festival Singers and others. Being a son of Jonathan Berkahn, he has had a thoroughly musical upbringing, learning Piano from the age of five, and composing at seven.

After singing in local choirs for many years, he desired an outlet to extend himself. Community choirs, while fun, are not very challenging, so at the advice of friends already in the choir, he auditioned for Orpheus.

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

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