New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir

30th Anniversary Student Support Fund

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It's our 30th birthday and we want to raise at least $10,000 to fund young singers who would not otherwise be able to join this incredible choir.

The New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir gathers the finest young voices in New Zealand and offers a once in a lifetime opportunity, an 18 month membership to learn from nationally recognised vocal teachers and consultants. The choir performs a wide variety of music, including works from many of New Zealand's top composers. Watch here as they perform the rich and challenging Nemesi by John Psathas.

Members will extend and polish their skills, grow in confidence and many will go on to a career in music. Some will achieve international singing careers, such as former NZSSC members Simon O'Neill, Johnathan Lemalu, Christopher Bruerton, Anna Leese Guidi and Madeleine Pierard.

NZSSC is also a lot of fun! Members develop lifelong friendships while meeting for rehearsals and performances every school holidays in different New Zealand locations, and touring every second year to represent New Zealand at an international festival or competition. In 2016 the choir is heading to Canada as the specially selected Guest Choir at the International Choral Kathaumixw .

Travel, accommodation, international touring, concerts, tutoring and uniforms all add up to membership fees that can exclude many students. Your donation will directly support talented young singers, ensuring no one is excluded on the grounds of financial background.


  • An Amazing 2016 - Thank You!


    Seasons Greetings everyone, just a quick update to let you know what the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir has been up to since our wonderful Boosted campaign earlier in the year. So many successes; so much to report...

    Our 30th anniversary celebrations wrapped up with the televised National ANZAC Day Service of Commemoration, a concert with alumni and a performance with the WWI Light & Sound Show at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. During 2016, we've also performed in Whanganui, Hawera, Auckland and in Dunedin at the Big Sing Finale.

    Our July tour to Canada as guest choir at the Kathaumixw International Choral Festival, ( was the highlight of the year with standing ovations at every concert. Wonderful connections were formed with singers from all over the world and with billets and audiences throughout British Columbia.

    In October we held auditions for the 2017-2018 NZSSC and invited 60 singers, at secondary schools from Whangarei to Dunedin, to join the choir. The funds raised through our Boosted campaign have been used to create a Student Support Fund, which will no doubt benefit many students in the future. For our 2017 programme updates and concert information please see our website Look out for our new website launching early 2017.

    We were also so delighted to hear that NZSSC alumni Benson Wilson was this year's winner of the Lexus Song Contest. Congratulations Benson!

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    (image: some of our 2015/2016 members on tour in Canada this year)

    An Amazing 2016 - Thank You!
  • Final Countdown: Just Hours Left to Make a Difference


    Donations are still rolling in – this is fantastic! Thank you! Every extra dollar will allow us to support another member.

    We’d like you to meet New York-based opera singer, Amelia Berry, NZSSC member 2005-2006 and AMP National Scholarship winner, 2015. We asked Amelia what skills she gained during her time in our choir:

    “The number one skill was discipline, which is of huge importance in an operatic career (or any career, really!) Much of what I do on a day-to-day basis is self-directed and without discipline I would get nowhere. Learning to sing as part of an ensemble was another important skill. In opera there is so much ensemble singing (although it’s usually one per part in a duet, trio, quartet or quintet) and NZSSC taught me to be musically accurate, how to listen to the other singers around me and also how to watch and follow a conductor. I had my first introduction to singing in foreign languages during my time with NZSSC and I’m also grateful for the mental and physical stamina I acquired after long days of rehearsal. I don’t sing in choirs anymore but I use all of these skills in opera.”
    Read Amelia's full interview on our website.

    Final Countdown: Just Hours Left to Make a Difference
  • We Made It To $10,000! Can We Help Even More Students?


    $10,000 with a week to spare! Thank you SO much to everyone who has generously donated, ensuring young singers can join NZSSC regardless of their financial background. So… don’t stop now, keep those donations coming, every extra dollar raised will support another talented student. Let’s make it to $12,000!!

    We’d also like to introduce you to another former NZSSC member who has taken on the world. Christchurch-born and bred, Chris Bruerton (NZSSC Alumni 2002) has been a member of the outstanding UK choir The King’s Singers since 2012. Chris talked to us about his early experiences in NZSSC and what his life is like now, touring and performing with one of the world’s most prestigious male choirs…

    “NZSSC, and Elise Bradley (Director from late 2000) in particular, have a special place in my heart. Under her guidance I developed my love for conducting, and was encouraged to be a choral conductor.”

    “NZSSC built on the foundation that I had gained from being a Cathedral chorister, teaching me about a vast amount of repertoire from many more languages than I’d encountered before.”

    Chris also offers advice for aspiring singers:

    “It’s so important to remember why we perform. It’s for the love of music. So, whether you want to have a go at making a career out of it, or keep it as a hobby, never forget what made you get into music in the first instance.”

    “Practise as you would perform and, above all, have fun and enjoy the experiences and relationships you make. They can last a lifetime.”

    Read Chris’s full interview at

    We Made It To $10,000! Can We Help Even More Students?
  • Wow 71%! Meet Tecwyn Evans, NZSSC Alumni 1988


    We are so grateful for the support we have had so far. Every dollar donated will help a talented young singer.

    We'll be introducing you to alumni for whom NZSSC was the starting point of their international careers.

    First up Tecwyn Evans. Tecwyn now lives in Sweden and conducts opera and orchestras around the world. Following NZSSC, he joined the NZ Youth Choir and conducted the Southern Youth Choir. On graduating from Otago University, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study conducting in the USA under Brian Priestman and Simon Carrington.

    “I simply wouldn’t be the musician I am without these formative musical experiences and the contact with many wonderful musicians along the way who have helped me.”

    “I was hugely inspired by Roger Stevenson (NZSSC Musical Director, 1986-2000), his love for his singers, his flair for choral sound and meeting lots of seriously talented young musicians in the NZSSC.”

    You can see his full interview for NZSSC on our website


    Wow 71%! Meet Tecwyn Evans, NZSSC Alumni 1988
  • We're Well on the Way - Thank You!


    Thanks so very much to all our generous donors who have got us to 49% already! 

    We've had an amazing weekend so far in Wellington for the 30th anniversary celebrations. Thursday evening saw a beautiful concert at Parliament by invitation of Hon, Hekia Parata, Minister of Education. On Friday night, Sacred Heart Cathedral was packed for an incredible two hour concert. Our special guest was soprano (and NZSSC alumni) Rebecca Ryan who performed 'Pie Jesu'. The evening wrapped up with a variety of alumni joining the choir for an exuberant rendition of 'Hine, E Hine' (pictured below). Last night was an informal event where past members could catch up and meet the current choir. It was filled with laughter, memories, and of course singing! The weekend has really highlighted the amazing impact the choir has had/continues to have on so many lives.

    Tomorrow, there are two performances at Pukeahu, the National War Memorial Park, one at 11am (televised) and another at 5:10pm, prior to The Last Post Ceremony. 

    Please continue to support us however you can and spread the word about our fund. We're not there yet - every dollar donated will directly benefit another future student.

    You can also keep up to date on our website and on Facebook /new.zealand.secondary.students.choir

    We're Well on the Way - Thank You!