Warren Kilham is a Chartered Accountant and business leader based in Auckland. He holds a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland and is a member of the Institute of Directors. Warren has been a member of two of the three national choirs, New Zealand Youth Choir and Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir.

I have extensive experience in education that includes lecturing in pre-service teacher education, coordinating Professional Practice and the selection of teacher trainee intakes; teaching in a range of settings as a music specialist and classroom generalist in primary schools and the wider community. 

Governance roles have included chairing Music Education New Zealand Aotearoa (MENZA), and the inaugural NZSM MMus Therapy post graduate programme external advisory board. Currently I am President and interim Chair for the Music Therapy New Zealand Council (MThNZ) and have recently been a member of the Registration Board. I am the national representative for MENZA on the International Society for Music Education (ISME) Council, and a member of the Advocacy working group.  

My longstanding interest in supporting emerging talent includes young singers, and I have had the privilege of Chairing the NZSSC Trust Board for ten years. I am excited by the new opportunities that merging with CANZ brings, and look forward to working on the CANZ Board to further champion and expand the scope of the national choirs.  

Diana Cable has 24 years’ experience in the arts sector. After 4 years as an Industrial Relations Officer in the State Services Commission, Diana turned to the arts in 1986. One year managing Wellington City Opera was followed by 10 years as a Music Producer at Radio New Zealand Concert. She then worked as an independent producer for 7 years and was appointed as Artistic Administrator of the New Zealand International Arts Festival in 2003, after working for the Festival on a contract basis from 1997.

Having managed the Lexus Song Quest (formerly Mobil) since 1990, Diana also has considerable experience working with young singers.

Diana is a member of the Board of Trustees of Choirs Aotearoa New Zealand and Chair of its Artistic Advisory Group, a member of the Wellington Creative Communities grants committee and a Past President of the New Zealand Opera Society.

Diana is an alumnus of the New Zealand Youth Choir

Amanda Barclay is a lawyer and public servant based in Wellington. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Music from the University of Otago, and a Masters in Law, (In House Practice) from the College of Law in Sydney. Amanda has been a member of all three national choirs; NZSSC, National Youth Choir and Voices NZ, as well as being a member of the New Zealand Opera Chorus and Wellington based Tudor Consort ensemble.

Tahlia is a composer from Te Whanganui a Tara Wellington. She holds a Bachelor of Music in instrumental/vocal composition, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Practice (passed with distinction) where she specialised in film scoring. Tahlia has worked on local projects such as BBC’s The LuminariesBlue Moon, Loading Docs He Hekenga Tuhura and Haka Haha, and the upcoming TVNZ short series Little Apocalypse. Tahlia joined CANZ in 2023 as Assistant Producer to all four choirs. In her spare time, she writes her own music and sings in the Wellington Youth Choir.

Arne Herrmann has worked for over 25 years in Arts and Festival Management in New Zealand.

He held senior management positions at New Zealand Festival, Auckland Arts Festival, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, UNITEC School of Performing and Screen Arts and the contemporary dance company The Human Garden. Arne was the Festival Director of the National Jazz Festival and Garden&ArtFest in Tauranga. His work also included the Lexus SongQuest, Michael Hill International Violin Competition, Wellington Jazz Festival and National Youth Jazz Competition.

As freelance consultant Arne’s clients included the New Zealand Opera, Indian Ink Theatre, Te Matatini Kapa Haka Festival and the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival.

Arne Herrmann took up the role as Chief Executive of Choirs Aotearoa New Zealand in May 2016.

PhD, MM (Choral Conducting), MMus Hons, LRSM, LTCL, Dip Teaching

Dr Karen Grylls ONZM founded Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir in 1998 and the choir has achieved great acclaim internationally in performance and recording. She is Associate Professor in Choral Conducting at the University of Auckland and is Artistic Director of the Choirs Aotearoa New Zealand Trust, the managing body for the NZ Youth Choir and Voices NZ.  Dr Grylls was Conductor and Artistic Director of the New Zealand Youth Choir from 1989 to 2011, and Artistic Director of Toronto’s Exultate Chamber Choir from 2011 to 2013.

A graduate of both Otago and Auckland Universities, Karen studied post-graduate Conducting and Music Theory at the University of Washington, Seattle, for four years. In 1985 she returned to NZ to teach at the University of Auckland and take up the directorship of the Auckland Dorian Choir.

As a result of her musical directorship, the New Zealand Youth Choir has enjoyed notable international successes including: the Silver Rosebowl in the “Let the Peoples Sing” radio competition in 1992, “Choir of the World” at the 1999 International Eisteddfod in Llangollen and the “Grand Prix Slovakia” also in 1999.

With equal success Voices New Zealand won first and second placings in the mixed choir section of the Tolosa International Choral Competition in October 1998. With these choirs, she has won further prizes and accolades in Gorizia 2004, and Llangollen and Cantonigros, Spain in 2007.

In 1996 Auckland University honoured her with a Distinguished Teaching Award in Music and in 1999 she became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for her services to choral music. She is also the recipient of the KBB Citation from the Composers’ Association of New Zealand and the Lilburn Trust Citation for services to New Zealand music. TOWER Voices CD  Spirit of the Land took the 2006 Tui Award for  Best Classical Album, and the CD Voice of the Soul was a finalist in the 2013 Vodafone NZ Music awards.

Karen is much in demand as an adjudicator for competitions worldwide, including the 48th International competition in Tolosa, the Marktoberdorf International Chamber Choir Competition, Bavaria, and The World Choir Games in Xiamen, China. She is sought internationally as a choral clinician and regularly conducts masterclasses and workshops in Wales, England, North America, Canada and Australia.

Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Tuwharetoa

As an occasional composer, Robert has been relatively prolific in output. A student of the late Jack Body, the late David Farquhar, and the very active Ross Harris, Robert was a singer (studying with Emily Mair) specialising in new and old music. It’s not surprising then that he would focus his writing on work featuring the voice. He’s also strongly influenced by Māori sounds and perspectives, which is evident in his output.

Since the late 90s, Robert has taught musicianship and voice at the University of Auckland. During the majority of that period, he worked very closely with Karen Grylls, transforming the Auckland Chamber Choir, establishing applied approaches to the teaching of musicianship skills, and supporting the development of conducting studies.

The following is a list of some of Robert’s writings:

“Victory and Glory – Ake Ake Kia Kaha E”, for Benson Wilson, Leeds Lieder Festival;
Melbourne’s “E tū, kahikatea”, equal voices and piano, for the NZ Children’s Choral Academy;
Kaihau’s “Hine, e hine”, for Te Ohorere Williams accompanied by Steinway Artist Jason Bae, for the Sounds of Friendship Concert (Dedicated to her koro, Uncle Buff)
Boberg’s “Whakaaria Mai”, for Auckland Opera Studio’s Opera Gala Concert, featuring Natasha Te Rupe Wilson;
Kaihau’s “Hine, e hine”, for Voices NZ Chamber Choir, for The State Memorial Service for Queen Elizabeth 2, commissioned by Choirs Aotearoa NZ;

“Te Kai a Te Rangatira”, commissioned by the IO Festival Kaitaia – comprised of settings of speeches by late Māori leaders: Rose Pere, Moana Jackson, Ricky Houghton, Te Puea Hērangi, Apirana Ngata, and Whina Cooper – for baritone and chamber ensemble, featuring Kāwiti Waetford;

Orchestrations of the informally called “The Yellow Book” formally known as the “Twenty Six Songs and Arias of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries”, for Wairua Sinfonia and voice students from the University of Auckland, conducted by Elizabeth Lau;
“Hodie Christus natus est”, for Voices New Zealand chamber choir, telling the tragic story of the first Christmas in New Zealand, commissioned and conducted by Karen Grylls;
Wehi’s “Waerenga-a-Hika”, written for the NZ Youth Choir and Voices NZ chamber choir conducted by David Squire (Ata reira concert, Auckland Arts Festival);
Wehi’s “Aio”, for the Auckland Chamber Choir tour of the UK and Singapore;

“Waiatatia ki ngā Rangi Tūhaahaa”, on texts by Wīkuki Kingi, for the International Society of Contemporary Music conference in Auckland, 2022;


“Te Oriori o Nohomaiterangi”, sung by Benson Wilson accompanied by Bradley Wood, for Whanau London Voices at the Royal Albert Hall;

Gallus’s “Ecce quomodo moritur justus”, two antiphonal choirs, for the Auckland Chamber Choir, which pairs with “It’s a Wonderful World”, conducted by Karen Grylls;
“Leaning on a Lamppost”, for Opera in the Pā, and performed outstandingly by MENASING – for tenor-bass chorus, kazoos, dinner gong, and slide whistle. 

Rowan is a freelance choral conductor and clinician who has recently relocated with his whānau from Auckland to Wellington. He has just finished as Musical Director for the Auckland Youth Choir, Director of Choirs at Holy Trinity Cathedral Auckland and Musical Director of the internationally acclaimed school choir Choralation from Westlake Girls and Boys High Schools. Rowan is also an Associate Conductor for Voices NZ Chamber Choir and a National Choral Mentor for the New Zealand Choral Federation.

Along with being recently appointed to the Aotearoa NZ Academy Choir co-Directorship, he also begins this year conducting the Wellington Youth Choir, Seraphim at Chilton St James School and the Scots College Chamber Choir. He is a regular guest conductor at the Gondwana National Choral School in Australia and is in much demand as a conductor, adjudicator and clinician nationally and internationally. Under his leadership, Choralation was placed 1st in the Mixed Choir category at the Summa Cum Laude International Music Festival in Vienna, Austria.

As a singer, Rowan is a member of the Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir.

A passionate musician, award-winning conductor, and internationally respected educator, adjudicator and clinician, Elise Bradley served for many years as the Head of Department Music at Westlake Girls’ High School in Auckland, New Zealand. She founded and conducted the school’s renowned treble choir, Key Cygnetures from 1991-2007, and directed the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir from 2001-2007, both of which won numerous national and international awards. She was also a soloist and member of New Zealand’s National Chamber Choir, Voices New Zealand from 1998 – 2010. In January 2018, Ms. Bradley was named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM), an honour awarded in recognition of her services to Music.

Elise repatriated home to New Zealand at the end of 2021, after 14½ years as the Artistic Director of the Toronto Children’s Chorus. During her tenure, the Chorus recorded professionally, commissioned Canadian compositions, collaborated with numerous international and national artists, and represented Toronto on nine international and four national tours. She also produced a virtual recording for the ACDA National Conference in 2021 and for the Hong Kong World Choral Festival in 2022. The Chorus is internationally recognized for the high standard of its performances, and for its challenging repertoire which spans diverse cultures, languages, and traditions. Its latest CD, Sounzscapes: From Our Lands, directed by Elise Bradley, was named the most Outstanding Choral Recording by Choral Canada in 2014.

In addition to her work as Artistic Director of the Toronto Children’s Chorus, Ms. Bradley received many invitations to conduct, adjudicate choirs, and present at conferences around the globe, including recently the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music (Spain), Dozan wa Awtar (Jordan), the inaugural New Zealand National Children’s Choir (Auckland, NZ), the IFCM World Choral Expo (Macau), Gondwana Voices (Australia), Orientale Concentus (Singapore), Crystal Children’s Choir (United States), Carnegie Hall, (United States), and Hong Kong Inter-School Choral Festival (China). She has also been invited to present at the World Choral Symposium in Turkey in April 2023.

Since her return to New Zealand, Elise has co-founded the company “Choral DirectioNZ” and the New Zealand Children’s Choral Academy, and has completed a number of Kodály Music Certificates in preparation for her return to the primary music classroom as part of the Creatives in Schools initiatives. She is currently the Music Director of the Hamilton Civic Choir, Nota Bella Junior Choir at Westlake Girls’ High School, Leonessa at Takapuna Grammar School, Ficino Primary Choirs, Kristin ‘Noteworthy’ Choir and she conducts the Chiron Choir for the Chiron Music Academy.

Ms. Bradley is dedicated to inspiring young singers through the study of the choral art, and to helping build not only their musical abilities, but also their self-confidence and life skills. Through music, she believes that they also learn about leadership and responsibility while experiencing the special joys and friendships that participation in the choir provides.

Lee was a founding member of the Auckland Youth Choir. She has always enjoyed singing in choirs, having spent 6 years in the University Singers and then several years with Colla Voce. Currently Lee sings with the Pohutuhawa Singers who meet in Albany. When she’s not singing, you can usually find her at the piano. Lee has twice been awarded the Accompanist of the Year at the National Brass Band contest, and has accompanied choirs, singers and brass players for more than 30 years. For 13 years Lee ran the education, community and outreach programmes at the Auckland Philhamonia Orchestra, and subsequently worked for Creative New Zealand for 7 years. Lee lives in Auckland and has a daughter and two stepsons, and is married to Kerry who is a business coach by day and a trumpet player when off duty!