My musical eduction started on my eighth birthday with piano lessons from my mother, and culminated in five wonderful years studying singing and piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. In between I was fortunate to be taught by some of the best teachers in New Zealand, who were world standard and better than many I encountered in the UK.
At St Mary’s College in Wellington I was taught by Sister Loreto, who was a devotee of Theodor Leschetizky, who had been taught by Carl Czerny who had been taught by Beethoven! Thanks to her I gained a distinction at Grade 8 which was required to get into the Guildhall.
While at university I sang in the St Mary of the Angel’s choir under the late Maxwell Fernie, who had been an organist at Westminster Cathedral in London whose world famous choir, under George Malcolm, pioneered the development of the open, bright continental sound rather than the polite and mellifluous sound of the Anglican Cathedral tradition. My singing of plain chant and the polyphony of the 16th century and much else was a musical experience I would not have got in Britain, where girls in church choirs is only slowly becoming the norm.
In my time St Mary of the Angel’s choir made three records, two of polyphony and one of Christmas music, samples of which are here.