Outgoing Chair John Rosser was the deserving recipient of NZCF Life Membership at the recent AGM on Sunday 22 April 2018.
The Citation for John read as follows:
“Graduating from the University of Auckland with MA (Double Hons) in Classics and gaining an LTCL in performance singing, John trained as a choral conductor under Professor Peter Godfrey. A founder member of both the National Youth Choir and the New Zealand Singers, in 1985 he formed the innovative and highly successful a cappella chamber choir Viva Voce, which he has now led in some 400 concerts, broadcasts and recordings. He has also appeared as guest conductor for choral and orchestral groups around the country.
John has worked as Associate Conductor & Chorus Director for New Zealand Opera since 1996, and for many years combined this job with oversight of the NZCF’s day-to-day affairs. He has been a key figure in the life of the New Zealand Choral Federation since 2006 and was the inaugural Chair of NZCF’s Governance Board, having held this role for all but four years since then.
As conductor of Auckland’s annual Symphony under the Stars from 1994 to 2009, John understands and appreciates choral music performed by and to the masses – and his stewardship of NZCF has reflected this. He strives to ensure NZCF caters to the interests of school choirs, choral societies and community choirs as much as elite chamber choirs.
John devised and directed both the Rugby World Cup 2011 National Anthems venture and the 2013 Tallis Project, and is Convener of The Big Sing Committee and Artistic Director of Sing Aotearoa. He is currently leading preparations for the 12th World Symposium on Choral Music, to be held in Auckland in 2020, an event he hopes will create a lasting legacy of choral appreciation amongst New Zealand’s choral singers and the wider NZ public.
Hallmarks of John’s leadership of NZCF have been a combination of professionalism and passion, legendary attention to detail, ambitious thinking combined with sound administrative principles, determination in the face of challenges . . .and countless hours of unpaid work.
Although John is stepping down from the Board after 11 years’ service, mostly at the helm of the organisation, he will remain involved with The Big Sing and, of course work closely with NZCF as Artistic Director of the World Symposium on Choral Music 2020. Under his leadership NZCF has grown numerically as well as in influence and profile. It wasn’t just John’s impressive bid document that won NZ the hosting rights to WSCM2020, but also the strength and confidence of the organisation he represented. That strength was the result of many years of his own impressive efforts in the service of the ‘aims of NZCF’.
With enormous admiration, and gratitude, from both past and current members, we submit John as having performed truly meritorious service in fostering the aims of the NZCF and being therefore a worthy nominee for life membership.”
The motion was proposed by Juliet Dreaver, seconded by Shona McIntyre-Bull and passed with heart-felt acclamation by those present at the AGM.