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David is a full-time freelance composer of music, conductor, educator, and owner of River Avon productions (www.davidchilds.com). In addition to a busy composing and presentation schedule, David is President and Artistic Director of Vox Humana, a professional choir of 24 singers drawn from all over the United States. He also is Adjunct Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of North Texas. Dr. Childs has conducted numerous All-State and honor choir concerts across the United States, New Zealand, and Japan. In June 2009, he conducted a world premiere of his Requiem mass for chorus, soloists, and chamber orchestra, receiving a standing ovation in Carnegie Hall. In 2016 he formed a new company – River Avon Productions – that is focused on furthering his creative compositional career.


Karen Grylls is Associate Professor in Conducting and Head of Choral Studies at the University of Auckland. Artistic Director of the New Zealand Youth Choir from 1989 to 2011 and Toronto’s Exultate Chamber Singers from 2011 to 2013, Karen in 1998 founded the now internationally-acclaimed Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir. In 1996 the University of Auckland honoured her with a Distinguished Teaching Award in Music and in 1999 she became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to choral music.


Peter Walls is Chief Executive of Chamber Music New Zealand, having previously been Deputy Chair and then Chief Executive of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Earlier, Peter was Professor of Music at Victoria University of Wellington and also held Visiting Fellowships at Exeter and Magdalen Colleges, Oxford. He has a special interest in early music and has conducted several high-ranking orchestras and choirs. In 1998 he was awarded a citation by the Lilburn Trust for his “outstanding contributions to New Zealand music” and was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2012.


Matthew, of New Zealand Māori and Cook Islands Māori descent, is a vocal performance and musicianship coach. He is the bass singer of the 2014 International BHS Champion quartet Musical Island Boys, recognised as one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed and successful acapella music groups. Matthew is also a founding member and the Assistant Musical Director of Vocal FX, 2016 6th Place BHS Chorus, and nine-time New Zealand champion barbershop chorus.

Matthew has taught and judged as a singing clinician around New Zealand and Australia, in the United States, Canada, Sweden, England, Holland, Germany, and Spain. He has also performed several international tours with the Musical Island Boys quartet.

A certified singing judge in both the Australasian Guild of Barbershop Judges and the Barbershop Harmony Society, Matthew is currently the Vice President of Barbershop Harmony NZ and Chairs the BHNZ Education Team and Co-Chairs the contest & judging team.

Matthew works in his own policy and consultancy firm Gifford Reay Consultants, specialising in Māori language, Māori and Pacific education policy and cultural research and development.


Read about the TBS Adjudication Process  


Meet the Adjudicators for the regions in 2018

Judy Bellingham

Judy is a graduate of Canterbury and Otago Universities in music, languages, and entrepreneurship, and is currently Associate Professor in Voice at the University of Otago. During her extensive career as a soprano soloist she was equally at home on the concert and operatic stage and was known for her intelligent and innovative programming. Being passionate about NZ music, she has commissioned, performed and recorded many works from NZ composers. She is the author of a book on sight-singing and two DVD’s, one on vocal warm-ups and one on choral energisers in conjunction with Sue Densem. Judy has given workshops in Europe, USA, Taiwan and Australia, recently travelling there to work with the Nellie Melba Trust Scholars. She was awarded an MNZM in 2016 for services to classical singing.

Mark Dorrell

Mark Dorrell is an experienced musician and is passionate about choral music. He studied at Cambridge University, the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio, later serving on the music staff of Scottish Opera. He conducted the original London production of Into the Woods, and at the National Theatre such major productions as A Little Night Music, Oklahoma, and Sweeney Todd. After a period as Head of Music at Arts Ed - Britains' leading musical theatre training school - he relocated to New Zealand in 2007 where he enjoys a busy and varied career as conductor, vocal coach and accompanist. Most recently he was Music Director for Into the Woods at the Fortune Theatre Dunedin

Michael Stewart

Michael Stewart is at the forefront of the younger generation of choral conductors in New Zealand, and one of the country’s leading concert organists. He is Organist and Director of Music at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, Director of Music of the early music choir The Tudor Consort, and Deputy Music Director of the New Zealand Youth Choir. Michael holds a Bachelor of Music degree with First Class Honours from the University of Canterbury and a Master of Music degree from McGill University. Michael has led critically-acclaimed performances by The Tudor Consort of Handel’s Messiah, Israel in Egypt and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and prepared their NZSO debut with Messiah in 2016. He is a past member of the New Zealand Youth Choir and Voices New Zealand.

John Rosser

A professional conductor and singer, John graduated from the University of Auckland with MA (Doub Hons) in Classics and gained an LTCL in performance singing. He trained as a choral conductor under Professor Peter Godfrey, was a founder member of both the National Youth Choir and the New Zealand Singers, and has sung as baritone soloist with groups around the country. Chair of the NZCF Governance Board, John is Musical Director of Auckland chamber choir Viva Voce and is Associate Conductor & Chorus Director for New Zealand Opera. He devised and directed both the Rugby World Cup 2011 National Anthems venture and the 2013 Tallis Project, and is Convener of The Big Sing. He is currently leading preparations for the 12th World Symposium on Choral Music, to be held in Auckland in 2020.


Future Finales
The following are the provisional dates for The Big Sing Finale (subject to change): 2019 Dunedin (29-31 August confirmed), 2020 Christchurch (dates to be advised) 2021 Auckland (26-28 August)  
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