This year the adjudicators for The Big Sing regional festivals will be Judy Bellingham (Central Area), Mark Dorrell (Southern Area), Michael Stewart (Auckland) and John Rosser (Waikato/Bay of Plenty).
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 DVDs, 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 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 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. He 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 Chamber Choir.
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.