RSCMNZ is pleased to place on record that Dunedin’s highly respected ecumenical musician, Michael McConnell, has been awarded an ARSCM (he is well-known for his contributions to the city for more than 50 years, especially in connection with the Catholic Church).
On Royal School of Church Music Celebration Day (Saturday 25 May 2013), at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh he received in person the accolade of Associate of the Royal School of Church Music, being one of only five round the world to achieve the mark during 2013.
This adds to his Benemerenti Award (2005), a Papal decoration for his services to church music.
His valedictory refers to his 50 years of service to St Joseph’s Cathedral Dunedin beginning in 1962 as a chorister and then organist from 1964 and choirmaster from 1965 till retirement Christmas Day, 2011. His work as an ecumenical and influential musician in the wider community included committee membership of the Royal School of Church Music Dunedin Branch for over 30 years. It involved helping organise a Summer Choral School and also leading RSCMNZ Festival Church Services, choral workshops and related musical educational events. During these years he served for a period as an RSCM Commissioner (the role is now known as Advisor). Following graduation with a BA from Otago University he embarked on a career as a teacher progressing to the role of Assistant Principal at Kavanagh College (as it is now known) until retirement in 2001.