Royal School of Music Council has just announced 2015 honours and awards to those who serve the RSCM round the world. NZ is featured (see story on the home page) and for Auckland, Anne Connolly-Munt is a recipient.
Anne has spent her life working and teaching in the music field with particular emphasis on choral music, organ and piano playing. She passed her L.T.C.L in piano teaching and organ performance in 1987/88 after a lengthy absence from organ playing. When she moved to Hamilton in 1988 she became St. Peter’s Cathedral organist and acting Music Director until 1989. There was an absence of un-auditioned choirs in Hamilton at that time. She formed Cantando in 1988, Cantamus Women’s choir in 1991, Les Enfants Children’s choir and Hamilton Chorale in 1992 and Cantamus Men’s choir in 1995 now renamed Male Voices, Waikato – all un-auditioned choirs, which are still flourishing in Hamilton, with the exception of Les Enfant’s children’s choir.
In 1999 she organised the first rehearsal of the then National Male Choir of New Zealand, now called New Zealand Male Choir, in Hamilton, for the North Island members. She named this group “The Northmen” and acted in a coaching capacity until 2006 – organising and taking rehearsals until a North Island Musical Director was appointed. A partner group –“The Southmen” was formed during the same period – both groups working on the same repertoire. She toured extensively – went with the choir to Wales in 2000, and throughout the North and South Islands until 2006. The choir toured again in 2010, to Wales, Britain and Europe, with Anne this time, as a supporter.
She became a member of Holy Cross Church in 2007 after her move to Auckland. At the end of that year she became Holy Cross organist and formed the Holy Cross Church choir in February 2009. At that time there were no choirs in the Albany area – so in May 2009 Albany Singers a mixed community choir was formed. Albany Women’s choir was formed in October 2010 – for women preferring to rehearse during the day.
Holy Cross church badly needed an organ, so she formed the Albany Community Music Group – later to become Albany Community Music and Arts group to facilitate the fundraising for an organ suited to the Holy Cross acoustics. Monthly concerts have been held since July 2011 with a wide variety of performances and artists. The organ was paid for by December 2012 and since then the concerts have continued with a view to fundraising for organ scholarships to encourage young musicians to play the organ. At present there are two organ scholars at Holy Cross – funded by continuing concerts. After the organ was paid for, the scholarship was then named ACM Scholarship.
Since moving to a retirement village in Morrinsville in July 2014, (to retire), she has reformed the St. Matthew’s Church Choir and is now fundraising for a new organ, (which is on trial for three years) at the church. This is to be funded as far as possible, by holding monthly concerts.