February 25, 2019

New Zealand honours

RSCM Council grants Awards to people who have made significant contributions to church music and through related activities which generally enhance the work of the RSCM.  They range from Fellowship (FRSCM), Associateship (ARSCM), Honorary Membership (HonRSCM) to Certificates of Special Service. There are only a few honours conferred in any one year or period.

NZ recipients since the start of the Millenium include:
NZ has earned a goodly share of them. They include Christchurch’s Don Whelan, MNZM, ARSCM, Director of Music for the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament (CBS), Canterbury Branch committee member; Professor Colin Gibson, HonRSCM, Dunedin, Emeritus Professor Otago University, NZ hymn-writer and musician, Otago & Southland Branch member; Revd. Alison Pitts, HonRSCM, Wellington Branch, National Council Minutes Secretary; Dr Robert Tait, HonRSCM, Christchurch, Canterbury Branch Secretary, Director of Music Apollo Musicum (a registered charity of musicians NZ-wide), and National Secretary (Admin) RSCMNZ and website Editor.

Paul Ellis, MNZM, RSCMNZ President and Canterbury Branch Chairman, was granted a Fellowship, FRSCM. This acknowledges his contributions to Cathedrals as organist and Director of Music and especially his work as President of RSCM New Zealand and international contributions;  Dr Rachael Griffiths-Hughes, Chairwoman Waikato Branch for outstanding leadership, ARSCM; Neil Shroff, Chairman Auckland Branch, for enormous contributions to the Auckland choral scene and also recognising his exemplary management of the recent combined Australia/NZ Summer Choir School, ARSCM.

Robert Armstrong, (Waikato Branch, was awarded Honorary Membership, HonRSCM; he was the inaugurator of the Guyon Wells RSCM Fellowship in NZ and is a strong supporter of all RSCM endeavours.

Certificates of Special Service:
These are given for significant administrative work as a voluntary officer or member of staff within the RSCM; or an award for a significant contribution to church music and/or liturgy at a local level. Again New Zealand is well represented with Certificates of Special Service to Anne Connolly-Munt Auckland Branch, and Allan Packman, Canterbury Branch committee member, and long-serving Waikato Secretary, Rhonda Gibbison.

Awards such as these may be presented at York Minster, UK, about 1 October each year, RSCM Celebration Day.  Recipients anywhere in the world are welcome to attend if they can travel; otherwise, Awards are often presented locally.  In the case of New Zealand they can be presented by a visiting RSCM official or the President of RSCMNZ (currently Paul Ellis), or his delegate at a suitable local event.

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