July 8, 2023

Nicholson Award for Anne

Recognition of Anne Cleaver-Holm’s long record of service to church music has resulted in RSCM HQ granting her a Nicholson Award. This was announced in the June 2023 issue of CMQ. Anne is pictured being presented with her Nicholson Award parchment by Waikato Chairman, Dave Brookes on Sunday 9 July 2023 at a Branch event.

Her citations reads:

“Anne Cleaver-Holm has served as a cathedral organist for the past 30 years, firstly at Nelson Cathedral and then at St Peter’s Cathedral, Hamilton, in New Zealand. As well as providing organ music and accompaniments to a high standard for regular services, she has supported activities in the RSCM Waikato Branch, and has provided accompaniment for choristers in choral services in St Peter’s Cathedral, Waihi, Matamata and Te Awamutu, to name but a few.

RSCM Waikato celebrates the presentation of an Award, followed by heavenly music.

 On Sunday 9th July in St Peter’s Cathedral Hamilton, I had the privilege of presenting the Cathedral organist Anne Cleaver- Holm with the RSCM Nicholson Award. Anne was a chorister in Nelson Cathedral choir, before receiving organ tuition from Roger Williams, past organist and choirmaster of the cathedral. She then continued as organist at the Cathedral for 12 years. In 1992 Anne and her family moved to Hamilton, where she was appointed organist at St Peter’s Anglican Cathedral and has held this position since.

Anne Cleaver-holm at her favourite spot

 Anne has also supported RSCM activities, not only those held in the Cathedral, but also in the diocese of Waikato such as at Matamata and Waihi, for Festivals of church Music and Choral Evensongs. Anne is also organist at Southwell School, Hamilton, where Hugh Morris- Director of the RSCM will visit next February (2024).

Rachael Griffiths-Hughes leading the choristers rehearsing and performing Fauré’s Requiem

 The afternoon continued with over 50 choristers from various choirs and RSCM individual members squeezed into the chancel of the Cathedral, where one chorister had to sit in the bishop’s seat. Rachael Griffiths-Hughes, Director of Music at the cathedral led us through a stimulating workshop of Fauré’s Requiem, accompanied by organist Anne Cleaver- Holm. Rachael explained the many aspects of the Requiem, including how the French composer based this Mass of 7 movements on the Christian faith using plainsong. During the workshop the soprano and baritone solos were sung by all the sopranos and tenors/ basses, giving continuity and appreciation of the whole work. This Requiem can only be described as heavenly music and gave all choristers at the Workshop the sense of peace and tranquillity.

 At the conclusion of the workshop Rachael and Anne were thanked and presented with flowers by Merv Hunt, secretary of RSCM Waikato

A sumptuous afternoon tea and fellowship followed the workshop, served by Cathedral choristers and RSCM Waikato committee.

 David Brookes. ARSCM.

Chair: RSCM Waikato.