As the overall Musical Director for the All Together Now group of choirs, Kate selects the repertoire, usually in consultation with the other Choir Leaders, and arranges most of it herself, to suit the particular needs of our choirs.
Kate leads the Hobsonville choir but is often at rehearsals for all of the other Auckland choirs, assisting the Choir Leaders and supporting our members.
She is a professional choir director, arranger, composer and singing teacher. She returned to study at Auckland University in 2008, after a long hiatus raising her 3 children and teaching Suzuki-method piano, as well as high school music and drama.
With Steven Rapana, she founded Volcanic City Voices in 2012 and worked with that choir until it became part of the Everybody Sings Group in 2017. Kate co-founded Everybody Sings and was a director until that organisation closed in 2021. She was also musical director of Stonefields Choir from 2013 until 2022, and of Sister Shout (a women’s choir based on Waiheke Island) from 2013 until the end of 2016.
Kate graduated in 2017 with a Masters in Music, majoring in composition and choral direction. She is a member of the New Zealand Association of Teachers of Singing and of the New Zealand Choral Federation Association of Choral Directors, and sang with the University of Auckland Chamber Choir from 2008 to 2020..
She returned to study yet again in 2022, undertaking a PhD. Her research will investigate the experiences of community choir singers and look at the best possible ways to work with and support singers in this type of choir.
As well as Musical Director, Kate is the Managing Director of All Together Now Ltd, the business which manages all of the choirs.
Our Choir Leaders are an important bunch of people who have a combination of high-level singing and choral expertise plus a heartfelt commitment to make group singing accessible. We all meet together regularly to talk about our practice and bring whatever new ideas or learnings we have into the group, so that everyone benefits. This is a unique collaboration in the choral profession in New Zealand, and we all value it enormously.
Steven is currently Choir Leader of Auckland Central Grey Lynn and Auckland Central Owairaka choirs. He is also leading Auckland East whilst Keani, their regular Choir Leader, is on leave.
As well as his Choir Leader role, Steven is a valued advisor around repertoire, vocal pedagogy and Tikanga Māori. Kate and Steven often work together, planning and conducting All Together Now performances and concerts, and share goals of mentoring and supporting other choral conductors to become community choir leaders.
A New Zealander of Māori and Samoan extraction, Steven is best known for his arrangements and compositions of Pacific choral music. Tracing his family lineage back to his ancestral lands of the Hokianga in the north of Aotearoa, as well as to the Samoan villages of Sāfune and Sāmauga in Savai'i, and Vailoa (Aleipata) in Upolu, he was greatly influenced by the customs and music of both cultures. In particular his childhood involvement in traditional Samoan church life, through the insistence of his maternal grandparents, meant that music, both religious and cultural, was always a feature of his upbringing.
A graduate of the University of Auckland in vocal performance and choral studies, Steven has arranged and composed music for many notable national choirs including the New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir and the New Zealand Youth Choir. He currently works as a singing teacher, choral director, language coach (phonology and languages for singers), a professional singer, arranger, and composer in and around New Zealand.
Megan is the leader of our Taupō choir.
She is a passionate teacher, choral singer and conductor. She began singing in choirs at 6 years old and believes there is nothing better than making music through singing with others. Megan is a past member of the New Zealand Youth Choir and Auckland Chamber Choir, and continues to sing with Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir.
Megan completed her Masters degree in Choral Conducting through The University of Auckland, under the guidance of Dr Karen Grylls. She has also studied with Grete Pedersen (Norway), been a conducting intern with Elise Bradley and the Toronto Children’s Chorus, and was selected as one of 12 international conducting students to work with Bo Johansson (Sweden) at the International Symposium on Choral Music (Copenhagen, 2008). In 2022, Megan has begun a PhD, investigating music education in New Zealand primary schools.
Megan is the co-author of Hear Our Voices, a handbook for leaders of children’s choirs and presents the successful national workshop series Singing Matters for the New Zealand Choral Federation, as well as being a national conducting mentor. She is on the board of the Association of Choral Directors (ACD) and Music Education New Zealand Aotearoa (MENZA).
A Taupō resident since 1996, Megan was a singing student of the late Barbara Nicholls, has enjoyed performing with Centre Stage, has taught at the Taupō School of Music, and run a private singing studio. She is thrilled to have this opportunity to contribute to the music scene in Taupō once again.
Claire is the newest member of our team, set to join us in 2024, to work with Kate in establishing our new Fundamentals Choir.
Claire was for many years the Performing Arts Manager and Director of Choral Music at Dilworth School, where she curated the next generation of musical talent. Throughout her career she has been privileged to work with the country's finest operatic talent both in the rehearsal room and on the concert platform.
Her work at the University of Auckland, Dame Kiri te Kanawa Foundation, Auckland Opera Studio, New Zealand Aria Competition, NZ Opera, and her private coaching studio at home led to her making her mark as one of the country's most sought-after coaches and accompanists, exclusively in collaboration with singers.
Her real passion, however, is working with those who feel that singing is out of their reach, and helping them to find their voice. Her belief is that everyone can sing, and that the power of the voice can lead to transformative and healing experiences in other areas of life.
Diverse career highlights include:
Keani is Choir Leader of Auckland East, but currently on leave for 2023, while she settles into her demanding new teaching role.
Keani’s cultural background has played an important part in her musical upbringing. Being of Cook Island descent, her cultural views and passion around Pacific music have paved the start of her musical journey, ultimately influencing a new love for Western music. Keani began singing at a very young age, taking part in many cultural singing practices and admiring the voices of role models in her family and community.
Keani is a graduate of the University of Auckland with her Bachelor of Music (Hons) majoring in Classical voice and minoring in Conducting. Keani is a practising solo performer and chorister, currently singing with the New Zealand Youth Choir and NZ Opera Chorus as well as being an alumni of the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir, Auckland Youth Choir and Auckland Chamber Choir. Keani has recently started her career as a high school teacher, working with singing and choirs. In addition, she works as a singing teacher, choral director, and vocal coach for various schools and community choirs across Auckland. In 2022, she achieved her Diploma in Teaching.
Esther completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Auckland in 2021. She began learning the piano at the age of six after hearing, sobbing, and concurrently interpretive dancing to Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata. Musicking has since been a vital part in the way Esther engages with and gives back to her community.
She has arranged music for various high school and community ensembles, accompanied choirs and instrumental music exams, enjoyed singing at rest homes with her peers, directed the String Ensemble at Epsom Girls’ Grammar School, appeared as a guest conductor for the Devonport Chamber Orchestra, and loves playing in the cello section of the Auckland Symphony Orchestra (ASO). Esther has also performed the Grieg Piano Concerto with the ASO in a packed Auckland Town Hall. In 2021 Esther conducted the Howick Everybody Sings choir, taught the piano and the cello at Remuera Music School, and sang in the Auckland Chamber Choir.
Esther began her studies at the University of Auckland School of Medicine in 2022, but we are delighted that she will still be available to assist where needed and to take a “locum” role if we have regular choir leaders absent. And it's always fun to have her along on our annual Christmas busking performances, too!