We are delighted to have a large group of younger singers in the choir this year – a big welcome, and we hope that you enjoy some of the great works we will be performing.

As part of our plan to encourage student musicians, the Board continues to award  Orpheus Choral Scholarships on the recommendation of the Music Director. We are very grateful to Todd Corporation Ltd for their generous sponsorship of these scholarships.

In 2017 we welcome back a number of students as well as four new scholars.

Orpheus Choir Choral Scholars 2017


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2016 & 2017

Alex is in her second year at the New Zealand School of Music, studying towards a BMus majoring in Classical Voice under the tutelage of Lisa Harper Brown. Alex’s first opera experience was in NZ Opera’s production of Noyes Fludde in 2013. This year she performed in the chorus for the Day’s Bay operas Eugene Onegin and Theodora, and is looking forward to performing with the NZ Opera Chorus in Carmen, as well as the role of Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro. 

Choral singing has been a huge part of Alex’s life from a young age. From 2010-2012 Alex sang with St Paul’s Cathedral Choristers, which taught her fundamental musical skills and provided many performance opportunities. From 2013-2016 Alex was part of the NZ Secondary Students’ Choir which was a life changing experience. Alex also loves to sing jazz and contemporary music. When Alex was 15 she was accepted into the jazz course at the Young Musicians’ Programme at NZSM. A highlight of this course was competing with her YMP combo at the Manawatu Jazz Festival in 2015 where she was awarded Best Jazz Vocalist and Best Combo.

Alex thoroughly enjoys singing with Orpheus, which offers interesting repertoire and the chance to work with many talented and passionate musicians. Alex is looking at doing postgraduate studies in singing overseas and will continue to pursue musical opportunities as they arise.


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2016 & 2017

Beatrix is currently in her second year of study towards a Bachelor of Music in Classical Performance under the tutelage of Lisa Harper Brown, whilst being in her first year of postgraduate studies towards a Master of Music Therapy at the New Zealand School of Music. Her passion for music was encouraged at a young age through active service to the community in the Philippines. She started her classical training on her arrival in New Zealand, under the tutelage of Geoffrey Coker, before heading to the New Zealand School of Music.

She holds an Advanced Certificate diploma in voice with Trinity College London, and has performed in various productions in the Wellington region, most recently as Sylvane in the Merry Widow 2016 production with the Wellington Gilbert and Sullivan Light Opera.

Beatrix joined Orpheus in 2015 and was a scholar in 2016. She has broadened her repertoire and gained insightful experience through rehearsals and performances.

Beatrix aspires to be a professional opera singer someday, and be a registered music therapist. She is very interested in helping people through the experience of music.


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2016 & 2017

Francesca is currently in her third year of study towards a B. Mus. in Music Studies at the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University. Francesca discovered a love of singing in choirs during her time at Wellington East Girls’College. She sang in the auditioned choir, Cantala, from 2011 – 2014, including a tour of Europe in 2012 at which the choir placed first equal in the treble category at the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival in Vienna. Francesca was also a soloist in the children’s opera Brundibàr in 2014, as part of the Recovering Forbidden Voices conference. As well as singing in Orpheus, Francesca is a member of the Victoria University Choir and a reserve member of the NZYC. This is her third year with the choir and second year as an Orpheus scholar. She looks forward to many more performances to come and is grateful for the opportunity to be a scholar once again. 



Orpheus Choral Scholar 2016 & 2017

Henry rediscovered his passion for singing in year 11 at Onslow College. He joined both school choirs and in year 12, began his solo performance career as a tenor in Onslow’s performance of Handel’s Messiah. He participated in multiple Big Sing competitions and in year 13, with the Onslow College Chamber Choir, took part in the Australian International Music Festival. Although pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics, minoring in Econometrics, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, minoring in Italian, Henry still wishes to keep music in his life.  He is very grateful the Orpheus Choir has given him the chance to do so. Henry plans to receive voice lessons and is excited about future opportunities that will arise from his love of singing and music in general.


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2017

My name is Isabel Doudney and I am currently in my first year at Victoria University studying Art History and French. My love for choral singing began with the many choirs I joined while I was at Burnside High School in Christchurch, which included Senior Chorale and Bel Canto. While in the choirs we won gold and platinum awards at The Big Sing competitions (2015-2016). However it is not the awards that make me love choir: it is the people I have met and being able to sing along with other people to create a force of sound which makes choral singing so enjoyable. I have had voice lessons since 2013 with Sue Densem.

Upon moving to Wellington I joined the Wellington Youth Choir and the Orpheus Choir. I have been to a few Orpheus concerts before and been envious of the repertoire sung and amazed by the cohesiveness of such a large choir. I really look forward to being a part of it.


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2015, 2016 & 2017

My name is Joe Haddow and I am currently in my Hons year of a BMUS in Classical Performance under the tutelage of Margaret Medlyn and James Clayton. Born in Mid Sussex, England, my family and I moved over here in 2006.

While at Aotea College, I learnt saxophone, then in years 12 & 13, was persuaded to join the barbershop chorus, and subsequently, the barbershop quartet.

I was successful in my audition for the NZSM. Mark Dorrell suggested I join Orpheus in my first year when he was music director and since then it has been a real immersion into the classical world with the various classics we’ve sung. I have learnt much, and will doubtless continue to do so, from the years of experience and knowledge I’m able to connect with in the choir.

Joe Haddow

Orpheus Choral Scholar 2015, 2016 & 2017

Karishma is a ‘Kiwi Indian’ born and bred in Wellington. Having grown up with a strong Indian, and musical background, she performed her first Bollywood song on stage at the age 9 and hasn’t looked back since. Karishma has a passion for music and enjoys singing a variety of genres including Bollywood, Classical Gujarati folk, Guitar Acoustic, Choral Music, Classical Music, Barbershop and Pop. Karishma discovered a love for Aria at college and has pursued this to Victoria University where she is in her fourth year of study, majoring in Accounting and Classical Performance (training under Lisa Harper-Brown).

Throughout her college years, Karishma was part of Aotea College’s Barbershop Chorus and Quartet The Rookies who placed third, second and first respectively at the YSIH National Quartet Contest from 2011 to 2013.

Karishma has been a member of Orpheus Choir since 2015. She was a 2016 scholar in 2016 and performed as a soloist at the Christmas Jazz Concert. She is also a member of New Zealand Youth Choir, and Embellished; a Barbershop chorus directed by David Brooks.

Karishma has been involved in some notable productions including the operetta “The Merry Widow”, and NZSM’s “Opera Scenes” in 2016. She also competed at the Pan Pacs Barbershop festival with her quartet Transcendents, and with Embellished who placed 1st in the U25 category. Karishma regularly performs at the yearly Diwali Festivities, Mahatma Gandhi’s Commemoration, and Navratri Celebrations in Wellington. She is looking forward to many more singing adventures in 2017.


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017

This year Pasquale Orchard commences her Honours level of study in a B.Mus in Classical Voice Performance under the guidance of Jenny Wollerman at the Te Koki New Zealand School of Music. She holds her NZAMD Licentiate diploma for Jazz, Tap and Hip-Hop and her Trinity LTCL diploma in Performance Arts. Pasquale has been a scholar with Orpheus Choir for four years and is also a past recipient of the Sacred Heart Catholic Cathedral choir scholarship. In 2017 Pasquale debuted as Mercedes in Carmen with New Zealand Festival Opera, she will also perform as Susanna in Eternity Opera’s production of The Marriage of Figaro, as the Vixen in NZSM’s production of The Cunning Little Vixen and with the Freemasons NZ Opera Chorus in NZ Opera’s production of Carmen.

Pasquale enjoys the varied repertoire Orpheus explores, she loves working with conductor Brent Stewart and the many wonderful choristers that make up the mighty Orpheus Choir.

Pasquale is passionate about all aspects of performance, with a tremendous love for the stage. Her long-term goal is to headline at the major opera houses at home and in Europe.

Pasquale Orchard

Orpheus Choral Scholar 2017

I almost missed my first ever audition for Macleans College Choir in 2011. Reflecting upon how close I came to missing that wonderful opportunity, I realised what a profound effect singing in choirs has had on my life. I sang with that high school choir for five years, performing in five musical theatre productions along the way. In my last year of high school I joined the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir, and enjoyed two years in the company of the best singers and friends I’d ever known. In 2017, I decided to jump head-first into the choir scene of Wellington city, joining the New Zealand Youth Choir, St Paul’s Cathedral choir, and the grand Orpheus Choir. The sheer scale of works performed by Orpheus was the main attraction for me. I could never quite sit still in my seat at their concerts, itching to be among the ranks!


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2017

I am a student at Victoria University of Wellington studying Software Engineering. In my time singing I have been involved in multiple choirs at Tawa College, which included trips to Auckland, Dunedin, and Hamilton for various competitions. I was lucky enough to also be involved in the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir in 2015-2016 and we had an amazing trip to British Columbia to attend the International Choral Kathaumixw. I joined Orpheus for the chance to sing large works of music, to have more chances to sing with an orchestra, and to continue my choral singing now that I am out of secondary school.


Orpheus Choral Scholar 2017

Rebbecca loved singing from a young age, nurtured by a musically gifted grandmother and by talented members of the musical community in Dunedin. She started classical singing lessons agedt 8 and sang in choirs, including the Southern Youth Choir, throughout her school years. For several years after high school she travelled extensively with her partner around New Zealand and Australia. Musically she felt unfulfilled and made the decision to pursue a career in music and study classical singing. Early this year she gained acceptance at the NZSM. She is in her first year of study towards a B. Mus in Classical Performance with Lisa Harper-Brown. Rebbecca is tremendously grateful for the Orpheus Choir support that will help her on her path to learning singing and performance skills. She is very excited to be gaining wonderful experiences with other passionate singers. She hopes to take part in many musical performances that will encourage a love of singing for future generations. She aspires to take her singing abroad and back again: to travel the world and sing everywhere anyone will listen.



Orpheus Choral Scholar 2016 & 2017

Having recently completed a BMus in Instrumental/Vocal Composition at the New Zealand School of Music, Stephen is currently studying towards a BMus(Hons) in the same field under the supervision of Michael Norris. As a composer, he has had works performed by groups such as the APO, the NZSO, the NZSQ, and the SMP Ensemble. He is also a Licentiate of the NZMEB in the subject of piano performance and regularly performs as a chamber musician and in a solo capacity. Choral singing has been a large part of his musical upbringing; he was a member of four separate choirs and a barbershop group throughout high school, and he joined the Orpheus Choir of Wellington in 2013 with the encouragement of Orpheus’s then-MD Mark Dorrell. He is also heavily involved in the Wellington musical theatre scene. He greatly appreciates the opportunity to work with Orpheus on the choral greats, and the work this exuberant and talented group does to support choral scholars is a large part of what makes this city so fantastic to live and make music in.

Orpheus Choir Choral Scholars 2016

  • Alexandra Giandonco
  • Alexandra Woodhouse Appleby
  • Beatrix Carino
  • Francesca Moore
  • Henry Sim
  • Joe Haddow

  • Karishma Thanawala
  • Katrina Brougham
  • Lizzie Callaghan
  • Pasquale Orchard
  • Stephen Clothier

Orpheus Choir Choral Scholars 2015

  • Alexandra Giandonco
  • Benjamin Reason
  • Joe Haddow
  • Karishma Thanawala
  • Katherine McIndoe
  • Katrina Brougham
  • Olivia Marshall
  • Pasquale Orchard
  • Stephen Clothier