People of Festival 2019 Auckland

Adjudicator of Bands: Matt Klohs

Matt Klohs: Conductor, Clinician, Adjudicator

Matt Klohs is an Australian conductor, clinician and adjudicator whose career has spanned almost three decades. He spent 17 years as a professional woodwind musician in the Royal Australian Navy Band before becoming a conductor in 2007. Since then, he has conducted professionally throughout Australia and overseas, and he continues to be in high demand as a freelance MD. He has led performances by ensembles of every standard from world-renowned professional military bands to school ensembles, US college ensembles to beginner bands, and community bands of all levels. Still working for the RAN Band, he currently holds the position of Assistant Director of Music Navy, and has been Music Director of both the Melbourne and Sydney RAN Bands, as well as Senior Instructor at the Defence Force School of Music.

His passion for the life-long journey of learning and teaching sees him maintain a busy schedule as a clinician and mentor working with musicians of all ages and experience levels while he studies a Master of Music Studies degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. His informative and positive adjudication style is regularly sought out with appearances at Festivals, Eisteddfodau and Contests throughout Australia. He has adjudicated at Regional, State and National levels in Australia both for Solos and Band divisions from Junior D Grade to Open A Grade.

Matt is also proud to serve community music and musicians as a member of the Bands Association of New South Wales Management Committee and as the NSW Delegate to the National Bands Council of Australia.

Matt is a co-founder and Director of Maestros With A Mission Pty Ltd, a unique Australian company offering Professional Development, Print Music Publishing, Conducting Services, Adjudication and Consultancy to groups and individuals. He is also a published composer with numerous works available for purchase both in Australia and in Europe.

He is looking forward “crossing the ditch” and working with the wonderful musicians in New Zealand in 2019 and beyond.

Adjudicator of Bands: David Squire

DAVID SQUIRE: MD of New Zealand Youth Choir Mus (Hons), PGDipMus, BMus, DipTchg

David Squire is one of New Zealand’s most prominent conductors and Music Director of New Zealand Youth Choir. Founding member and Chair of New Zealand Association of Choral Directors, he is also a national conducting advisor and tutor, and a governance board member of New Zealand Choral Federation.

David completed his undergraduate study at The University of Auckland, focussing on conducting and composition, later graduating with a Master of Music degree in choral conducting.

He was appointed to the position of Music Director of the New Zealand Youth Choir in 2011 leading the ensemble on two international tours and remarkable international acclaim.

David has taught music in secondary schools for almost 30 years, directing choirs, orchestras and bands, including many groups that have won local, national and international awards. He directed Manurewa High School Senior Concert Band for four years to gold awards at NZCBA and KBBMF festivals. Westlake Symphony Orchestra has won a gold award at every KBB Music Festival for over fifteen years. His upper voice choir from Kristin School, Euphony, placed third at the International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, and has won several more international competitions His choir from Westlake Boys High School, Voicemale, has enjoyed similar successes.

David has conducted many varied ensembles, from APO and the St Matthews Chamber Orchestra, to New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir, founding MD of Auckland Youth Big Band, chairman/administrator of KBB Music Festival, and a live performance reviewer for Radio NZ Concert. He is often involved in session and recording work, particularly as a conductor, adjudicator, clinician and singer.

In March 2011 he was awarded a New Zealander of the Year Local Heroes Medal for services to music education.

Workshop Clinician: Kevin Cameron

Dr Kevin Cameron

Dr Kevin Cameron is an Australian music educator and conductor.  He is Music Director for Melbourne Conservatorium Wind Symphony at the University of Melbourne and Director of Bands and Orchestras at Geelong Grammar School. Kevin is our own MD of New Zealand Youth Symphonic Winds.

Dr Cameron has studied conducting with some of the world’s finest teachers, including the Italian maestro Gian Luigi Gelmetti and the legendary conducting mentor Gustav Meier.  Dr Cameron has appeared with the Sydney, Tasmanian, West Australian, and Darwin Symphony Orchestras, the State Orchestra of Victoria, the Auckland Philharmonia, the National Orchestra of Ukraine, and many youth and community orchestras across Australia.  In 1994, he was the inaugural winner of the ABC’s Young Conductor of the Year competition, and has subsequently held numerous professional conducting posts, including Principal Conductor of the Band of the South Australia Police, Assistant Conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, ABC Conductor-in-Residence, and Music Director positions at Murdoch University, Newcastle University Choir, and the University of Newcastle Symphony Orchestra.

Dr Cameron works as a guest conductor and clinician throughout Australia.  Dr Cameron has also served as President of the South Australian Band Association and the National Band Council of Australia and he has officiated as an adjudicator at Esteddfodau and important music competitions in all Australian states and territories.  He is currently President of the Victorian Bands’ League.

Adjudicator of Solos: Natalie Harris

Natalie Harris is a clarinetist currently based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She started playing the clarinet in a marching band in Dorset, England when she was 11 and later emigrated to New Zealand with her family. She then went on to study at The University of Auckland under Bridget Miles. During her studies she spent a year in NZSM, Wellington, studying with Debbie Rawson before returning to Auckland to finish a BMus(Hons). During her studies she earned many prizes, including a grant from The James Wallace foundation which enabled her to pursue further studies in Denmark.  In 2014 she received a Master of Music in Orchestral Music from the Royal Danish Academy of Music where she studied with John Kruse.

In Denmark, Natalie has been an active orchestral musician and has played in The Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Danish National Orchestra, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra and Aalborg Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared as guest principal clarinet with The Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.  Natalie will be acting guest principal clarinet with the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra for the first half of the 2019/20 season. Natalie enjoys playing contemporary music and has played in festivals and concert series as a soloist and chamber musician. She had premiered new works in the Pulsar Festival and has played in the Klang festival with Athelas Sinfonietta and in the Moderne Mondag concert series with the Sonus Trio. Natalie has given a recital of NZ music at Monash University, a prize she was awarded through the Gisborne International Music Competition

Adjudicator of Ensembles: Elizabeth Lau

Resident in Auckland, Elizabeth Lau’s background is diverse, from teaching to conducting, choral direction to adjudication and accompanying.  She holds a Masters degree in conducting as well as Bachelor degrees in composition and performance: piano and double bass.

She is currently Music Director of the South Auckland Choral Society, Deputy Music Director of Auckland Choral and Music Director of St Luke’s Community Project Choir.  She has served as musical director of many community groups, from community choirs to school string ensembles to large scale professional projects and university teaching in NZ and Australia, Czech Republic, England and Switzerland.

Elizabeth is founder, music/artistic director of Wairua Sinfonietta – an orchestra which focuses on unity through music by performing with like-minded musicians to increase awareness and raise funds for charitable organisations locally and around the globe. In 2017, she has also founded the Wairua Voices, a project choir which shares the same vision as The Wairua Sinfonietta. In 2018, the Wairua Sinfonietta launched the Wairua Project Series, which include the wider community to join forces through music, achieved unity and influence the society.

Elizabeth runs a busy teaching studio, accompanies instrumentalists and singers as well as coaching chamber music and adjudicating music competitions across the country.