Giving Direction 2018





Giving Direction 2018 – professional development for choral directors

The NZCF Association of Choral Directors (ACD) will run a one-day choral conducting workshop on Saturday, 22 September 2018 at Rangi Ruru Girls’ School. Run by ACD Advisors, Rowan Johnston and Susan Densem, the workshop is part of the ACD’s programme of professional development for choral leaders – with clear benefits flowing on to singers and audiences.

Directors are warmly invited to attend this workshop where they will be given ‘hands-on’ instruction on conducting gesture and other vital aspects of choir direction, as well as the opportunity to take part in a choral forum. This is a great opportunity to hone your choir directing skills and share knowledge or experiences with fellow conductors. Rowan Johnston will be leading a workshop for community and chamber choir directors and Susan Densem will be leading a workshop for those new to choral conducting and those involved in primary school choral singing.

If you are a conductor, we’d really love to see you there.
If you are a singer, please encourage your music director to take part!

About the workshops

The workshops have a very practical focus, and are aimed at all conductors, regardless of experience or type of choir. The workshop will run on Saturday, September 22nd from 10am to 5pm at Rangi Ruru Girls’ School Performing Arts Building, Merivale Lane.

Each workshop comprises four sessions, led by the ACD Advisors, and with input from our region as to the final format.

Session 1: Rehearsal technique

Session 2: Score preparation

Sessions 3 & 4: Conducting gestures

During the afternoon sessions, local invited choirs will be present as the demonstration choirs, and conductors will have the chance to work with them on the choir’s own repertoire.

Cost of workshop
ACD members – $70  ·  Individual members – $80  ·  Non-members – $100
The fee includes tuition, music scores, lunch and teas. Payment options are detailed on the registration form.

 Sponsorship and funding

This is an excellent way for a choir to invest in its conductor – and its own future. We highly recommend choirs consider sponsoring both attendance at this workshop and annual membership of the Association of Choral Directors for their conductor.

 Membership of ACD and/or NZCF

ACD and NZCF Individual members are entitled to a substantial discount on registration fees at all ACD/NZCF events, concert ticket discounts plus many other benefits. For more information about joining or general enquiries about Giving Direction, email the NZCF Operations Manager Cathryn Wyllie  tel 021 977 905 or 09 292 9442


Register online here

Please contact NZCF Operations Manager Cathryn Wyllie, tel 021 977 905 or 09 292 9442, should you have any queries about Giving Direction.

Best wishes
Grant Hutchinson (for the NZCF ACD)
Chief Executive

New Zealand Choral Federation

PO Box 49 105, Mt Roskill South, Auckland 1445
M 021 154 6923


Rowan Johnston is a freelance conductor, adjudicator and choral clinician based in Auckland. He studied performance voice and composition at Victoria University and a Diploma of Teaching at Wellington College of Education. Rowan founded the Taranaki Youth Choir and the internationally-acclaimed Choralation Choir from Westlake Girls & Boys High Schools. He was Director of Music at Westlake Girls High School until 2016. This year Rowan completed a Masters in Choral Conducting at Auckland University under Dr Karen Grylls. Rowan has taken up the directorship of the St Cuthbert’s College premier choir, Saints Alive. He is regularly invited to be a guest conductor at the Australian National Choral School and is a Choral Advisor for the NZCF. Rowan sings with Voices NZ Chamber Choir and the Auckland Chamber Choir.




Susan Densem is a professional singer, voice teacher and choral conductor based in Christchurch.  She studied for a BA, majoring in music, at Canterbury University and later studied performance voice at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.

Susan conducts three choirs, including the multiple Platinum award winning choir Bel Canto, at Burnside High School.  She is also MD for the Jubilate Singers, and the University of Canterbury chamber choir, Consortia. Susan is an Itinerant Music Teacher of Voice with the Forte unit in Christchurch and has taught voice, and other instruments, both privately and at schools, in both New Zealand and Australia. She sings with the Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir and performs as a soprano soloist with a number of New Zealand choirs and orchestras.