Dr Karen Grylls

Artistic Director

Dr Karen Grylls was appointed Musical Director of the New Zealand Youth Choir in 1989. She founded Voices New Zealand in March 1998, and is now Artistic Director of both these national choirs.

Arne Herrmann

Chief Executive

Taking up the role as Chief Executive of Choirs Aotearoa New Zealand in May 2016,  Arne has worked for over 20 years in Arts and Festival Management in New Zealand. He held senior management positions at New Zealand Festival, Auckland Arts Festival, and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and the contemporary dance company The Human Garden.

Emma Billings

Operations Manager

Emma Billings has worked for Choirs Aotearoa NZ since April 2005, both in her current role as Operations Manager and previously as the Choir Administrator. 

Catrin Johnsson

Language & Vocal Coach

Catrin Johnsson, ARAM, mezzo-soprano, was born in Sweden and trained at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Catrin is a principal opera artist and a Performance Teacher in Voice and Stagecraft at the University of Auckland.

Robert Wiremu

Adviser (Artistic)

Robert is Professional Teaching Fellow at The University of Auckland. He was artistic director of the V8 Vocal Ensemble and conductor of the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir.

Horomona Horo

Maori consultant/taonga puoro musician

Horomona Horo has performed with many different genres, and brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge of taonga puoro (traditional maori instruments) and contemporary musical techniques.

Ben Fagan

Marketing Manager

Ben Fagan is a poet, producer and marketer. He comes to Choirs NZ from time as a digital media coordinator in London.


For more information on the Choirs Aotearoa New Zealand trustees, please visit choirs.nz

Andrea Gray


Andrea is currently Deputy Chief Executive at NZQA and leads the Digital Assessment Transformation. She has a BMus, BA (Linguistics) and an MA (Library & Information Studies).

Diana Cable

Trustee appointed 2008

Diana Cable was a founding member of the New Zealand Youth Choir and her career has been in radio and arts management. She is Chair of the Artistic Advisory Group of Choirs Aotearoa.

Warwick Mitchell

Trustee appointed 2009

Warwick Mitchell has been involved in choral singing for over twenty-five years. He is a current singing member of Auckland Choral and was its Chair for nine years.

Les Foy

Trustee appointed 2011

Les Foy is a chartered accountant and heads up the specialist audit team at Crowe Horwath Wellington.

Diccon Sim

Trustee appointed 2015

Diccon Sim was a member of the New Zealand Youth Choir from 1983 to 1988, and a member of its management committee during that time. He is a partner in Dunedin law firm, Gallaway Cook Allan.

Linda Webb MNZM

Trustee appointed 2019

Christchurch, Post-graduate study researcher (former trustee NZSSC Trust)

Amanda Barclay

Vice Chair, Trustee appointed 2019

Wellington, Lawyer (former trustee NZSSC Trust)

Gary Colquhoun-Petherick

Trustee appointed 2019

Auckland, Technology Professional (former trustee NZSSC Trust)

Katie Macfarlane

Trustee appointed 2019

Wellington, Educator (former trustee NZSSC Trust)

Jennifer McGechie

Trustee appointed 2019

Timaru, General Practitioner (former trustee NZSSC Trust)

Amanda Reid

Trustee appointed 2019

Hamilton, Teacher, Accountant (former trustee NZSSC Trust)