Our Talented Accompanists


Catherine Norton

Wellington. Accompanist – Open Classes Only
Contact: catherine.norton@gmail.com

Read More About Catherine Norton

Catherine Norton studied in Wellington with Thomas Hecht and was an Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera, before postgraduate studies in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she was awarded the accompaniment prizes and was appointed a Junior Fellow. She is an alumna of programmes including the Franz-Schubert-Institut for Lieder, Britten-Pears Young Artists, and the Young Songmakers’ Almanac.

A versatile pianist, during 2016-17 she has worked for the NZ School of Music, NZ Opera, NZSO, Orchestra Wellington, Lexus Song Quest, and the Kiri Programme, among many others, in between helping kids sit grade exams and putting on devised song recitals – details at songbooknz.org.


Rosemary Barnes

Auckland. Vocal Coach – Open Classes Only
Contact: rosiejbarnes@gmail.com

Read More About Mrs. Rosemary Barnes

Rosemary studied in London with Franz Reizenstein (Royal Academy of Music) and Lamar Crowson. Her interest in languages led to 25 years in London, working mainly with singers. She was on the music staff of the English National Opera from 1980-88, and taught singers and pianists at the Royal College of Music. She also undertook extensive free-lance opera work with Glyndebourne Touring Opera, BBCTV, Musica nel Chiostro in Italy and Opera Northern Ireland, and performed in concert at Wigmore Hall, Usher Hall, South Bank and BBC Radio 3.

She was assistant conductor on more than a dozen recordings for Opera Rara (bel canto specialists). In New Zealand, Rosemary lead the Postgraduate Opera Diploma at The University of Auckland from 1993-99. She currently coaches emerging artists for Opera NZ, and has been official accompanist for the Gisborne International Music Competition since 1994. Performances include concerts with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Sir Donald McIntyre, Emil Chudnovsky (violin), Robert Aitken and Leone Buyse (flute), among many others.. Recordings include three CDs for the Continuum label.

Rosemary was awarded the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit MNZM for services to music in the Queens Birthday Honours in 2000.


Leon Gray – Only Available Thursday

Tauranga. Accompanist – Under 21 classes only
Contact: leongraymusic@gmail.com

Read More About Leon Gray

Leon Gray has had a long history of professional accompaniment, starting as a teenage repetiteur for a number of groups in his home region of Taranaki.

As he completed his musical studies, he frequently appeared as an accompanist for singing and instrumental performers in recital in and around Auckland. He was the regular repetiteur for the University of Auckland’s Saturday singing classes, singing and musical theatre night classes at Unitec and the diploma recitals of Auckland City Theatre Academy.

Leon has been the official accompanist for the Tauranga Performing Arts Competitions, Scholars Pro Musica, the Rotorua Aria and the Bay of Plenty Music School, as well as a regular pre-show performer at Baycourt Performing Arts Centre. He is presently employed as the official accompanist for the Tauranga Civic Choir and the Oriana Singers, as well as regularly accompanying in a range of intermediate and high schools.

Leon Gray is familiar with playing music in a variety of styles, for a wide variety of individuals and groups.  Whether blues, jazz, old-fashioned musical theatre, contemporary musical theatre, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century, folk, opera, oratorio, church music or the latest pop, all performers are catered for.

With great expertise in sight-reading and improvisation in a variety of styles, rehearsal time and cost is kept to a minimum too.


Greg Neil

\Accompanist – Under 21 classes only
Contact: gregneil@gmail.com

Read More About Greg Neil

Dr Greg Neil completed doctoral studies in piano and chamber music at Boston University in 2006 after completing his master’s degree, also at Boston University. He also completed an undergraduate degree in piano at Victoria University in Wellington, studying with Judith Clark.

From 2010 -14, Greg was a staff pianist at Waikato University in Hamilton. Greg has run a teaching studio consistently since 1991 and has worked on the itinerant staff at St. Cuthbert’s College and Diocesan School for Girls in Auckland and St.Paul’s and Southwell schools in Hamilton. Since 2007 Greg has been part of the music staff at the New Zealand Opera School held annually in Whanganui.

Greg has performed in many concerts with most of NZ’s finest singers including Dame Malvina Major, Simon O’Neill, Philip Rhodes, Pene Pati & Jared Holt. Greg is married to the soprano Jayne Tankersley and they have three teenage children, a Fazioli and a German Wire Haired Pointer.