The Team

rowan johnston

Musical Director/ Conductor

Rowan holds a Masters of Music in conducting with First Class Honours from University of Auckland. Rowan studied voice and composition at Victoria University and holds a Masters degree in Choral Conducting at Auckland University with First Class Honours having studied with Dr Karen Grylls.

He is Director of Music at Holy Trinity Cathedral and Musical Director of Choralation  the combined choir of Westlake Boys and Westlake Girls High Schools who have had an outstanding record of success at the New Zealand Choral Federation’s The Big Sing and in festivals in Europe.

He was the founder of the Taranaki Youth Choir and has been a guest conductor for numerous choirs including School Big Sing Finale Choir, New Zealand Youth Choir, and choirs for the Rugby World Cup.   He has also been a regular guest conductor at the Australian National Choral School and was a former vocal coach and accompanist for the New Zealand Secondary Schools Choir. He has been an adjudicator at the Australian International Choral Festival and NZCF Kids Sing. He is a Choral Advisor for NZCF Association of Choral Directors providing coaching to other conductors.

His choral singing experience includes Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir and University of Auckland Chamber Choir as well as the choirs of Holy Trinity Cathedral, Wellington Cathedral and St Mary’s Cathedral in New Plymouth.

Juan Kim

accompanist/assistant music director

Juan completed his Bachelors of Music degree in Piano Performance at the University of Auckland under Qu Yong. As well as having a studio teaching practice, he is currently an official accompanist of the University of Auckland, rehearsal pianist for the Auckland Choral, and Auckland Oratorio Choral and several secondary school choirs.

He has also sung in the Auckland Chamber Choir.

Sam nicholson

choir manager

Sam Nicholson has been appointed Choir Manager to take effect in January 2021 as part of the AYC Young Arts Leadership Programme. Prior to joining AYC Sam sang in the highly successful choirs – Voicemale and Choralation -  while at Westlake Boys High School where he was Music and Culture Captain. He is studying for joint degrees in Law and Arts at Auckland University and also teaching and playing clarinet and co-conducting Resound Choir (formerly North Shore Youth Choir.)

His role involves responsibility for secretarial duties, financial administration and funding applications, concert management, marketing and publicity including web site and social media. He will be supported by the committee and other choir members in specific areas.

Sam can be reached at

takerei komene

ayc Emerging conductor 2020

Takerei is a student at the University of Auckland, where they are completing a Bachelor of Music majoring in Classical Performance (Voice) under Dr Te Oti Rakena. They also study choral conducting under Dr Karen Grylls. Takerei is very active in the NZ choral scene as a singer, composer and conductor. Along with singing in the Auckland Youth Choir, they also sing in the University of Auckland Chamber Choir, Holy Trinity Cathedral Choir, and the New Zealand Youth Choir, both as a chorister, and as a soloist. 

Their compositions have been performed by various choirs around Auckland - Ngā Roimata o te Tūrama was commissioned for the AYC Tour Choir in 2019, and was premiered in Sydney in July of that year. As well as this, they have been commissioned by singers at the University of Auckland School of Music, and various other choirs, such as the St Paul’s College Choir, and the Diocesan School for Girls St Cecilia Singers.

After taking the award-winning school choir Divinitus (Dilworth and Diocesan School for Girls) to the Big Sing Finale in 2017, Takerei has become very involved as a conductor, choir director, and music tutor. They are the Director of Choirs and Piano/Voice itinerant at St Paul’s College in Ponsonby, as well as a conducting associate for the Holy Trinity Cathedral Choir and Auckland Youth Choir. Most recently, they have been appointed as artistic director of the Auckland University Student Choir - an all-comers singing group open to any tertiary student in Auckland.

The Committee

Warwick Harvey​


Rosemary Chapman

Rowan Johnston

Leilani Walker

Chris Winder​

Sam Nicholson

Maggie Zhang​

Jamie Hofer

Rosanna Wu

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