Joanne Roelofs – Musical Director
Born and bred in Lower Hutt, Joanne has been singing as long as she can remember through school and church. She began learning piano at an early age and followed this through to completion of Grade 8. At High School, Joanne began learning the Trombone, sang in the mass and auditioned choirs, played in the jazz band and orchestra and accompanied many chamber groups on the piano. Composition became a new passion during this time with a piece receiving highly commended in the Westpac Schools Chamber Music competition.
Joanne left high school with the 7th form prize for Music and the Schools prize for Outstanding Cultural Contribution. She gained a Bachelor of Music from Victoria University majoring in Composition, while studying performance trombone under the then Principal Trombonist of the NZSO, Marc Taddei.
Over the next few years a love for early childhood music was discovered and after wonderful tutelage with Helen Willberg, Joanne gained her Diploma in Early Childhood Music Teaching from the Institute of Registered Music Teachers.
Joanne has sung with the St James Church Choir in Lower Hutt, assisted with their children’s choir, sung under London Composer Paul Ayre and attended a workshop with English composer John Rutter.
At the beginning of 2010 she was offered the opportunity to conduct the Hutt Valley Singers and hasn’t looked back. She loves every moment rehearsing and performing with the choir and decided to bring together her love of working with children and singing, the result being The Major Minors Children’s Choir!
Her love of teaching grew over the following years until the creation of her own full time business in 2018. Joanne now teaches private and group lessons for both singing and piano, as well as pre-school music and choirs
Karen Boyce – Pianist
Originally from Blenheim, Karen started singing in choirs in primary school and studied piano to Grade 8 under Rewa Crawley. Rewa extended Karen’s music education by encouraging her to learn other instruments (violin and bassoon) and tutored her in accompanying singing and instrumentalists as a teenager.
At secondary school, Karen became the orchestra leader, sang in the auditioned choir, put together choral arrangements/medleys and participated in chamber music groups. Karen also began teaching piano privately and recorder to groups of primary school aged children for the Marlborough School of Music Instrumental Classes.
Karen then studied music at Canterbury University completing a Bachelor of Music majoring in music history and analysis. While in Christchurch, Karen sang with the Celebration Singers (an auditioned choir) for two years. After University, Karen worked with the Blenheim Choral Society as one of their accompanists and set up a children’s choir at Nativity’s Anglican Church before moving to Wellington in 1994.
In Wellington, Karen played violin in amateur orchestras and in 2010 began working with Joanne Roelofs as rehearsal pianist/accompanist for the Hutt Valley Singers.