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School celebrates appointm't of inaugural director

1 May 2006

School celebrates appointment of inaugural director

The New Zealand School of Music is forging ahead, with the Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington joint venture appointing its inaugural director and its board holding its first meeting.

The NZSM board, chaired by Alick Shaw, Deputy Mayor of Wellington, has appointed Dr Elizabeth Hudson, currently an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia in the United States, as its first director. Dr Hudson has a PhD and MA in musicology from Cornell University in New York State.

The School, based at Victoria’s Kelburn Campus and Massey’s Wellington and Albany campuses, has been fully operational from 1 January this year. About 400 students are studying toward programmes taught by the School. Both universities, in partnership with the Wellington City Council, remain in negotiations with the Government about funding for a purpose-built home for the School to be built on land adjacent to Wellington’s Civic Square.

Mr Shaw said Dr Hudson’s appointment was a major coup for the School.

“Dr Hudson combines excellence in both research and teaching with a strength in university administration. In her time at the University of Virginia she headed its Music Department for three years and played a principal role in the design and planning of the University’s new performing arts centre. That experience will be vital when funding is secured for the NZSM’s new home.”

Dr Hudson said she was looking forward to taking up her appointment in New Zealand in June.

“The New Zealand School of Music is an innovative initiative by Victoria and Massey universities. I’m passionate about music education and I was impressed with the high value the new School places on blending music education with composition, performance and musicology and by building the strengths of the two universities in both classical and jazz music.”

In line with the School’s establishment, its board held its first formal meeting recently. As well as Mr Shaw, it includes Professor David Mackay, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Victoria, and Professor Andrea McIlroy, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Massey Wellington, John Maasland, Chairman of Carter Holt Harvey, and Paul Baines, a Director of Telecom New Zealand and the Reserve Bank. A sixth director has yet to be appointed with the option of appointing a further two in the future.

Professor Mackay said the makeup of the board set the tone for the School’s strong future.

“The calibre of directors augurs well for the School’s future. Mr Shaw has been a strong supporter of the arts in Wellington and has played a significant role in gaining the Council’s support for the School proposal. Both Mr Maasland and Mr Baines have significant commercial experience as well as a passion for the arts that will be vital in the School’s establishment phase and in supporting Dr Hudson in her new role.”

Professor McIlroy says Dr Hudson’s appointment is very good news for the School.

"Combining the strengths of Victoria's School of Music and Massey's Conservatorium of Music gives us the opportunity to be the top Music School in New Zealand. We are thrilled to have someone of Dr Hudson's calibre to lead the School towards becoming a world class music teaching and research institution.”

ENDS

More information about Dr Hudson can be found at:
www.virginia.edu/facultyexperts/expert.php?id=355

More information about the New Zealand School of Music can be found at: www.nzsm.ac.nz

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