Dr. Andrew Withington | PhD, MMus (Hons), MusB (Hons), ATCL, GDipT
Dr. Andrew Withington’s choral conducting career began when he was appointed Music Director of the Christchurch Boys’ Choir in 1997 at the age of 18. In 1998, he led the choir on a successful tour to Japan, and was awarded Life Membership in 2003.
In 2000, as Senior Scholar in Music at the University of Canterbury, he completed a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours in Conducting, Orchestration and Analysis, and was awarded the prestigious Vernon Griffith’s Prize for Outstanding Musical Leadership. After three years as a school teacher, Andrew completed a Master of Music with First Class Honours in Conducting at the University of Auckland. During his Master’s programme in 2005, he represented New Zealand in a masterclass at the World Choral Symposium in Japan.
In August 2008, Andrew was appointed Artistic Director of the prestigious New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir (NZSSC). The choir has performed concerts in Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa. At the 2010 International Choral Kathaumixw, the choir received ‘The People’s Choice Award’ and first place in the adult mixed choir competition. NZSSC returned to Kathaumixw in 2016 as the invited Guest Choir, and Andrew served as head of one of the juries.
He has had a long association with the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival and was Music Director for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. In recognition of his significant contribution, he was awarded Life Membership in 2013. From 2014 to 2015, Andrew was Music Director of the Christchurch City Choir, a role that included conducting the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and other instrumental ensembles.
In 2017, Andrew completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Music (Choral Pedagogy) at the University of Canterbury. The title of his thesis is Enhancing Choral Intonation in Unaccompanied Tonal Music: A Curriculum and Pedagogical Approach to Teach Choirs to Sing in Just Intonation. Firstly, he has created an approach to teach choirs to sing more reliably and consistently in tune. Secondly, coupled with his leadership style, communication skills, and abilities as a conductor and educator, he is able to empower the musicians for whom he works to give of their best and meet their goals. During his candidature, he was a Doctoral Scholar, lecturer in conducting (2014-16), and conductor of the chamber choir, Consortia (2013-16). Prior to this, he trained student teachers at the New Zealand Graduate School of Education.
Andrew has adjudicated and run choral clinics both in New Zealand and internationally, and is an advisor for the New Zealand Choral Federation and the International Choral Kathaumixw.