Centre City Music Theatre is one of New Zealand’s premier musical theatre schools, providing an environment of the highest quality tuition and support for the advancement of musical theatre, drama, dance and singing skills.
Since registration as a Charitable Incorporated Society in 2005, CCMT has provided young and not so young talent with a range of opportunities, designed to enhance and develop their music and theatre skills, knowledge and practice. CCMT’s Emerging Talent School is aimed at students who have already made a start in any of the three main disciplines of acting, dance and singing. Enrolments are open to all, nationwide, with a minimum age of 10 years. Experienced students are catered for in the Focus Workshops.
Each school has seen a blend of students, representative of New Zealand’s broad ethnic mix. Typically CCMT receives students from singing, dance and drama teachers and from schools where students are demonstrating strong natural talent. Many of these students have graduated to the CCMT Focus Intensive Workshops for senior students. Master classes and workshops are also presented throughout the year as opportunities arise.
Through CCMT’s unique and intensive school and workshop environments, students gain unparalleled insight and experience in the world of music theatre and performance. Performance knowledge and skills and the demands and expectations of the world of theatre are taught by a carefully selected group of tutors, all of whom are career professionals in their performance or specialist areas, across a range of disciplines, including singing, acting, speech and dance.
Each year tutors are carefully selected from New Zealand and abroad. The quality of these tutors reflects the standards of excellence that the school aspires to. The pricing structure reflects substantial subsidization from fundraising and enables the school to be within reach of as wide a base of students as possible. It is considered nominal for the tuition offered. Sponsorships have enabled CCMT to offer some scholarship assistance, on application, to aspiring students with limited means.
CCMT is not a show producer or first step provider. It offers experience for young people and those wishing to up-skill in community theatre, providing a summer school and senior workshops as well as master classes, workshops and student resources available throughout the year.
CCMT is administered by a Board of volunteers and in addition to governance responsibilities Board members also focus on fund raising, securing enrolments and generally promoting the school. The school classes operate at ACG Senior College in central Auckland, with a public presentation at the end of the courses. The Emerging Talent School and the associated Focus Workshops commence in early January, thereby avoiding conflict with any students’ or tutors’ academic and performance commitments.
Patron of the School
Janice Webb is one of Auckland’s most respected singing tutors. There is no doubt that the combination of her extensive intellectual knowledge of the vocal instrument coupled with her long-time experience as a singer, actress and recording artist has contributed to her being in high demand and her teaching roster being full, year after year. Janice is not only a teacher of some distinction, but is sought after as an adjudicator and is regularly asked to judge all levels of classes at major singing competitions throughout New Zealand.
In her studio on the North Shore, Janice takes great joy in nurturing the singers in her care. Although her main focus has always been to develop the voices of her pupils, she has also been aware of the importance of stagecraft. It is evident that her ability to imbue her students with a sense of theatre has been instrumental in their consistent success in exams, competitions and auditions for performance degree courses in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.
As an extension of this understanding and to give her students a regular platform on which to grow in confidence as performers, Janice devised a showcase, SING, presented in a local theatre on a monthly basis, in which pupils are not only expected to appear alongside their peers and invited guest artists, but to work with directors and accompanists drawn from the worlds of professional opera and musical theatre. The results of Janice’s innovative idea speak for themselves, with many pupils – having gained invaluable skills from participating in these concerts – going on to thriving careers in opera and musical theatre, here and overseas.
Originally a school teacher, Janice started her own performance career whilst still at Wellington Teachers’ Training College, singing on the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (now Radio New Zealand) national radio programme, “Broadcast to Schools”, cutting three series of musical recordings for children, as well as being a frequent and popular recitalist for the NZBC.
During her thirty years at the chalkboard, Janice still found time to take lead roles in operas, operettas, musicals and oratorios, however, in 1992, the demands and successes of her singing students forced her to abandon both school and stage to take up her seat behind her grand piano on a more permanent basis.
Linda Fox - Acting Joint Chairperson
Linda is a partner in a small legal practice on the fringe of Auckland's CBD. Her areas of specialization in her legal practice (property, estate planning and trusts, entertainment law, relationship property and employment) all benefit from her long experience and passion for contracts, negotiation and advocacy She has lectured and examined in New Zealand Law Society courses, convenes Law Society committees and presents seminars (nervously) on a variety of topics.
Linda denies being one of the many lawyers who love to perform on any ‘stage’!! She is not a courtroom performer but rather she 'lives and loves' theatre (and music) through keen audience participation, the joy of assisting CCMT’s students live their dreams at every CCMT school and the knowledge and belief in the vital part the arts play in a truly vibrant society.
A foundation Board member, Linda has no less enthusiasm for CCMT now that her elder son (who attended every CCMT summer school and CCMT’s senior workshops in their inaugural year) is pursuing his passion for theatre through tertiary arts study overseas. Linda devotes her spare time to actively advocating for CCMT’s senior students in particular and works within the Board aiming to assist CCMT’s ‘graduates’ to careers in the arts or active amateur enjoyment. She says she watched both her sons grow artistically and in personal confidence through their participation in CCMT’s schools and knows CCMT offers something unique and invaluable to students. Her Board role also includes the more mundane stuff – necessary legal documentation, legal framework and charitable compliance!
Doris Riegel- Acting Joint Chairperson
Doris arrived in New Zealand in 2006 bringing with her a wealth of talent and experience, most recently serving as Executive Director for a Performing Arts Center outside of Boston. Doris’ involvement and leadership in the arts, and in community service began in her youth and included activities such as sponsoring events and fund raisers for local charities and organisations. Doris has a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Bradford College and a Masters in Education from Indiana University.
Doris worked for many years in university student services at a number of leading US Universities and has a very strong interest in developing leadership in young people. Doris’ involvement in music, theatre and performance has deepened significantly as her daughters have become passionate about the performing arts.
Kathy Parker began her teaching career thirty years ago and has taught Primary and Secondary school as well as spending six years lecturing in the University of Waikato in English, Drama and Film. More recently, she became the principal of ACG Senior College and has continued to foster the Arts within the College.
During the past twenty years, Kathy has also been heavily involved in theatre, especially Hamilton Operatic Society, where she played many leading roles. She has a real interest in Drama and Music and this venture is a way in which she can add to the wider Auckland community and provide opportunities for youth outside of her College.
Ever since Caroline saw her brother’s high school production of Guys and Dolls when she was six she has had a passion for music theatre. Having experienced CCMT’s Focus Workshops and the Jason Robert Brown workshop she has a firsthand understanding of how life changing working with CCMT can be.
She hopes that her small business experience, running three Auckland chocolate shops coupled with her love of performing will give her a skill set that help CCMT bring many more opportunities to young people and adults who just want to be the best performers they can be.
Having taken part in a number of local amateur musicals and been a pupil of Janice Webb’s for a number of years Caroline brings the perspective of a performer to the CCMT board.
Robin has a very varied background having worked concurrently in the worlds of music, theatre, and research science for many years. Alongside acting as the director of Last Tapes Theatre Company, Robin works in the Microbiology department of the University of Auckland, collaborates with many community theatre groups, and performs regularly as a pianist around Auckland.
Robin’s has produced and musically-directed multiple professional shows in the Auckland theatre scene, including The Red Chair (Dionysos Productions, 2012), The Last Five Years (Last Tapes Theatre Company, 2012), and Fitz Bunny: Lust for Glory (ATC, 2010). Robin also works as a tutor for the National Youth Theatre Company (NYTC).
Robin first worked with CCMT in 2010 as a repetiteur for the Emerging Talent School, and joined the board in 2012