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.
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.