Our Adjudicator for 2023:
Dr Rachael Griffiths-Hughes
The New Zealander choral conductor, harpsichordist, organist and music pedagogue, Dr Rachael Griffiths-Hughes, completed a Master of Music degree in harpsichord and organ performance with the late Anthony Jennings. Then she won a scholarship to study in America, where she completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the State University of New York.
Early music specialist Rachael Griffiths-Hughes combines her teaching work at the Conservatorium of Music with a busy schedule of performing and choral conducting. She is Senior Lecturer at the University of Waikato Conservatorium of Music, where she teaches Music History, Harpsichord and Organ and Musicianship. She is director of the University Chamber Choir, Director of Music at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Hamilton, as well as Academic Planning Group Representative.
Rachael Griffiths-Hughes is a member of two ensembles, Waikato Baroque and Kowhai Baroque, which perform regular concerts on period instruments (Baroque flute, recorders, Baroque cello and harpsichord) throughout the North Island. She is also a member (harpsichord & organ) of Affetto – NZ Baroque Music Group. Recent festival appearances have included the Taupo Summer Festival, the Wellington International Fringe Festival, and the Rotorua Chamber Music Festival. In 2014, she formed the ensemble Vox Baroque, a 12-voice choir who perform 17th and 18th century cantatas once a month, with a small band of instrumentalists. She has also recently performed and recorded with NZ Barok, and is working on a project with Lara Hall, investigating and recording 18th century English music for violin and harpsichord.
As well as passion for Baroque music, Rachael Griffiths-Hughes has research interests in Choral Music. For 15 years was conductor and Music Director of the Hamilton Civic Choir. Recent works performed with this group include: J.S. Bach‘s B minor Mass (BWV 232); Benjamin Britten‘s cantata St. Nicolas; Missa Criolla by Ramirez; Tempus et Moutere by Michael Williams; L.v. Beethoven‘s Symphony No. 9 with the Auckland Philharmonia, and a gala performance of George Frideric Handel‘s Messiah, performed on period instruments. She can also be heard every weekend at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Hamilton, where she is Organist and Director of Music.