A total of 17 people have been recognised in today's Queen's Birthday Honours for their contributions to music. John Rowles, the Topp Twins, Jackie Clarke, Flying Nun founder Roger Shepherd and Mai FM Content Director Philip Bell, aka DJ Sir-Vere are among the most well-known.
John will be a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
John was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1979 for his services to the music industry. Now the ‘Cheryl Moana Marie’ singer is to be knighted.
Originally from Kawerau, John took up singing in the mid-60s after being fired from his job at the paper mill.
In 1968, his ballad 'If I Only had Time' got to #3 on the UK charts, but back home it was his 1970 hit ‘Cheryl Moana Marie’ – about his younger sister, that was most popuar. In the 70s Rowles became a nightclub fixture in Honolulu and Las Vegas, still performing occasionally in NZ.
John did a farewell tour in 2011 before returning to the stage in 2014 for his ‘I’m Back Again’ Australian tour. Mr Rowles released his autobiography ‘If I Only Had Time’ in 2012 and his anthology album of the same name in 2013.
The Topp Twins
Lynda and Julie Topp will be Dame Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
The Topp twins have been performing in NZ and abroad for more than 30 years. In 2004 they received Orders of Merit for services to entertainment. Since then they’ve release two albums – Flowergirls and Cowgirls (2005) and Honky Tonk Angel (2009), released five best-selling children’s audio books, and have regularly performed at sold-out venues in Australia and New Zealand.
In 2008 they were admitted to the NZ Music Hall of Fame.
In 2009 the pair starred in award-winning documentary The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, which broke all previous records for opening day and opening weekend for a New Zealand documentary, and after just four weeks at the box office, it made over $1 million.
They’ve also got their own TV show and have worked tirelessly to raise awareness for breast cancer, a disease that affected Jools personally in 2006.
Philip Bell, aka DJ Sir-Vere
Phil will receive an Order of Merit for services to music.
Phil has been a pioneer and champion of hip hop music in New Zealand for nearly 30 years across a range of roles, including his current position as Content Director at Mai FM, which was awarded Station of the Year at this year’s Radio Awards.
Early in his career Phil was Head of Urban Music and Artists and Repertoire for record label BMG. During this time he worked with artists including DLT, Che-Fu, and the Urban Pacifika Record label, who he signed to BMG.
His signings were responsible for several gold and platinum records, bringing local hip-hop and RnB to the mainstream. Phil founded the Trueschool Hip Hop Show on 95bFM in 1993, which later went on to become a TV show on Max TV and MTV.
In 1997 Phil was the first to bring the International Turntable Federation competitions to New Zealand, and from 2001 to 2005 he was involved in the Aotearoa Hip Hop Summit.
His ‘Major Flavours’ compilation series remains a crucial vehicle for showcasing local talent here and abroad.
Since taking the helm at Mai FM in 2010, Phil’s taken the station from strength to strength, beating behemoth talk station ZB in the ratings, ad receiving Station of the Year at this year’s Radio Awards.
Roger Shepherd, founder of Flying Nun
Roger will receive an Order of Merit for services to music.
Roger established Flying Nun in 1981 in Christchurch. The label is legendary for championing emerging music, particularly from Christchurch and Dunedin.
The label’s early releases – by bands including The Chills, The Clean Chris Knox, The Verlaines, Sneaky Feelings, The Bats, Straitjacket Fits, and many more – went on to define an era and help create what’s now known as ‘the Dunedin Sound’.
Roger is being honoured for providing an outlet to New Zealand musicians, particularly young musicians, who wouldn’t otherwise have had their music recorded or released.
He’s regarded as an inspiration and a pioneer, and a man who put personal financial gain aside in the interests of the artists.
Roger remains involved in Flying Nun – now based in Auckland, as a company director.
Jackie will receive an Order of Merit for services to the entertainment industry.
Jackie’s been performing for more than 35 years. In the ‘80s she co-founded the pop comedy group When The Cat’s Been Spayed, releasing two albums and touring the country for ten years.
For the past twelve years, she’s been part of acclaimed vocal group The Lady Killers. She’s toured with artists including Dave Dobbyn and Annie Crummer, and recorded with Don McGlashan, Midge Marsden, Jan Hellriegel and more.
Jackie has starred in large-scale productions of ‘Joseph’, ‘Mamma Mia’, ‘Anything Goes’, ‘Sweet Charity’ and ‘Mum’s the Word’, as well as premieres of New Zealand works such as ‘The Underwatermelon Man’, ‘C The Musical’, ‘Dominion Road’ and ‘Hairy Maclary’.
She’s performed with all of New Zealand’s major orchestras, was a regular fixture at Auckland’s Christmas in the Park concerts, and has been part of the Jubilation gospel choir for 18 years.
Her television work includes acting in the comedy series ‘Skitz’, presenting documentaries such as ‘Wise Women and Song’, ‘War Songs’ and ‘Twins’, hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’, and judging ‘Showcase’ and ‘New Zealand Idol’.
Timua will receive an Order of Merit for services to music and Māori performing arts.
Timua is an opera singer who has had a life-long involvement with Māori performing arts. She’s a five-time winner of the New Zealand Lockwood Aria in the Māori and Regional Sections
Throughout her career, she’s given solo performances at special events including the Canterbury earthquake commemorations and Waitangi Day celebrations, as well as regular performances at events including the Opera in the Pa outdoor concerts and for the Rotorua Lakeside Concert Charitable Trust.
She was an Adjudicator for the New Zealand Lockwood Aria signing competition between 2009 and 2016 across several categories, and has previously been an adjudicator for several regional kapa haka competitions.
Timua conducted the Canti Māori Italian Tour in 2004 as a soloist performing a fusion of Māori and Italian songs. She released her operatic album ‘Na Te Ao’ in 2017, which honours the people and communities of Canterbury affected by the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
Timua operates a tourism business that provides Māori cultural entertainment on The Lakeland Queen cruise boat on Lake Rotorua.
Hilary will receive an Order of Merit for services to special education.
Hilary has worked in special education in Auckland, around New Zealand and internationally for the past 27 years, with a particular focus on music, drama and the arts.
She has a background as a performer and worked at Arohanui Special School from 1988 to 1991. She joined the Ministry of Education’s Psychopaedic Initiative in the 1990s, which was tasked with providing education for students who’d been institutionalised for years and were only now taking part in school life.
Hilary has been instrumental in providing education through music for students with severe disabilities. She’s presented workshops throughout New Zealand and internationally, written numerous original songs for programmes she’s created, researched and provided resources for teachers to enhance student participation and engagement, and produced the annual Auckland Special Education Concert for a number of years.
Julie will receive an Order of Merit for services to musical play therapy.
Julie Wylie founded the New Zealand Musical Parenting Association 22 years ago. She’s the founder of the music programme and senior music specialist at the Champion Centre for children with special needs at Burwood Hospital, Christchurch.
Julie has presented music workshops and papers internationally in China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Australia, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Estonia, and Finland. She’s received awards for her music leadership and runs her own music school, Julie Wylie Musical Play, for mothers and young children.
She’s a director for an international online training programme in Musical Play and Play Therapy. In 2006 she was instrumental in developing the Diploma in Early Childhood Music with the Institute of Registered Music Teachers New Zealand.
Marian Theresa (Marian Sinclair)
Marian will receive an Order of Merit for services to music and Māori performing arts
Marian has worked as a teacher, musician, composer, and conductor for more than 25 years.
She’s been in primary school teaching for 32 years and has been the Music Specialist at Marina View School, West Harbour since 1994. Marina has been a conductor for the Auckland Primary Principals’ Association Music Festivals since 1989. She’s produced countless school events, supported charitable causes, composed for the New Zealand film industry, mentored students, and is known for occasionally purchasing instruments for kids when their family couldn’t afford them.
Merle will receive an Order of Merit for services to music.
Merle has been involved with music on a voluntary basis in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions for more than 60 years. She was involved with choirs in Morrinsville in the 1950s and has been Deputy Conductor of Wesley Methodist Church choir since the 1980s.
Merle was musical director of the Tauranga Civic Choir from 1979 to 1991 and has conducted the Silver Singers since 2014, a choir of retirees who perform at rest homes and retirement villages. She was a member of the Bay of Plenty Symphonia committee between 1988 and 2015, and is a current Friend of the Orchestra.
Merle was the Choral Director of a 100-strong choir for five successful ‘Last Night of the Proms’ concerts between 1999 and 2013 in the Bay of Plenty community, and was a driving force behind the establishment of the Rising Stars concerto competition for young musicians.
Peter will receive an Order of Merit for services to the community.
Peter has volunteered service on various community projects in Putaruru and Nelson, in particular through brass band clubs and Lions Clubs. He joined the Nelson Garrison Brass Band in 1953 and in 2014 was made a Life Member of Nelson City Brass.
For decades he’s taught young musicians and conducted in Putaruru and Nelson. He led the organising committee for the 1997 Regional Brass Band contest in Nelson. Between 1975 and 1984 he was a member of the Putaruru Lions Club and has been a member of the Nelson North Lions since 1984.
Through his involvement with the Lions Club Peter has been instrumental in driving a number of community projects including the fundraising and development of the Rangiura Retirement Home and the Putaruru Timber Museum.
In Nelson he was involved with the development of the Maitai sports/bowling facility and volunteered for eight years to assist in the running of Founders Park museum.
Sheran will receive an Order of Merit for services to pipe bands.
Sheran Hancock has been Education Group Leader of the Royal New Zealand Pipe Band’s Association since 2009. She’s taught hundreds of students how to play the bagpipes and has developed teaching programmes for youth.
She was Pipe Major of the Feilding Pipe Band from 1984 to 2009. During this period the band attended more than 120 contests over 12 years and consistently placed in the top three. She was Pipe Sergeant of the Manawatu Scottish Number Two Pipe Band, which won the New Zealand and Australian National Championships in 2010
Mrs Hancock established the Foundation New Zealand Youth Pipe Band in 2010 and is manager/director. The band has toured Australia, Canada and the United States.
Steven will receive an Order of Merit for services to the Jewish community and music.
Steven is a child survivor of the persecution of Jews in Hungary, who migrated to New Zealand after World War Two.
From 1998 to 2003 Steven served as President of the Wellington Jewish Community Centre (formerly known as the Wellington Hebrew Congregation). He’s the founding Chairman of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand, which tells the history of the Holocaust though the lives of the refugees and survivors who came to New Zealand.
Steven was the inaugural President of the Hutt Valley Chamber Music Society. He was involved in organising a series of Kristallnacht concerts, which have attracted audiences from the wider community.
Helen will receive a Queen’s Service Medal for services to music and horticulture.
Helen was Chamber Music Wellington’s Concert Manager for a number of years and has been a member of the Waikanae Music Society Committee since 1984. She was President of the Society from 1990 to 2015.
Helen was also Associate Society representative on the Chamber Music New Zealand Board. She played a key role in purchasing the Fazioli piano in 2011, which has allowed the society to attract internationally acclaimed pianists. Helen remains Treasurer of the Society and was a founding member and Chair of the Society’s Charitable Trust for Young Musicians.
She’s been President and Branch Secretary of the New Zealand Camellia Society for 14 years, organising the National Camellia Show in Waikanae in 2009. She’s been a member of the New Zealand Rose Society since 1984 and was President of the Kapiti Rose Society when Kapiti hosted the 1992 National Autumn Rose Show. Ms Guthrie has been a national judge of roses for 25 years
John will receive a Queen’s Service Medal for services to music.
John became Musical Director of the Bay of Islands Singers in 2009, which has since grown from around 30 to more than 60 members. He also directs an annual community carols event at the Turner Centre and has been involved with the Kerikeri International Piano Competition since 2007, becoming its Director in 2010.
John is a member of the Church Council at St James Anglican Church Kerikeri, having formerly been its chair. He also trains and conducts the church’s choir.
Elizabeth (Betty) Noffke
Betty will receive a Queen’s Service Medal for services to music.
Betty became a registered music teacher in the early 1980s and continues to teach a studio of piano students from beginners to accomplished learners. For a number of years Mrs Noffke would produce a musical play for her students to perform at an end of year concert. She would arrange music, make costumes, and fabricate sets for the play to be performed at a local Blockhouse Bay venue.
Betty was elected to the Institute of Registered Music Teachers (IRMT) Board in the late 1980s and has held a range of positions. She convened the centennial conference in Auckland in 2002 in addition to compiling and writing a history of IRMT in Auckland for this event.
She developed and convened the West Auckland Student Performers Group in the 1980s to improve access to performance opportunities for young students in the area. She launched the West Auckland Performing Arts Competitions (WAPAC) in 1990. She’s been involved with the Blockhouse Bay Community Centre for 30 years and is an active committee member. Betty led the initiative to acquire a performance standard grand piano for the Centre for the staging of WAPAC.
Marjorie will receive a Queen’s Service Medal for services to music.
Marjorie is a professional music therapist and pianist who’s performed for many years for radio, television, the recording industry and theatre. Mrs Orchiston has been President of the Wellington Society for Music Therapy and has been involved with an extensive number of programmes in a variety of institutions for seniors.
She’s published two books: We Used to Sing and Dance offering resource material and programme ideas to work with people with Alzheimer’s-type dementia and With Music in Mind for use in rest homes. She’s been involved with the Marsden and Chelsea Day Care Trusts since the early 2000s and has sourced instruments from overseas for use in her music therapy with these Trusts.
Marjorie recently donated her piano to the Chelsea Club. She regularly attended the Marsden and Chelsea Clubs and provided music therapy sessions on a largely voluntary basis. She has been involved with various organisations as a pianist, music director or entertainer, including the Wellington Operatic Society, Wellington Repertory Society, Ngaio Review, Stagecraft, and Capital Entertainers over the years.
Mrs Orchiston arranged and played accompaniments for the radio series ‘Listen with Mother’ for eight years.