Staff Profiles

Our teachers and relievers are all police-vetted, established music teachers and professional musicians in the Greater Wellington Region. Classes are on Saturdays between 9am and 1:30pm at Raroa Normal Intermediate School, Haumia Street, Johnsonville.



Syahida Ahmad - Violin, Viola, Orchestra

Orchestra & Violin Course Assistant 


Syahida’s from Malaysia and has been living here in Wellington since 2015. Before she pursue her dreams to study overseas, she managed to finish her diploma and degree studies in music for 6 years at ASWARA, Malaysia. Currently she’s doing her second  degree at Victoria University in Bachelor Of Music majoring in Performance.


She started as a  part time Violin teacher when she was 19 years old and has played with small orchestra for  a few reality TV shows and as a freelancer for wedding gigs. 


Will Allardice - Ukulele, Guitar


Will Allardice started playing guitar at school, learning classical and pop tunes and after university, completed Trinity classical grades and began teaching Saturday morning classes.


He has now taught guitar, electric bass, ukulele, and mandolin at schools and privately in the Wellington region for over 25 years. His interest in music/guitar ranges from early classical to the present day so Will has an extensive collection of teaching material and expertise.



Amity Alton-Lee - Clarinet,  Saxophone 


After beginning on the piano and recorder in primary school in Christchurch, Amity completed a music degree majoring in jazz saxophone performance from Massey University in 2001. She returned later to The New Zealand School of Music completing an Honours year in 2007 and finished her Masters in Music in 2009. 


She has an equal passion for both teaching and playing music, having taught saxophone, clarinet, recorder and keyboard in many schools around the Wellington Region, and privately since 2001.




Andrew Atkins - Keyboard 


Atkins is the current Assistant Conductor to Orchestra Wellington and was a guest conductor in an outdoor concert in January 2017. In November 2017 he premiered the work of Tabea Squire with Orchestra Wellington in the Michael Fowler Centre. Highlights of Atkins’ career include conducting; Symphony no. 4 by Tchaikovsky with WCO; Cello concerto in B minor by Dvorak, Vltava by Smetana with KCO; Clarinet Concerto in A major by Mozart with Manawatu Sinfonia; Symphony no 104 by Haydn, Oboe Concerto “Flower Clock” by Françaix with KCO; Piano Concerto in C minor by Rachmaninoff, Capriccio Italien by Tchaikovsky with Tawa Orchestra. 


Atkins is also a regular concert pianist playing in and around Wellington and completed his Masters in Classical Performance Piano under Jian Liu in 2016.


Samuel Berkahn - Orchestra, Keyboard 


Samuel is currently studying for his Bachelor of Music degree (Majoring in Performance Cello) at The New Zealand School of Music under Inbal Megiddo. In 2018, he was awarded the Bal-na-Shee Cello award and the Therle Drake (Undergraduate) scholarship. 


Being a son of Jonathan Berkahn, music was an integral part of his childhood, and as such, plays not only cello but also piano, organ, double bass and recorder. To top it all off, he is an accomplished composer, having had his music premiered by the Wellington Youth Sinfonietta twice.


Jake Church - Guitar


Jake Church is a Wellington-based guitarist who specialises in contemporary/avant-guard music and is looking to expand the repertoire and conventions for the guitar. He completed a Master of Musical Arts research degree at the New Zealand School of Music—Te Koki, Victoria University of Wellington under the primary supervision of Dr Jane Curry. 


As a soloist and founding member of Duo Kita, Jake has toured New Zealand and gained numerous performance accolades. His keen interest in composition and collaborative practices has allowed him to work with some of New Zealand’s leading young composers. 


Olya Curtis - Violin


Olya graduated in violin performance from the Moscow Conservatory in 1988 under the distinguished Russian soloist Professor Galina Barinova. She also graduated M.Mus. in violin performance from Victoria University Wellington in 2001. 


She is a long standing member of Orchestra Wellington, holding the position of Sub-Principal of the first violin section since 2001. Olya has taught violin at various schools in the Wellington area, including Wellington East Girls' College since 2007, as well as privately.


Elyse Dalabakis - Supervisor 


Violist Elyse Dalabakis is a multi-faceted performer, scholar, arts administrator, ad music educator. She has performed across the US, parts of Europe and New Zealand in recent years.


As Programme Supervisor, Elyse Dalabakis brings arts administration experience from involvement in both New Zealand and US music and music education programmes.


Chris Everest - Guitar


Primarily self-taught, Chris spent his high school years playing electric guitar in rock bands with a keen interest in guitarists such as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and John Petrucci.


In 2014 he began studies at NZSM in composition and jazz guitar, giving his a firm understanding of harmony and improvisation. However, during his 2nd year of study Chris was introduced to the classical guitar which has now become his primary focus, and studies under the tutelage of Jane Curry.


Jillene Everett - Flute & Recorder 


Jillene has taught Ministry of Education flute classes for several years. She enjoys passing on her love of music to the children.


Jillene works at St Andrews on the Terrace and lives in Whitby. She plays in the Hutt Valley Orchestra.


Hannah Neman - Music Basics, Drums 


Hannah Neman is passionate about sharing music with young musicians and enjoys regularly performing educational concerts and workshops which inspire and educate NZ students.


Miss Neman is the Music to Schools Coordinator for Orchestra Wellington, a programme geared towards sharing music with schools around the Greater Wellington Region. She also conducts the Arohanui Strings - Sistema Hutt Valley in Taita. Miss Neman has been fortunate to be able to give back to NZ music education through her work with Orchestra Wellington, Strike Percussion, and Arohanui Strings; as well as her own percussion and rhythm workshops for programmes-alike.


Carol Nolden - Choir & Keyboard 


Carol Ann studied composition, languages and literature at the University of Auckland, graduating with a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Arts. She has taught flute, keyboard and theory privately for over a decade, and also taught keyboard and recorder at Glenfield Music Centre in Auckland for many years.


More recently Carol qualified as a secondary school Music and English teacher with a Graduate Diploma in Teaching from Victoria University. She is passionate about encouraging children to explore and enjoy the magical world of music.


Caitlin Morris - Cello 

Caitlin started learning the cello at the age of fifteen and completed her BMus degree studying with Rolf Gjelsten, cellist in the New Zealand String Quartet, at the New Zealand School of Music. While at university Caitlin received scholarships and awards such as the Victoria University excellence scholarship, the Roy Jack prize for merit in string playing, the Body/ Harris prize for best performance of a New Zealand work and recently the MFA Fine Arts scholarship.

Caitlin has been involved in film score recordings for local Wellington composers on acoustic, electric cello and guitar and has also performed the Vivaldi double concerto with her past teacher Lissa Cowie with the Marlborough Civic Orchestra and the Nelson Symphony Orchestra.