The list of Queen’s Birthday Honours 2017 includes musician Annie Crummer, violinist Sharyn Evans, music educator Linda Webb, tenor Simon O’Neil, voice coach Frances Wilson-Fitzgerald, choir conductor/composer Richard Madden, promoter Shirley May, music teachers Daphne Stevens, Cara Watson and Val Thorborn, and entertainer Shane Hales.
Annie Crummer has been involved in the New Zealand entertainment industry since the 80s, as part of bands such as the Netherworld Dancing Toys, When The Cat’s Away and Herbs. She has released two successful solo albums, performed as part of musicals Rent and We Will Rock You, has mentored youth and prisoners, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Pacific Music Awards in 2011.
Dubbed “NZ’s highest profile classical artist” by conductor Marc Taddei, tenor Simon O’Neil, works internationally as principal artist with a large number of high profile opera houses worldwide, as well as mentoring and training local talent whenever possible.
Sharyn Evans retired from the position of second violin in the NZ Symphony Orchestra in November 2016 as the longest-serving member of the orchestra at nearly 48 years.
Linda Webb is the chairperson of the Council of Music Therapy NZ. She has been involved in music education research and advocacy for several decades, representing NZ on the International Society for Music Education.
A dinosaur of the entertainment industry, singer Shane Hales has been in the business for 51 years. He still performs most weekends and presents TV show Rockin’ The Planet on public service TV channel Face TV.
Frances Wilson-Fitzgerald has had an international career as a voice coach for more than 40 years, playing for, coaching and studying under many of opera’s greats from New Zealand and abroad. She’s currently director of the Auckland Opera Studio, not charging for her lessons, teaching on a voluntary basis.
Dunedin-based Richard Madden is a choir conductor and composer.
As organiser of the Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival (for 27 years), Bay of Islands Jazz and Blues Festival (for 24 years), and many other events, promoter Shirley May is an integral part of creating music related events in her region.
Waitoki’s Daphne Stephens has taught piano and music theory to generations of young musicians over more than 60 years.
Violin Teacher Val Thorburn has been involved with the development of the Suzuki method for teaching the violin in New Zealand since 1984 and is recognised as a leading senior teacher.
Cara Watson is an accomplished piano teacher and examiner who has contributed to her local community in Napier for more than 50 years and at national and international levels.