Belle a Cappella Choir

Waimea College, Nelson, New Zealand

About the Conductor

Alan K. Gray has taken the reins for 2012 while Bella’s founding conductor, Chris Burcin, is on leave. Read more about Alan . . . >

Chris Burcin, serious conductor

Chris Burcin is HOD Music & Performing Arts at Waimea College in Richmond, Nelson, New Zealand. He was Associate Conductor of the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir 2007-08 and performs with Voices New Zealand, the national chamber choir, Musica Ficta, Nelson’s Early Music vocal ensemble and Trent de L’Amour and the Subcommittee, Nelson’s premier funk/ lounge band.

He was featured in Interface Magazine for his work designing blogsites for his school groups, and in November 2007 he facilitated “Blogging in the Arts”, an online workshop for arts teachers across New Zealand. He created and administers the blogsite for The Big Sing, the New Zealand Choral Federation‘s national secondary schools choir competition.

Chris received his degree in Music Education in 1996, majoring in piano, from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, USA. He danced, sang and played his way through university on a Tamburitzan scholarship, performing East European songs and dances throughout North America. He toured Europe as a member of the Duquesne University Chamber Singers, a group that would go on to win the prestigious Marktoberdorf Chamber Choir Competition in Germany.

After teaching primary school music near Boston, USA, Chris joined the Peace Corps in 1998 and taught music as a volunteer in Samoa for two years. In that time, he travelled throughout the Samoan islands teaching classroom music and music lessons, working with both conductors and choirs and directing two televised theatrical productions.

Bass soloist in Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Nelson School of Music 2005

During a round-the-world trip (where he made his Nepalese debut with the Kathmandu Good Time Blues Band) Chris was offered a position in Whangarei, New Zealand, teaching junior music and performing arts at Kamo High School. He soon joined Opera North and Consortium choirs, and the cast of Les Miserables. He also guest-conducted Opera North and debuted as a classical soloist in the Mozart Requiem with Consortium.

In 2002 Chris joined the national chamber choir, Voices New Zealand . He also took the job of Head of Music and Performing Arts at Waimea College near Nelson, New Zealand.

In 2007 Chris was invited to work with the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir as Associate Conductor, vocal tutor and musical arranger. The 55-member choir continues to rehearse and perform throughout New Zealand in preparation for a tour to Brazil and Argentina in July 2008.

Since moving to Nelson, Chris has conducted Polyhymnos Chamber Choir at the Nelson School of Music , placed second in the Nelson Aria Competition, played Emperor Joseph in Peter Schaeffer’s “Amadeus”, played trombone for the Nelson Symphony Orchestra, founded Musica Ficta, co-founded the funk band Trent de L’Amour and the Subcommittee and very nearly learnt to windsurf.

For more information,
email: chrisburcin at

Chris Burcin, pensive conductor

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