Introducing The 2017
National Young Performer Awards Adjudicators


Dual Adjudicators for Modern Dance in 2017

PACANZ has announced, that in 2017, there will be dual Adjudicators for the Modern Dance section. With the increasing popularity & increasing numbers of Nominees in the Modern Dance section, it was felt that the NYPA competitors deserved the expertise of more than 1 Judge. The PACANZ Board have been exploring the possibility of Dual Adjudicators for some time, but as with everything, the additional costs had to be considered and then met, while maintaining the integrity of this prestigious National Competition. Dual Adjudicators were first appointed in 2016 for both the Tap Dance and Ballet sections.

The Troupe/Group section was re-introduced in 2016 as part of the 40th Anniversary Celebrations. This section was so popular that it was decided to continue offering this award for the foreseeable future. The 2 Modern Adjudicators will form the base of the Troupe/Group judging panel and will be joined by up to 4 additional Adjudicators to cover all the necessary dance genres.



    Renee Schuda - Modern Dance


Renee Schuda born and raised in New Zealand & studied all styles of dance (jazz tap, ballet, contemporary/modern, musical theatre, hip hop and Irish dance. Renee went to the NYPA for tap (placed) and ballet (semi finals) but won the Modern section of the NYPA at the tender age of 15. 

Renee moved to Los Angeles after winning a year scholarship to study at the world renowned Edge Performing Arts centre in Hollywood California, where she studied with the best choreographers in the business. 

Renee started a professional career in dance and choreography at 18 years old & was performing with the Radio City Rockettes at 19. She also toured the world with Latin artist Chayanne and performed on Award shows with artists such as Def Leopard, Pussycat Dolls, Blake Shelton, Jennifer Nettles and many more.

Renee choreographs with her husband Bryan Anthony throughout the year, for the international company Nike and continues to work on movies, television and stage productions in the United States and around the world.

Renee has recently started her own dance convention, which brings some of the best LA choreographers to NZ every year & offers Scholarships to young kiwi dancers. This is dear to her heart, as she started her professional dance career on a scholarship and now she has the opportunity to pay it forward!

Let’s dance


   Bryan Anthony - Modern Dance

 Bryan has been performing professionally since the age of 5 in television, film and concert arenas around the world.

Bryan trained with Twyla Tharp, Patricia Birch, Stanley Holden, Joe Tremaine, and Patrick Frantz in the contemporary, ballet and jazz world of dance.

Bryan had the honour of training, work shopping and dancing for Twyla Tharp for the film I’ll Do Anything. Bryan has work with the artists Jennifer Lopez, Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Nettles, Adam Sandler, Jack Black, Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber, Cameron Diaz,

Debbie Reynolds, and more…It is an honour and a privilege to teach, coach, judge, and support the art of dance around the world.

Bryan Anthony teaches on the LA TRIBE DANCE CONVENTION providing scholarships for dancers to experience the career of a professional Dancer.


   Cushla Piesse - Highland & National Dance

Cushla is a 60 year veteran of Highland Dancing. She has been on the Technical Committee of the New Zealand Academy for 27 years. She particularly likes this role, as the examination system focuses on attention to detail and trying to perfect movements.

As Head Tutor at the Scottish Society’s Saturday morning Dance Class in Christchurch for over 30 years Cushla gained much reward and satisfaction and gives children the freedom to learn with enjoyment without the competitive atmosphere.

Cushla also has a small dancing school – she likes to teach without pressure giving the children her time and attention to get it right. The close parent-teacher relationship is also important to her.

Cushla was President of the Teachers and Judges (Balmoral) Club in Christchurch for many years and is now the President of the Canterbury West Coast Centre of the Piping and Dancing Association. She believes that it is always good to give yourself a challenge in life and taking on this role has certainly been that.



    Daniel Pengelly - Speech & Drama

Daniel is the Creative Director of Centrepoint Theatre in Palmerston North. Before this he was the Associate Director of The Court Theatre in Christchurch for three years.

 He holds a Masters in Theatre Arts (Directing) from Toi Whakaari & Victoria University of Wellington.

 He was born in Waiouru and raised on a farm in North Canterbury. He studied Commerce at the University of Canterbury and Cookery at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology.

 He first started his involvement in Theatre in 2000 through a High Schools Theatresports competition and performing at his high school. In the years since he has performed with The Court Jesters for twelve years, acted and directed in children’s theatre, devised and directed comedy shows, founded a Wellington performance company that is now into its sixth year, provided dramaturgy for script development, tutors emerging actors and lead theatre programming for the last four years.

 Daniel’s directorial credits include Tubby, BENT, I Betty Ya Didn’t Know That About Colonial New Zealand, Ridderford Street, PlayShop LIVE and Ax Trivia a TV pilot. His Court Theatre directorial credits include Three Little Pigs, A Very Merry Scriptless, ACHE, Peter Pan, Niu Sila, The Cat in the Hat, Little Red Riding Hood, DUETS, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Dunstan Creek Séance, DUETS #2, The Events and Robin hood.




       Elizabeth Sellars - Instrumental

Australian-born Elizabeth Sellars is a distinguished soloist and chamber musician with a reputation as “dynamically exciting” (The Australian) and “one of the few violinists…who can handle works that move in new directions” (The Age).

Elizabeth is a prize-winning graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where she studied with David Takeno (violin) and the Takacs String Quartets (chamber music). Further significant influences included Sandor Vegh and Yehudi Menuhin with whom Elizabeth worked at the International Musicians’ Seminar at Prussia Cove in Cornwall and at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland. In Australia, Elizabeth’s early training was with Nehama Patkin (piano), Andre Hadges (violin) and Arkady Feldman (violin). She was amongst the early graduates of the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School where she studied with the Polish violinist Nathan Gutman. She has been the recipient of numerous prizes including the Hepzibah Menuhin Scholarship, the Lady Northcote Scholarship, the Australian Music Foundation Award, the Countess of Munster Scholarship and the Martin Bequest.

During her time in London, Elizabeth was a winner of the inaugural John Tunnell Trust and the Royal Overseas League Ensemble Prize and Miller Trophy. As soloist and chamber musician, she toured extensively in the UK, broadcast for the BBC, and performed throughout Europe with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields. 

Now resident in Melbourne, Elizabeth is a member of the Sutherland Trio with pianist Caroline Almonte and cellist Molly Kadarauch with whom she has performed for Musica Viva and in an annual curated series at Melbourne Recital Centre. She has also performed with Elision, Libra, the Tin Alley String Quartet, Seraphim Trio, Wilma and Friends and Ensemble Liaison. As a member of Temenos Trio Elizabeth was third prize-winner in the 9th Concorso Musicale Internazionale “Riviera del Conero” in Italy. Elizabeth has also appeared as guest principal first violin with the Melbourne Symphony and guest concertmaster with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria. She has performed on radio and in festivals worldwide, including Chichester, Cheltenham, Roaring Hoofs, Port Fairy, Huntingdon, Mornington Peninsula, Dunkeld, Bangalow, Castlemaine and the Blackwood River Chamber Festival. Elizabeth has recorded for Toccata Classics, Naxos, Move and ABC Classics, and her live concerts and recordings are regularly heard on ABC Classic FM and 3MBS FM. 

Elizabeth is strongly committed to the performance of new work and with the support of the Australia Council has performed world premieres dedicated to her and the Sutherland Trio by Julian Yu, Dominik Karski, Calvin Bowman, Thomas Reiner, Paul Grabowsky, Stuart Greenbaum, Mary Finsterer and Philip Czaplowski. Her recent world premiere recording of the George Benjamin Sonata with Kenji Fujimura was the winner of the 2014 Limelight Chamber Music Recording of Year.

Recent performances include a rare performance of the Margaret Sutherland Violin Concerto with the Monash Academy Orchestra at Robert Blackwood Hall, concerts at Benalla Art Gallery and the Mornington Peninsula Summer Music Festival and recitals with Kenji Fujimura at the Melbourne Recital Centre and in Thailand and Malaysia. She also performed with Ensemble Liaison throughout their 10th anniversary season including concerts at Ngeringa, Townsville Festival and Coffs Harbour. Her most recent CD was released at the end of 2016, featuring the world premiere recording of the Piano and Violin sonatas by George Frederick Pinto with Toccata Classics.

Educating the next generation of students is a passion for Elizabeth. She has presented workshops for the Australian String Teachers Association, the University of Auckland, the International Akaroa Music Festival and the Pettman Junior Academy. As juror, she has served on panels for the Australian Youth Classical Music Competition, the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, the Dorcas McClean Scholarship and the Singapore Teacher’s Association 6th Performer’s Festival.

Elizabeth is currently Co-ordinator of strings at Monash University where she directs the Monash University String Sinfonia and enjoys teaching her many students.



Rosemary Barnes – Official Accompanist for Vocal

After more than 25 years studying and working in London, which included eight years on the music staff of English National Opera, Rosemary returned to New Zealand in 1993 with her young son to direct the Opera Diploma at the University of Auckland for seven years.

She has been repetiteur for Meistersinger, Rosenkavalier and Parsifal at the International Festival of the Arts in Wellington, and coached singers for the 2004 Adelaide Ring Cycle. In 2006 she accompanied Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in a recital celebrating the 150th anniversary of Invercargill. She is music director of Opera Factory, a training company for young singers and coaches Emerging Artists for NBR New Zealand Opera.
A vocal coach at the University of Auckland, Rosemary gives dozens of recitals every year with both established and emerging New Zealand artists, and also accompanies many visiting international artists. In the 2000 Queen’s Birthday Honours she received an MNZM for her services to music.

 “…the indefatigable Rosemary Barnes, whose playing and overall musical direction was an inspiration to everyone”, NZ Opera News, May 2008

Rosemary Barnes, Auckland
PH/Fax (09) 528 7756 / 021 1839 734

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