Jess Bradley has been a member of the Rotorua District Choir since 2015, and on the conducting team since early 2018. Growing up in London, Jess has been involved in choirs from an early age, and has had the opportunity to perform in numerous notable venues, including St Paul's Cathedral, Notre Dame de Paris, and St John's Smith Square. She moved to New Zealand in 2011, and first started conducting in 2013 with the Mercury Bay Community Choir in Whitianga. Following this, she directed the Oriana Singers in Mount Maunganui in 2017, and the Rotorua District Choir will be her 3rd conducting role. Whilst music is arguably her first love, Jess works in the catering industry, following her second love – food. She also holds an entirely unused BSc in Mathematics.
Elizabeth Pilaar has sung continuously in choirs since she was 10, in school choirs, church and cathedral choirs (Auckland and Oxford), Auckland University choirs, Early Music choirs (Cantus Firmus, Tudor Consort, Con Spirito), the NZ National Youth Choir and Auckland Dorian Choir. Her longest choral relationship has been with the Rotorua District Choir (then the Carter Chorale) firstly as chorister when she was still at school in 1979, then as a soprano soloist and chorister in 1991 and conductor since 2006.
As part of her music studies, a BA in 1985 and MA (Mus) in 1988 (Auckland), Elizabeth studied choral conducting under Karen Grylls, one of NZ leading conductors. She has since attended conducting workshops with the Association of Choral Conductors in Napier and Wellington. Aside from conducting the Rotorua District Choir Elizabeth conducted a Homeschool choir in Rotorua for several years and the St Luke’s Church Choir for many years. She has conducted a congregation for TV’s “Praise Be” which reappears from time to time on Sunday mornings, and had the pleasure of conducting a Welsh Cymanfa Ganu in Rotorua some years ago.
Evelyn completed a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours in classical singing, at Waikato University and has performed with the Auckland Philmonia Orchestra. She has recorded a series of Art Songs for Radio NZ and recorded a solo gospel album "Between You and Me."
After studying singing in England in 1976 Evelyn returned to NZ continuing her interest in classical, musical theatre and jazz music.
Evelyn has had a long history with Musical Theatres both as a performer and a director and has produced musicals for Rotorua Primary Schools.
For the past 23 years Evelyn has been the vocal tutor at Western Heights High School, conducting two choirs and giving individual singing tuition as well as being one of the three conductors for The Rotorua District Choir.