Our Team

Our small, friendly team is dedicated and passionate about NCMA. 

James Donaldson, Director, Nelson Centre Musical ArtsJames Donaldson
Director NCMA

James brings to the position a broad range of professional skills including in the fields of management, music education and music performance.

Prior to his role at NCMA, he was Head of Department of Music at Auckland Grammar School, one of the most prestigious secondary schools in the country. At Auckland Grammar he managed two other secondary school music departments and since graduating with a teaching diploma in 2003 has undertaken a wide array of professional learning opportunities across many genres from choral conducting to music technology.

James graduated with a Bachelor of Music (with honours) from the University of Canterbury in 1998 and went on to gain a Master of Music with Distinction in Dissertation from the University of Manchester in 2006.

He worked as a professional cellist for eight years when he performed with orchestras, chamber music and jazz ensembles and contemporary music groups.

James has studied cello under Peter Dixon, Principal Cello BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (UK), Galina Zelinskaia (Ukraine /NZ) and Prof. Dr. Alexander Ivashkin and Natalia Pavlutskaya (Russia/NZ/UK).

James brings proven leadership as well as a great passion for a wide range of music to the position here at NCMA.

, staff, Nelson Centre for Musical Arts NCMAClare Monti
Operations Manager

Clare has been involved with NCMA / Nelson School of Music most of her life, playing piano from the age of 6, later violin & percussion. She performs regularly with the Nelson Symphony Orchestra as well as accompanying students of musical theatre. Clare has also worked for the Adam Chamber Music Festival since 2008 and is Chamber Music New Zealand Concert Manager for Nelson.

Clare has a BA and a LTCL in piano.

Clare is responsible for the day to day operations of NCMA.

Tanya Nock, violin teacher, NelsonTanya Nock
Education Coordinator

Tanya has been a part of the NCMA team since October 2017, although she has been involved for many years prior to this as a teacher representative on the NSOM board and as an accredited teacher.

Tanya studied violin at Dartington College of Arts under Oliver Butterworth. Butterworth was Senior Lecturer at Dartington College of Arts and later Professor of Violin at Trinity College of Music from 1989 until 2008. He was also Artistic Director of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra from 1990 until 2001. In 2002, Butterworth was appointed an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. Tanya has a BA (hon) in Music and a Post Graduate Diploma in Early Years Education.

Tanya is a vibrant member of the Nelson Arts Community - Founder of Samba de Sol Collective Trust, School Music Advisor, Central School Children’s Choir Director, Arts Festival Carnival Organiser, Fabtive Children’s Holiday Programme Manager and of course, recipient of the Nelsonian of the Year Arts Award in 2016.

Tanya plays several instruments including violin and percussion in Buskadura (an eclectic fusion group), and teaches free beginner violin classes at NCMA.

Tanya is our designated "go-to" person for our accredited teachers and focuses on their needs and all things educational at NCMA.

Joel Bolton, piano teacher, flute teacher, NelsonJoel Bolton, QSO
Director, Orchestral Pathways Programme

Joel has been associated with the NCMA since 1986, as a respected piano and flute teacher and orchestral conductor. He began his flute studies at 12 and piano studies at 14. After 4 years he passed grade 8 piano with distinction after which he went on to pass ATCL and LTCL. He also completed a degree in flute performance at Auckland University and played 1st flute in the Auckland Youth Orchestra.

In the early 90s, he established the Greenhill Community Orchestra which he continues to conduct. As Director of the Orchestral Pathway Programme, he also conducts the NCMA Senior Youth Orchestra and the NCMA Junior Youth Orchestra, as well as leading the Victory School Music Programme. He regularly arranges festivals with other regional orchestras and is an enthusiastic promoter of youth talent.

Joel received the Queen’s Service Order (QSO) for services to music in 2017.

Robyn Sheves, staff, Nelson Centre for Musical Arts NCMARobyn Sheves
Communications Manager

Robyn has been a part of the NCMA team since 2016.

Robyn has been a lover of music all her life and was a member of various choirs and a musical theatre group in her native Scotland. Arriving in Nelson in 2010, her claim to fame is being part of the Rugby World Cup 2011 Nelson Choir that sang the national anthems at all the games played in Nelson.

Robyn has a first class honours degree in Business Studies and a background in marketing and communications having worked in both the private and public sectors. Robyn is responsible for NCMA communications.

JR Richardson
Venue Technical Manager

JR Richardson is a professional freelance audio engineer and production technician based here in Nelson.

He provides a range of audio engineering, technical management, and production services to performing artists, events, venues and festivals.

JR is the present Venue Technical Manager of The Theatre Royal, the Technical Director of Nelson Fringe, and the Head of Sound for Nelsons Arts Festival.

Having been associated with the NCMA since 2010 as a regular venue technician and lighting engineer for our Winter Music Festivals, JR co-ordinates our technical department and spearheads the production aspects of the events we host.

If you have any questions about our spaces and their technical capacity, don't hesitate to get in touch with JR on [email protected].