Notables O-R

Oakey, Alfred
Oakey, Emma
Oakes, Francis Joseph
O’Hara, Ralph Hercules
Owen, Llewellyn
Paque, Guillaume
Pai Te Rangi
Panormo, Louis
Parker, Robert
Pearce, Nicholas Thomas
Penny, Edward Henry
Phillpot, James Henry
Pinny, Frederick James
Pooley, Alfred
Purchas, Arthur Guyon
Quartly, Edgar Charles
Quill, Denis William
Rangiuia, Edward (Tuahine)
Rawei, Wherahiko Francis
Redmayne, Catherine
Reed, William Henry
Reichardt, George
Retford, Charlotte
Ribbands, Henry Sydney Buttle
Richmond, Mary Elizabeth
Rivers, Seaton
Robertson’s Music Stores
Rossiter, Richard Henry
Rowley, Alice May
Russell, Charles H

Oakey, Alfred

Composer, conductor, teacher, piano tuner, music retailer
Born: 1819, England
Died: 1896, Nelson
Active in New Zealand: 1864-1896

Born in England where he was pianist to the Duchess of Inverness before moving to Victoria in 1852. 

After several years performing as a pianist in Melbourne and Ballarat he came to New Zealand in 1864 and settled in Nelson where he initially worked as a piano tuner.  Alfred Oakey was active as an accompanist and was conductor of the Artillery, later Nelson Garrison, band from its formation in 1873. 

By 1872 he had his own pianoforte business and was offering his services as a teacher of the organ, pianoforte, harmonium, cornet and singing, and his skills as a composer and arranger.   In 1876 he bought premises in Bridge Street, and there sold a wide range of instruments, printed music and accessories.  

His wife, Emma Oakey was very involved in the business and their three sons all worked in the music trade.  Frank and Cyril were piano tuners (Cyril trained with Brinsmead and Sons in London) and Ernest was a manufacturer of reed organs. 

Other resources
Australharmony – for Alfred Oakey’s activities in Australia


Oakey, Emma

Music retailer
Born: c1845, England
Active in New Zealand: 1872-1909

Emma Oakey was born in England c1845 and came with her family to New Zealand in 1859.  Her father, William Darby set up business in Nelson as a music dealer in 1865. Her husband, Alfred, a piano teacher and tuner started up his own business in Nelson in 1872.  Emma was clearly heavily involved in the business from the beginning.  In a deposition she gave in 1873 she stated “I chiefly manage the business”.   She probably ran the retail side of the business while her husband travelled around tuning pianos and teaching.  It seems that the business was regarded as primarily hers even before Alfred Oakey’s death in 1896.  Earlier advertisements refer to ‘Mrs Oakey’s’, although sheet music sold was stamped ‘Alfred Oakey’ and later ‘Oakey & Co’.  After Alfred’s death she expanded the business to Blenheim around 1900 but closed this branch four years later. 

Oakes, Francis Joseph (Frank)

Conductor, trumpet player, arranger, hotelier
Born: 1868, New Zealand
Died: 1949, New Zealand

While managing the Duke of Edinburgh Hotel Hotel Frank Oakes was heavily involved in the musical life of Wellington as player and conductor., including conducting the choir of St Mary of the Angels and the Returned Soldiers Union orchestra. He founded the Wellington Professional Orchestra and was also involved in brass bands.

Garland of flowers (arr). (Christchurch: McKee, 1899; Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1911)
Hymn for peace. (Unpublished, 1918)


O’Hara, Ralph Hercules

Violinist, teacher, music retailer, publisher
Born: 1880, New Zealand
Died: 1955, Whanganui

Delivery of pianos from Charles Begg & Co to their Whanganui agent, Ralph O’Hara c1914

A pupil of J. L. Beck of Whanganui, Ralph O’Hara was employed as a violinist in Pollard’s Orchestra in 1902. He established a music business, O’Hara’s Musial Warehouse in 1903 and was the agent for DIC pianos from 1903 to 1912 and then for Charles Begg & Co from 1912 to 1920. In 1920 he sold his entire stock to the Bristol Piano Company who were setting up a Whanganui branch.


Owen, Llewellyn

Teacher, composer, conductor, performer
Born: 1871, London
Died: 1950, Dunedin
Active in New Zealand: 1890-1950

Llewellyn Owen came to Christchurch with his family in 1879. In 1890 he moved to Ashburton where he was a school teacher initially, before devoting himself to music for a number of years in what was to be his most productive period musically. At various times he was conductor of the Ashburton Musical Society, the Ashburton Musical Union, the Ashburton Liederkranz, the Methodist Wesleyan Choral Society, the Ashburton Brass Band and the Ashburton County Band. He also had his own Estudiantina Band and during the First World War trained the Ashburton Patriotic Troubadours. In 1901 his music was performed in front of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall on their visit to New Zealand.

In 1917 he left Ashburton and returned to teaching, moving firstly to Christchurch, then Lumsden and finally Dunedin.

Ring, Ring the Bells (Christmas carol). (Unpublished, 1893 )
The Royal Cambrian. Barn Dance for the Pianoforte. ( London : Robert Cocks & Co, 1896)
The Skirt Dance for the Pianoforte. (London : Robert  Cocks & Co, 1897)
Euterpe : waltz for the pianoforte. (London : Robert Cocks & Co, 1900)
Owen’s March. (London : Robert Cocks & Co, 1901)
Thalia Waltz. (Dunedin : Charles Begg & Co, 1902)
Ashburton High School Song. (Unpublished. 1909)

Other resources
Bean, Margaret. A Passionate Affair: Llewellyn Owen & Music. (Wellington: Steele Roberts, 2015.)

Photo Source: Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Canterbury, 1903.


Pai, Te Rangi – see Howie, Fanny Rose


Panormo, Louis

Guitar maker
Born: 1784, France
Died: 1862, Orua Bay, Auckland
Active in New Zealand: 1859-1862, resident but not musically active

Louis Panormo came from a family of distinguished guitar makers, working in London producing high quality instruments “in the original Spanish style.” He retired from his guitar making in 1854. Five years later, at the age of 75, he and his wife and three of their children emigrated to New Zealand where they were later joined by some of his other children who had left for Australia. Panormo died three years later.

Other resources
Macdonld, Iain. “Players revive master’s art”. New Zealand Herald, 18 February, 1988, Section 2, p2.
Westbrook, James. “Louis Panormo: The only maker of guitars in the Spanish style”. Early Music Vol. 41(4), November 2013, pp571-584.


Paque, Guillaume Auguste Mortimer

Cellist, music teacher, conductor, composer
Born: 1867, England
Died: 1942, Auckland
Active in New Zealand: 1886-1942

Originally from Belgium, Paque’s family had settled in London where his uncle became a cellist in a number of leading orchestras and his father a trumpeter in the royal court. Guillaume received his musical education at the London Academy of Music where he was awarded a number of medals. Aged 21 he moved to Auckland where he was to establish himself as a cello teacher and performer. He taught at W. H. Webbe’s Auckland School of Music, Ladies College Remuera, and Prince Albert College, as well as giving private lessons in cello, piano, singing and harmony. He deputised as conductor for the Auckland Choral Society and also conducted a number of ad hoc orchestral groups, and was for a period organist at St Barnabas’ Church, Mt Eden.

Paque regularly performed not only at the concerts associated with the School of Music, but as a soloist or member of a chamber ensemble at a number of concerts, regularly featuring cello works by his uncle. A small number of his compositions were published, with newspaper reports also mentioning his adding cello obbligato to a number of other pieces.

Cello part to Webbe’s song Madoleine. (Auckland:Webbe, 1886).
Gavotte Joyeuse . Supplement to The Triad, 1 January, 1897
Favourite” and “Tarantelle” for cello. Unpublished.  Performed June 1889.
Antipodes Overture for orchestra. Unpublished. Performed September, 1889,
[Song for Madame Belle Cole]. Unpublished. (1894)
Under the Southern Cross: gavotte. (Auckland: Eady, 1895)
The Skylark: part song. Written for the Auckland Liedertafel Choir. Unpublished. 1895
Now the lusty spring is seen. Supplement to the New Zealand Graphic and Ladies Journal, 29 February, 1896.
Gavotte Joyeuse for cello and piano.   (Auckland: A. Eady, 1910).

Photo source:
Paque family descendents.


Parker, Robert

Conductor, teacher, organist, composer
Born: 1847, London
Died: 1937, Wellington
Active in New Zealand: 1869-1937

Although Parker’s earliest years were spent in Christchurch, it is music in Wellington that he is most associated with. Organist at St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral for almost 60 years, he was soon appointed as Director of the Wellington Orchestral Society, initiating a series of music festivals. He was also conductor of the Wellington Choral Society and Wellington Liedertafel. He was also involved in teacher education, was an examiner for the University of New Zealand, and for several years was the president of the New Zealand Society of Professional Music Teachers. Most of his compositions were of service music, with one carol, Like silver lamps in a distant shine still in the collection of the St Paul’s Cathedral choir.  He was awarded a CMG for his services to music in 1930.

Like silver lamps in a distant shine. (Wellington: Reichardt, 1880)

Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Wellington Provincial District, p. 444.
Thomson, J. M. Biographical dictionary of New Zealand Composers (Wellington: Victoria University, 1990)
Parker, R. Papers, 1863–1935. MS Papers 211. Alexander Turnbull Library


Pearce, Nicholas Thomas

Organ builder, tuner and repairer, piano tuner and repairer, organist.
Born: 1852, Cornwall, England
Died: 1931, Christchurch
Active in New Zealand: 1879-1931

Pearce trained as an organ builder with the London firm of Eustice Ingram. On his migration to Invercargill, he first found work with a joinery firm, but then resumed his trade as an organ tuner and repairer. He was organist at the Lee St Methodist Church for 25 years. In 1901, the organ he had built was installed at St Paul’s in Invercargill and overall he built 20 organs and installed another 8. In 1906 he moved to Christchurch where he continued as an organ builder as N. T. Pearce and Sons under shortly before his death.

Templeton, Christopher. N.T. or not N.T. – that is the Question. A reassessment and evaluation of the work of Nicholas Thomas Pearce. (New Zealand Organ Preservation Trust, 2010)


Penny, Edward Henry

Edward Penny, 1906

Stationer, music seller, publisher
Born: 1859, Lancashire, England
Died: 1926
Active in New Zealand: 1893-1926

Edward Penny trained as a wholesale paper merchant in Manchester before coming to New Zealand in 1883. He purchased his book, music and stationery business in Blenheim in 1893 and acted as the local agent for the Dresden. In 1901 he published Wairau dairy factory manager Thomas Stokes’ True British Colonials dedicated to the New Zealand contingents fighting in the Anglo-South African War.

Other resources
Cyclopedia of New Zealand (Nelson, Marlborough and Westland Provincial Districts), p. 314 (photo source)


Phillpot, James Henry

Music teacher, organist and choirmaster, composer, flutist
Born: 1861, Abervale, Wales
Died: 1937, Auckland
Active in New Zealand: 1884-1937

James Phillpot arrived in New Zealand on the Coptic in 1884. Despite already having started on a musical career as organist at the Methodist church in Stockton on Tees, Phillpot took advantage of the tuition available to him at the Auckland University College and was awarded the Junior and Senior Onslow medals for the top non-matriculated student.

In addition to establishing his place as a music teacher in Auckland, Phillpot had two particularly signifcant appointments as organist and choirmaster, firstly at St Paul’s Church and secondly at St Matthews Church where he was to serve from 1905 until the early 1930s. HIs Easter cantata, The Ascension, was performed complete or as extracts almost every year during this period.

Phillpot composed a significant number of works, 20 of which were published and more than twice that number remained unpublished but had performances noted in the newspaper. Other than sacred works for his church choir, his works included topical piano works and songs. He was active in the masonic movement and wrote for a number of Auckland groups such as the Old Colonists Choral Society.

Phillpot is also generally agreed to be the composer who using the pseudonym Hemi Piripata, arranged a number of Maori songs which were successfully published by Eady and then Beggs. Definitive evidence of this still being sought.

Published compositions:
Fair Ireland. (Auckland: Star Office, 1885)
Birthday Ode to Sir George Grey. (1886)
Zealandia’s victory. (1888)
Sons of the Empire. (London: Keith Prowse, 1899)
In memorium. (Auckland: A. Eady, 1901)
New Zealand’s sons. (Auckland: A. Eady, 1902)
Abide with me. (Auckland: A. Eady, 1903)
God defend New Zealand. (Auckland: Wilson and Horton, 1904)
Sons of liberty. (Auckland: A. Eady, 1908)
O Lord, we beseech thee. (London: Wickins, 1909)
Almighty and everlasting God. (London: Wickins, 1909)
O Lord who knowest. (London: Wickins, 1909)
Light of the Gospel. (London: Wickins, 1909)
Vesper bells. (Auckland: A. Eady, 1912?)
Waken lords and ladies gay. Hunting song. (Auckland: 1914?)
Lionheart. (Auckland: Wilson and Horton, 1917)
Song of thanksgiving on the occasion of the recovery of His Majesty King George V. (Auckland: 1929?)
10 little Maori songs. (Auckland: A. Eady, 1929)

Photo source:

Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections NZG-19050318-35-5
From the New Zealand Graphic, 18 March 1905, p35


Pinny, Frederick James

Musical instrument importer, music retailer, builder
Born: c1857, Motueka
Died: 1933, Wellington
Active in New Zealand: 1886-1933

Worked as a builder until 1886 when he set up business in Manners Street, Wellington as an importer of pianos, organs and other musical instruments. The business later moved to Cuba Street and then Willis Street. In 1913 a branch was opened in Nelson but this closed in 1915. The business operated until Pinny’s death.


Pooley, Alfred

Organist, music teacher, conductor, concert organizer, pianist, bandmaster, composer
Born: 1849?, England
Died: 1896, Sydney
Active in New Zealand: 1883-1890

Alfred Pooley appears to have moved to New Zealand with the intentions of starting a new life. Formerly a Wine and Spirits distributor, he had also been an organist at St Peter’s Cathedral in Liverpool. After his arrival in Auckland on the “Kentish Lass” in 1883 he set up as a music teacher, organist, concert organiser and conductor. One of his innovations was a series of marine concerts, where the ship “Takapuna” moored in a quiet part of the Waitemata Harbour and a short concert held before its return to the main wharf. His two New Zealand published works were dedicated to leading figures in Auckland but unfortunately his arrival in Auckland coincided with a significant economic downturn. He relocated to Sydney, where he was appointed organist at St Matthew’s Church, Manly.

Cairn’s March. (Auckland: Star Steam Litho, 1886)
Kawau March. (Auckland, 1886)


Purchas, Arthur Guyon

Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 4-JDR5

Anglican vicar, doctor, architect, engineer, inventor, scientist and musician
Born: 1821, Wales
Died: 1906, Auckland
Active in New Zealand: 1847-1906

Arthur Purchas was one of the most influential figures in the establishment of the settlement of Auckland and surrounding areas. Amongst his many other activities and responsibilities he was Musical Director for the New Zealand Anglican Dioceses, responsible for the development of the New Zealand Hymnal, and taught music at St John’ College. A number of his hymns were  published in the New Zealand Hymnal as well as the Church Gazette.

Publications and compositions
Tunes for different metres. (Auckland: St John’s College, 1848)
New Zealand Hymnal tunebook. (Auckland: Wayte & Batger, 1866)
A child’s morning prayer. (Auckland: Church Gazette, 1889)
Hurrah for our bonnie island home. (Auckland: Eady, 1894)

‘Purchas, Arthur Guyon’, Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock, originally published in 1966. Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 22-Apr-09
New Zealand Memories 84 (June/July 2010), pp. 4-8,
Steele, John. No ordinary man: the extraordinary life and times of Dr Arthur Purchas. (Auckland: David Ling, 2019)


Quartly, Edgar Charles

National Library of New Zealand

Singer, music retailer, conductor, teacher of elocution
Active in New Zealand: c1906-c1911

Edgar Quartly (often spelt Quartley) was a teacher of elocution, a singer and had his own orchestra in Blenheim. He came to New Zealand from Adelaide c1906. In 1907 he took over the music retail business of Mr Parker and in December 1908 became the agent for the DIC, selling pianos on their behalf. It is highly probable that the next year he became agent for Begg’s as they brought a bankruptcy case against him in 1910 and subsequently advertised the business for sale. He left Blenheim at this time and returned to Adelaide.

While in Blenheim Quartly published Quartly’s First Musical Album (c1910) which contains several pieces by Antonio Vannini, who was a local music teacher.


Quill, Denis William

National Library of NZ

Composer, labourer
Born: 1887, Otaki
Died: 1931, Wellington

Sadly, the promising musical career indicated by Denis Quill’s early life did not eventuate. Quill (also known as William Denis Quill) was the son of the manager of the Railway Hotel in Otaki, and attended St Patrick’s College. He received musical tuition from Laurence Watkins, and at the early age of of 17 wrote and had published the Nikau Waltz which became a firm favourite and was re-published through many decades. It was even re-worked as a song, Waiting for you, and performed by Vera Lynn. Quill had on-going issues with alcohol and minor offences against the law and no further contributions to music in New Zealand are documented.

Dufferin polka. (Sydney: Alberts, 1904)
Nikau waltz. (Auckland: Eady, 1904)

Nikau waltz. Performed by Ludwig Treviranus (selections), from Living echoes. Wellington: Sunrise Music Trust, 2014)
Nikau waltz. Sawok productions, 2016.


Rangiuia, Edward (Tuahina)

Tenor and music teacher
Ngati Porou, Te Aitanga a Hauiti
Born: 1886
Died: 1918, London

Rangiuia centre front

Photograph of a touring musical group. Ref: PAColl-4777-2.
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/42037752

Edward Rangiuia (also known as Chieftain Rangiuia) went to school at Te Aute College and was cousin of Sir Apirana Ngata. He was established as a music teacher in Gisborne but after performing for the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall during their 1901 and 1903 tours he was encouraged to take his singing career further. He moved to London and toured successfully with Fanny Howie (Princess Te Rangi Pai) and was one of the performers at the New Zealand concert in the Festival of Empire 1911.

McLean, Mervyn. Maori Music. (Auckland: Auckland University Press 1996)
National Library of New Zealand. Pukana exhibition.


Rawei, Wherahiko Francis

Entertainer, evangelist, composer
Born: 187?, Whanganui area
Died: 1928, Avarua, Cook Islands

Wherahiko Rawei’s early life is somewhat obsure, with various version as to where and when he was born and his parentage. He was active as a Salvation Army evangelist in New Zealand during the 1890s, and continued both his evangelical message and presenting stories of his Maori heritage in Australia and the United Kingdom. From 1903 his career moved to mainland USA, lecturing and performing as part of the Chautauqua and Lyceum circuits.

Songs: sung by Rawei, the New Zealand native evangelist.
“I heard of a saviour’s love”. In: The Endeavour Hymnal for young people’s societies, Sunday schools and church prayer meetings. (1901)
Death of Piwa. (Tasmania: Zeehan, 1912).

Other resources
Brawley, S. and Dixon, C. The South Seas: a reception history from Daniel Defoe to Dorothy Lamour. (Lexington Books, 2015)
Roberts, E. “The perpatetic career of Wherahiko Rawei”. In: The cosmopolitan Lyceum. (University of Massachusetts Press, 2013), pp. 203-220.

Photo credit
Lyceum News (May 1912), p. 10


Redmayne, Catherine

Otago Witness, 3 April 1858

Pianist, singer, entertainer, music teacher
Born: 1825, England
Died: 1869, Greymouth
Active in New Zealand: 1857-1869

Catherine (Kate) Redmayne is recalled as the first female to try and make a livelihood from giving piano concerts throughout the southern regionn of New Zealand. During the late 1850s and early 1860s She travelled through difficult terrain to perform from her Dunedin base. She also composed a number of works which she included in her performances and had 4 poems published in the Otago Calendar. After a visit to England in 1864, she returned to perform in the North Island and top ofthe South Island before settling on the West Coast where she died in childbirth in 1869.

Court, Suzanne. “Catherine Redmayne”. In: The book of New Zealand women. (Wellington: Bridge Williams, 1991), p550-551.
Lister, C. The life of Catherine Redmayne from 1857-1864. (BMus(Hons) research essay, University of Otago, 1989)
McIntosh, Peter. “Research notes relating to Miss Redmayne, early Dunedin pianist c.1855-61.” Hocken Collections, Misc-Ms-1556.


Reed, William Henry

Musical theatre entertainer, violinist, composer, photographer, music retailer, hotel manager, carpenter
Born: 1848?, England
Died: 1878, Auckland
Active in New Zealand: 1860-1878

Trained as a carpenter, Reed devoted most of his time in New Zealand working as a photographer or hotel manager with a strong parallel career as a musical entertainer. Using the persona W H Mackney, he first performed blackface routines, later broadening his repertoire and performing under his own name, composing topical ballads in the style of Charles Thatcher with whom he had worked. He was known for performing on a variety of instruments including the banjo and the violin.

He lived and performed in Auckland before moving to the West Coast, and after the tragic death of his wife to Grahamstown, Thames. His second wife was the singer Annie Leaf who went on to have a successful singing career overseas after Reed’s sudden death. They relocated to Auckland and he had purchased Turrell’s music retailer shop but died very shortly after their arrival in Auckland.

Other resources
Giles, Keith. C H Monkton & W H Reed: adventures in the history of New Zealand Photography. (Auckland: Dead Souls, 2020)


Reichardt, George

Music dealer, music arranger, pianist, music publisher, teacher
Born:  c1837, England
Died:   28 March 1915, Wellington
Active in New Zealand: 1850s-1915

After arriving in New Zealand George Reichardt taught music in Dunedin and played the piano with Achille Fleury in concerts in Dunedin during the 1860s and early 1870s. In 1870 he became manager of George West’s music business in Princes Street.     By 1878 he was in Wellington where he set up his Music Warehouse.  He continued to run this until his accidental death in 1915.


Retford, Charlotte

Music retailer
Born: c1856
Died: 1922, New Plymouth
Active in New Zealand: 1874-1922

Taranaki Herald, 18 April 1903, 7

Charlotte Retford came to New Plymouth in 1874 with brother and sister, Mary.  The sisters operated a tobacconist and fancy goods business until Mary’s death in 1884 when Charlotte became the sole owner.  In 1899 she became the agent for the Dresden Pianoforte Manufacturing & Agency Co Ltd, selling their pianos and almost certainly sheet music as well.  In 1901 Charlotte purchased the stock of Mr G M Brasch & Co, a business which sold musical instruments and sheet music.  An advertisement for 1902 indicates the feminine appeal of her stock as she was advertising sewing machines, pianos, music, fancy goods, wool, toys and washing machines.  In 1903 calling herself an importer she advertised ‘Music and Musical Instruments, A Large and Up to-date Stock to select from.  Also, a large job purchase of “Songs, etc for sale, cheap.”   


Ribbands, Henry Sydney Buttle (Harry)

Diving instructor, insurance salesman, lyricist, poet, music retailer
Born: 1874, Isle of Wight, England
Died: 1946, New Zealand
Active in New Zealand: 1906-1946

Immigrated to New Zealand in 1906 and settled in Hastings where he collaborated with A R Don on several songs and a comic opera, Marama or The Mere and the Maori Maid. A rifleman with the 22nd Reinforcements during the First World War he also wrote the lyrics for The Land of the Long White Cloud (music by Sergeant Charles Lawrence James) which became the ‘official march of the New Zealand Division’.

In 1919 on his return to New Zealand he opened a music, book and stationery shop in Hastings,

Our Territorials: a chorus march song. (Wellington: Charles Begg & Co, 1914)
We shall get there in time. (Hastings: Don’s Piano and Music Warehouse, 1915)
Strike up that band. (Hastings: Anzac Music Publishing Co, 1915)
The land of the long white cloud. (Wellington: Charles Begg & Co, 1917)
Come canoeing down the Wanganui. (Hastings: Ribbands & Don, 1920)
The Renown: a Maori medley waltz. (Wellington: Don’s Music House, c1927)
Marama: comedy opera. (Hastings: Hastings Amateur Dramatic Society, nd)

Other resources
Bourke, C. Good-bye Maoriland: the songs & sounds of New Zealand’s Great War. (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2017) pp. 152-153
Harcourt, P. Fantasy & folly. (Wellington: Steele Roberts, 2002) pp. 103-108.


Richmond, Mary Elizabeth

Alexander Turnbull Library,
Richmond-Atkinson Collection (PAColl-1802)
Reference: PAColl-1802-1-02

Teacher, community leader, writer, composer
Born: 1853, New Plymouth
Died: 1949, Wellington

Mary Richmond was privately educated in a large, comfortably well-off household. She enjoyed the experience of travelling to England, and after having the responsibility for running the household she taught at Wellington Girls High School. On the death of her father, she trained further as a kindergarten teacher and opened her own school.

She was very active in a number of organisations involved in support and education of women and children, wrote poetry, plays and a number of songs, mostly for children.

Songs of the planets. (Wellington: McKee, 1898)
The moon song. (Wellington: McKee, 1899)
Our old tattered flag. (Wellington: McKee, 1900)
Songs for children. (London: Green, 1908)

Porter, F. ‘Richmond, Mary Elizabeth’, Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 September 2020) (Photo source).
Richmond family : Papers. Alexander Turnbull Library Ms 77-173


Rivers, Seaton

Active in New Zealand: 1904-1908

Probably a pseudonym, Seaton Rivers published six works over a short period.

Willows. (Dunedin and London: Charles Begg & Co, 1904)
The red carnation. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1907)
Intermezzo in A. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1908)
Nocturne in E flat. (London: Charles Begg & Co, 1908)
Only Pretence. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1908)
White Lilac. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1908)


Robertson’s Music Stores

Music retailer, publisher
Location: Auckland
Established: 1899
Ceased business: 1934

Auckland Star, 7 March 1899

Started by Alfred William Robertson who was born at Bendigo in 1857 and came to Auckland in 1899 where he founded Robertson’s Music Stores in Queen Street. The business went bankrupt in 1934. After closure his younger son, Jack (Robbie) Robertson worked for Begg’s and at one time managed their Auckland branch.

Robertson’s were a publisher of New Zealand music and the copyright for its publications was purchased by Arthur Eady Ltd. Included in these were Haere Ra or Now is the Hour.


Rossiter, Richard Henry (Harry)

Composer, music retailer, band leader
Born: 1871, Lyttleton
Died: 1936, Christchurch

After studying music by local teachers including Henry Towle, Arthur Towsey and Arthur Barth, Rossiter started composing works for performance at an early age. One of his most successful works, the Onslow waltz, was written when he was only twenty. Three editions were published, and it was performed both on piano and by dance band. A number of songs, dance and church pieces followed, published by a variety of New Zealand and overseas music publishers.

Rossiter appears to have written little after 1910. He was employed at Milner and Thompson’s in Christchurch and later was the piano manager at Begg’s. He continued his musical activities through conducting various bands and at various concerts, along with his involvement in parish music.

Onslow waltz. (Dunedin: Dresden, 1890) – also 1900 (London: Reynolds) edition
Barn dance. (London: Wickins, 1892)
Only you. (1894)
Our cycling song. (Christchurch: 1896)
The village coquette. (1896)
England is mistress still. (Christchurch: Lyttleton Times, 1900?)
O salutaris hostia. (London: Frederick Harris, 1905)
Zealandia. (Christchurch: Milner and Thompson, 1905)
One summer’s night. (Adelaide: Cawthorne, 1906)
Poppies. (London: Reynolds, 1906)
Vanora. (London: Reynolds, 1906)
Waves of the rolling deep. (Adelaide: Cawthorne, 1906)
In the meadows. (Adelaide: Cawthorne, 1906)

Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Canterbury Provincial District, p. 232. (Photo source)
Nichol, E. “Dedicated to the colonial music-loving public”.


Rowley, Alice May (later McLean, Forrester, Mackay)

Music teacher, pianist, composer
Born: Christchurch, 1870
Died: Christchurch, 1940

Alice Rowley ‘s talent as a musician was evident while still a pupil at Christchurch Girls High School and she went on to become the first woman to graduate with a Bachelor of Music from the University of New Zealand.

In addition to raising a family, frequent accompanying at concerts and delivering lectures on a range of musical topics, Rowley continued to compose throughout her life. While several of her songs were published there remains also a wealth of unpublished songs, several of which received public performances.

Published compositions:
Hinemoa: morceau pour piano. (London: Wickins, 1889)
Nydia. (London: London Music Publishing, 1889?)
One hundred years ago. (London: Wickins, 1890?)
The oId flag. (Christchurch: Lyttleton Times, 1900)
Christmas carol. (Ashburton: 1911)
Homeward bound. (London: Frederick Harris, 1913)
Lullaby. (London: Frederick Harris, 1913)
One flag, one throne. (London: Frederick Harris, 1913)
Song of the rose. (London: Frederick Harris, 1913)
Cradle song. In: The Countess of Liverpool Giftbook, 1916.
Love eternal. (Sydney?: 1916)
Walkin’ down the roadway. (London: Arthur H. Stockwell, 1940)

Alexander Turnbull Library. Marches, polkas, waltzes; list of published works and appreciation of Alice Forrester Mackay. MS-Papers-0440-1
May, Judith. “Alice Mackay Mus. Bac.” Music in New Zealand, 1994, p. 35-37.
New Zealand Freelance. 13 Oct 1937, p. 12.
“Obituary. Mrs W. O. Mackay.” Press, 24 July 1940, p. 2

Photo source:
Cyclopdedia of New Zealand : Christchurch Provincial District, p. 821.


Russell, Charles H

Organist and pianist, teacher, music retailer, composer
Born: Probably USA
Died: 1879, Melbourne
Active in New Zealand: 1864-1878

Organist in the Catholic Church of Los Angeles before coming to New Zealand c1864 where he established himself as a Professor of the Pianoforte in Wellington. In 1865 he opened a music warehouse which was destroyed by fire in 1869. He moved to Dunedin in 1870, where he resumed teaching, before leaving for Melbourne in 1878.

Farewell to the Emigrant. (unpublished, 1864)
Loving eyes are on me beaming. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1876)
Fern leaves. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1876)
Silvery spray. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1876)
When will ye think of me? (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1877)

Macgibbon, John. Piano in the parlour. (Wellington: Ngaio, 2007), p61-65.