QEII Award in Music 2019

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QEII Award in Music 2019

This year’s Queen Elizabeth II Music Award will be shared between four young Marlborough musicians.

  • Libby McDonald
  • Iona Pānoho
  • Samuel Lee
  • Jonty Zydenbos

Libby McDonald has achieved Grade 6 Singing with distinction. She was a member of Marlborough Girls’ College senior choir, a vocalist with the college’s jazz band, involved in college productions and Marlborough Girls’ College Cultural Achiever of the Year last year. She has been a regular participant in civic services and public events performing the national anthem. Libby also plays the cello and writes songs. She won a performance entrance scholarship to Otago University for this year.

Iona Pānoho has achieved Grade 8 Singing with distinction. She performs at Tempo and has taken a number of roles in the productions of the Blenheim Musical Theatre. Iona is also an accomplished pianist and lead clarinet for the Marlborough Civic Orchestra. As community service she performs at local rest homes and teaches musical theory to local schoolchildren. Iona is intending to study a Diploma in Singing.

Samuel Lee has achieved Grade 8 Violin with distinction. He also plays the saxophone. He is a member of the Marlborough Boys’ College jazz combo and band, and won an award at the Southern Jam jazz festival. He has played with the Camerata String Orchestra and the Marlborough Civic Orchestra. Samuel is in his final year at Marlborough Boys’ College and intends to study classical performance at the University of Otago.

Jonty Zydenbos has achieved Grade 8 Trumpet with distinction. He also plays classical guitar. He has been a member of the Marlborough District Brass Band since 2013 and is also in the national Youth Band. Jonty has played in the National Secondary School Brass Band for three years and last year was its Outstanding Musician. He was also top musician at Southern Jam. After completing Year 13 at Marlborough Boys’ College, Jonty intends to embark on a music degree at university.

Marlborough Mayor John Leggett said it was the first time so many worthy recipients had come forward in one year and it showed the depth of musical talent within Marlborough.

“It’s also worth noting how willingly these top performers share their talents with the community. They’re all hardworking musicians who are great role models for younger kids and I expect we will see them all achieve higher qualifications as they further their musical careers.”

Background to QEII Music Fund Award

The QEII Music Fund Award was established in 1963 after a visit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Set up with contributions from local bodies throughout the region at that time, today the Kaikōura and Marlborough District Councils administer the Award. The grant assists recipients to continue their musical training.


The information in this media statement was correct at time of publication. Changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information.