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Meet Our Team

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Celia Williamson
Director | Music Tutor

Celia has lived in Hamilton all her life, raising six children and currently has 12 grandchildren! She is very passionate about family, and has always been able to make anyone she meets feel a part of hers. She has spent the past 20 years teaching in the classroom and as a music specialist in schools, helping train Music Teachers in the Waikato, and helping to plan and implement professional development and support for teachers in the greater Waikato Area. She was also on the New Zealand Music Education Board (MENZA) for a time.
 

"Music has been a huge part of my life. As long as I am hearing, playing or teaching music I am excited!”

                                                                        - Celia Williamson

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Kim Williamson
Director Kreative Arts Academy | Art Tutor

Kim completed a Bachelor of Media Arts at Wintec in 2014, majoring in Painting and Illustration. She then returned to postgraduate study while working at Excite and graduated with First Class Honors in Painting in 2019. From the time she was young, Kim has been influenced by the arts and now loves to find creative new ways to share and teach her passions in the arts to others.

 

Kim teaches all Art classes through her own business Kreative Art Academy, and does Excites marketing and graphics, and maintains our Website.

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Briar Simpson
Drama  |  Musical Theatre | Vocal Tutor

Briar graduated from Wintec Te Pukenga with a Bachelor of Performing Arts and Music (theatre) in 2023, her speciality being Musical Theatre.  Briar has performed in many shows in Hamilton and Auckland over the past few years and will be performing in Madagascar this year.  She has assisted with, and been show manager, production manager, and props and set design person in musical shows and showquest. 

 

Vocals are another special passion for Briar which she continues to study, working through all levels to be a fully qualified Estil teacher.  The Estil Vocal training programme is a method we highly endorse at Excite Academy.  Briar will be teaching Drama, Musical Theatre and Vocal lessons for 2024.

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Johanna Claus
Music & Dance  |  Vocals Tutor

Johanna is an accomplished educator actively involved in doctoral research at the University of Waikato. With a comprehensive experience of more than a decade, she has showcased her teaching expertise across various educational sectors, age groups, and countries.


Johanna’s devotion lies in the domains of dance, music, and drama, where she adeptly Intertwines technique, skill, and academic theory with joyful and creative self-empowering
methodologies. Johanna fosters a holistic approach and cultivates a learning environment that inspires students to pursue excellence in joyful and creative ways, allowing each student to progress at their own pace and in consideration of their unique abilities and capabilities.

We are delighted to have Johanna back for 2024 after completing her PhD in Dance.

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Charlotte (Charlie) Qian
Piano Tutor

In 2022, Charlie earned her undergraduate degree in Piano Performance from Shanghai Normal University.   Following this she and her husband moved to NZ where she is currently pursuing advanced studies in piano at Waikato University.

Passionate about nurturing a love for music, Charlie finds great joy in interacting with students, finding new ways to make piano learning fun and guiding them through the process of acquiring new knowledge. Her educational journey has equipped her with a solid foundation in piano techniques and musical theory.

 

Charlie is committed to inspiring a lifelong appreciation for music in everyone and we are delighted to have her on board for 2024.

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Ann Speed 
Violin Tutor

Ann and her husband and daughter moved from Northern Ireland to live in New Zealand 6 years ago and Ann has been working for Excite Academy ever since. During her 27 years in Ireland, Ann was employed as an Upper Strings Tutor by the Music Service of the Southern Education and Library Board in Northern Ireland. This role also included musical directorship of the South Ulster Youth Orchestra, and the South Ulster String Orchestra.

 

Ann also has experience as a freelance musician performing all over Ireland. Alongside her teaching career in NZ, Ann remains an active participant in semiprofessional orchestras and ensembles, both playing violin and making a contribution to directing.

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Brinstan DCruz
Violin Tutor

Brinstan took Violin lessons from the age of 9 and plays Violin and Viola. Four years ago he moved to NZ from India to join his childhood sweetheart and has since married her.

 

Brinstan completed his Performers Certificate (Advanced Certificate) from Trinity College in 2010 and  in 2011 completed his ATCL Recital (Associate Trinity College London.) Diploma Level. He was a member and a regular performer at The Bombay Chamber Orchestra from 2007 to 2019 and once in NZ, has been a regular member of the TWSO.  He is a passionate musician.  Brinstan loves teaching violin for pleasure and preparing students for Trinity exams.

 

As a music teacher Brinstan believes anybody can learn music and everyone should be introduced to at least one instrument as a child.   At Excite Academy, we agree with this!

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Robin Mark
Drums | Guitar | Electric Guitar | Bass Guitar | Ukulele Tutor

Robin comes from Taumarunui in the King Country. He grew up with awesome musicians around him at primary school which led to his love for all things music. He completed his Level 4 Certificate in Commercial Music at Wintec in 2016.

 

Robin's main instrument is drums and he plays to a phenomenal standard, but he also loves playing guitar. He performs in a few rock/metal bands in Hamilton and he's always busy creating new music when he can.

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