After a long illness, one of our former Sydney Conservatorium of Music vocal and opera staff, Elizabeth Todd OAM, peacefully passed away on 31 July 2017. She was 98.
Elizabeth Todd OAM, DSCM, LMusA, MACE, Hon ARAM (London), Hon FMusA (Sydney) originally relocated from Queensland to Sydney on a piano scholarship. After graduating in piano from the NSW State Conservatorium in performance, she coached singers in the Conservatorium Opera School before joining the vocal staff as a singing teacher in 1947 and retiring in 1983 after a distinguished career.
In 1968, she was the first female Senior Lecturer in any discipline at the NSW State Conservatorium and became Head of the Vocal Studies Department for the next 15 years.
In 1980, Elizabeth became the first female President of the Music Teacher’s Association of NSW, as well as Head Vocal Examiner of the Australian Music Examinations Board. She was also National President of the professional women’s association, Zonta, representing Australia in numerous international events.
A feminist before her time, Elizabeth had a presence and authority that commanded respect. Her work ethic was impressive, and she instilled this attitude of hard work into generations of singers. She directed her students to elevated choices in programming, expecting the highest standards, and accompanied them effortlessly at the keyboard. Her students are now either professional singers, staff at various Conservatoriums, AMEB examiners or adjudicators. Elizabeth is remembered fondly as an examiner, adjudicator and a great supporter of the Sydney Eisteddfod.
Her deep love of vocal music and the Conservatorium resulted in the donation of her scores to the library, and a very significant bequest to the Vocal and Opera Division.
Elizabeth Todd’s funeral will be held on Monday 14 August at All Saints Anglican Church, Ocean Street, Woollahra at 2pm.