Kathleen Sutton scholarship established for ILT Christmas Variety Show

The late Kathleen Sutton at a reunion of her 1969 Rosedale Intermediate class in 2017. (File photo)

John Hawkins/Stuff

The late Kathleen Sutton at a reunion of her 1969 Rosedale Intermediate class in 2017. (File photo)

Kathleen Sutton’s family couldn’t give her a public funeral when she died in the midst of Covid strictures in September last year.

But they have found a way to memorialise the 91-year-old who taught thousands of students, mostly at Invercargill’s Rosedale Intermediate.

She was particularly dedicated to music, teaching singing well into her 80s and conducting many choirs through the decades.

So in lieu of a full funeral service, the family has set up a memorial scholarship and each year for the next five years will gift $2000 to a stand-out performer, or performers, at the annual ILT Christmas Variety Show.

* Choir ready to hit the high notes again in Southland
* Opera singing Invercargill teacher speaks six languages and learning a seventh
* Singing helps the vocal cords, says Invercargill 93-year-old
* A home filled with wonderful percussion instruments

Part of a highly musical family, Kathleen Sutton was the daughter of Ellis and Elsie Sutton and sister to Keith, Rodney and Marjorie.

Legions of Southlanders came under her tutelage. She conducted massed choirs in school music festivals, church choirs, and the Southland Youth Choir, and directed music in Scout gang shows.

She also trained the choir of singers from city churches for the Praise Be TV series, featured in a host of charity and fundraising events, and was a past president of the Southland Women’s Club.

Variety show organiser Nigel Skelt said the scholarship was “a lovely gesture from the Sutton family’’ that would give recipients the opportunity to further their careers.

The show is being staged at Stadium Southland, December 22.

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