Miss Elizabeth Todd OAM
Miss Elizabeth Todd OAM, DSCM, LRSM, LMusA. MACE, Hon ARA.M (London), Hon F.Mus A.
With great sadness, the Board and Staff of Sydney Eisteddfod are mourning the passing of Miss Elizabeth Todd who died on July 31 after a cruelly prolonged and debilitating illness. A stalwart supporter of Sydney Eisteddfod, Miss Todd served on its Board of Directors from 1984 until 1991 and later continued her involvement as a Member of its Vocal Advisory Panel. A former entrant in this annual event, she was aware of its value for aspiring performers and not only supported it with her knowledge and wisdom, but also as a generous sponsor. She donated her first award in 1965 and has been contributing ever since, most recently in partnership with Paula Clarkstone OAM, Douglas Sutherland AM and The John Lamble Foundation as the generous sponsor of the 2017 Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship.
Born in Queensland, Miss Todd moved to Sydney in 1938 to further her musical education. She enrolled at the NSW State Conservatorium intending to specialise in piano studies, but soon switched courses to study singing. In 1941, she won a gold medal performing with two friends in a vocal trio at the last Sydney Eisteddfod of the pre-war era, and a few months later, she graduated with flying colours, with a Diploma in Music as both a teacher and performer.
Anxious to put her skills to use, she soon, found employment as resident music mistress at Pymble Ladies College, and in her spare time, she enjoyed performing in concerts for the War Effort and soirées that led her into Sydney’s finest dining rooms. With her lilting soprano, she could have made a career as a singer, but she wanted to teach and although she enjoyed teaching schoolgirls, she yearned to work with more serious students.
In 1948, her dream came true when she joined the staff of the NSW State Conservatorium as a Lecturer in Singing. She continued her work there for 25 years, and in 1970 became the first woman to be appointed Senior Lecturer in charge of the Department of Singing and Languages.
In 1989, Miss Todd received an OAM for her services to music. Following her retirement in the mid 1990’s, Miss Todd established a consultancy for singing teachers, coached degree and diploma students and adjudicated major vocal competitions in Australia and New Zealand. She was greatly admired by all who knew her and until illness claimed her, she was always available to give advice and encourage all those who wanted to sing.
She already holds a prime place in the history Sydney Eisteddfod and will be fondly remembered by all who knew her and those who benefited from her generosity.
A service will be held on Monday, 14 August 2pm at All Saints’ Church, 5 Ocean St, Woollahra. Elizabeth Todd’s family and friends request attendees consider a donation to Sydney Eisteddfod to continue the ‘Elizabeth Todd Memorial Awards’ for prizes which dear Elizabeth supported in the Sydney Eisteddfod since 1965 until the present.
Donations forms will be available at the service on August 14. Those that are unable to attend and would like to make a donation can do so online (see below) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org