About music and culture

Music, arts and cultural activities form an integral part of life at St Paul’s Collegiate School. The school has a well-established drama, music and visual arts departments, dance academy, speech and drama specialist, and a wide range of itinerant music teachers who offer lessons across all instruments.

Arts Activities

Students' experience of the Arts at St Paul’s begins in Year 9 when the students study drama, music and visual arts under the Arts academic programme throughout the year.

In addition to this, all students in Year 9 are expected to learn an instrument of their choice. There is further opportunity to extend and develop musical skills by joining a number of excellent groups including the chapel choir, orchestra and bands. For further information on Music activities and Itinerant lessons at St Paul’s, please view the contact information below.

We encourage the students to be involved in at least one Arts & Cultural activity per year, so long as they aren't overcommitting themselves. Monday and Wednesday are set aside as cultural days, meaning that should a production, choir rehearsal, or other Arts and Cultural meeting clash with a sporting practice on these days, the Arts and Culture agenda takes priority.

Music Activities

Music activities form an important and large part of the wider Arts and Culture programme at St Paul’s Collegiate School. The St Paul’s Music department proudly claims to be one of the top arts secondary school’s for Music in the Waikato region, particularly from a co-curricular perspective: some of our students perform to an international level with recent highlights including playing at Carnegie Hall in New York; many of our students represent the country in national groups such as the New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir and New Zealand Secondary Schools' Symphony Orchestra. Our own St Paul’s ensembles are consistently successful in regional festivals, with recent achievements including "Best Secondary Schools Band" at the Hawkes Bay Festival of Bands and a Distinction Award at the North Island Big Sing Cadenza Competition.

All Year 9 students are required to be involved in the St Paul’s Itinerant Programme to learn an instrument of their choosing. The number of weekly private instrument lessons is over 250 and is projected to keep growing.

Outside of the classroom, there is a huge variety of musical opportunities for students to get involved in. Students are encouraged to join groups such as choir, big band, concert band, guitar group, drumline, rock band, ukulele ensemble, string ensemble and barbershop quartets. For all students learning an instrument, it is an expectation that they are involved in at least one of these ensemble activities. All St Paul’s students are also involved with House Choir where their entire house learns a song and performs it to the school in the annual House Music Competition. Because Arts and Cultural groups usually have only one practice per week, this commitment takes priority over any clashing sporting activity.

Music Rehearsals

Day Time
Junior Band/Drumline/Chamber Ensembles Monday 12.20pm
Choir Sectionals Monday 12.30pm
Production Rehearsal Monday 3.30pm
Big Band Full Rehearsal Tuesday 7.15am
Chamber Choir Tuesday 7.00pm
Staff Music Recitals Wednesday 1.30pm
Choir Full Rehearsal Wednesday 3.30pm
Production Band Thursday 7.00pm
Concert Band Thursday 7.15am
Boarders Formal Dinner Thursday 5.45pm
String Orchestra Friday 7.15am
Big Band Sectionals Friday 12.30pm
Production Rehearsal Sunday 2.00pm


Music, Arts and Cultural Contacts

Director of Music, Director of Choirs and Musical Director of Production
Tim Carpenter
Email Tim or +64 7 957 8876

Director of Instrumental Music, and Producer of Production
Delwyn Ringle
Email Delwyn or +64 7 957 8876

Head of Drama and Director of Production
Bruce Rawson
Email Bruce or +64 22 658 1169

Kapa Haka
Tahau Thompson
Email Tahau or +64 7 957 8912

Debating
Heidi Lewis
Email Heidi or +64 7 957 8747

General Enquiries/Questions, Photography Team, Set Design (Productions)
Jonathan Cameron
Email Jonathan or +64 7 957 8899

Dance Academy Head Teacher
Harriet Norman
Email Harriet or +64 221 652 909

Student exhibitions

Visual Art students are supported to produce artwork that is fit for the NZQA Visual Arts curriculum as well as having the potential to be displayed and sold in public places.

Senior Visual Art Student's are involved in our annual folio board exhibition which takes place in the Performing Arts Centre at St Paul's each year.

Soul Gallery hosts an annual solo-show for St Paul's Senior Visual Arts Students. This is an exciting opportunity for students to showcase and sell their work to the wider community. Students are also encouraged to enter regional and national Visual Art competitions, such as the Sir James Wallace Student Art Awards.

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