At St Paul’s Collegiate School we nurture the creative talents of our students through a well structured music programme that includes academic participation and an itinerant music scheme.

At St Paul’s we nurture the creative talents of our students through a well-structured music programme that includes academic participation and an itinerant music scheme.

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 schools for Music in the Waikato region, particularly from a co-curricular perspective. 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,

Music is available to all students (Years 9-13). In Year 9, music is a compulsory subject that forms part of the core Year 9 curriculum. Students in Years 10-13 are given the option to choose music as an elective. Through St Paul’s itinerant music scheme, students can choose to learn one of the following musical instruments (in addition to the academic curriculum): piano, organ, singing, violin, cello, drums, guitar, clarinet, saxophone, flute, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, tuba, horn, ukulele, euphonium and banjo.

Instrument lessons take place for half an hour during class or lunchtime. All music lessons and teachings are held in the purpose-built Mary Hornsby Music Centre, opposite the Chapel.

Music teachers

To read about our passionate music teachers, click here.

Band programme

All Year 9 students at St Paul’s Collegiate School take part in a band programme, pushing them to try new experiences and introducing them to instruments they would never have tried before. Students can choose from trumpet, cornet, clarinet, saxophone or auxiliary percussion.

Initially, students are segregated into instrument groups to learn new notes, instrument techniques and instrument care. In addition to learning the basic techniques, students learn several tunes as an ensemble. They come together at the end of the programme to perform in front of the Headmaster or the whole school during assembly.

The introduction of this programme to the academic curriculum has been a huge success. Almost 90 per cent of students choose to continue on with their instrument in later years.

Students are provided with an instrument of their choice at no additional cost, which must be returned at the end of the school term. Students are required to take part in weekly music lessons in a small group with two other students. These lessons are charged at the rate of $10 per lesson, per student.

Music groups

St Paul’s Collegiate School has a number of music groups that cater for a range of musical abilities and interests. These groups include:

  • Choir
  • Big Band
  • Concert Band
  • Student-led rock bands
  • String ensemble


St Paul’s choir consists of 35 members across all year groups (Years 9-13). The auditioned group has a long-standing reputation for quality performance and presentation. The choir leads music during the week and at Sunday evening services in the school’s chapel. Students also regularly compete in the New Zealand Federation Big Sing competition.

Big Band

Students who are interested in jazz, and who are grade three standard or more in their chosen instrument, are encouraged to join St Paul’s Big Band. Instruments include trumpet, trombone, clarinet, alto and baritone saxophone, piano, guitar and bass. There are opportunities for less experienced students to work towards performing in a beginner jazz band. The Big Band regulary perfoms at the Tauranga Jazz Festival, Hawke’s Bay Festival, ITM Music Festival and the annual St Paul’s Good Vibrations concert.

Concert Band

St Paul’s Concert Band is open to all brass, woodwind and percussion students. The Concert Band regularly performs at the Hawke’s Bay Festival, ITM Festival and the annual St Paul’s Good Vibrations concert.