About the Music Programme

 

DSC_0928-1.JPGThe music programme is adapted each year to adjust the interests and strengths of students. The following are currently available:

  • There are about 350 students learning instruments from twenty specialist itinerant teachers who visit the school weekly. Instruments available include violin, flute, keyboard/piano, drums, guitar, bass guitar, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, french horn, trombone, vocals and cello. There are a number of instruments available for hire to students.
  • School orchestra. All students are welcome to join the orchestra as soon as they have basic skills on their instrument. Most music is especially arranged for the players and some repertoire is selected by the students.
  • Jazz band. This group provides an excellent opportunity for students to combine classical music skills (such as reading and technique) with more contemporary sounds (such as drum kit and bass guitar). It exposes them to a variety of jazz styles, such as blues, Latin, swing, and ballads. It also gives them experience in combo and big band settings, and gives them some contact with the jazz standard repertoire. It is particularly good for developing their rhythmic feel, and jazz students are able to learn skills of improvising, trading, jazz scales and chords, and phrasing and articulation. They perform at JazzQuest and have achieved a bronze, 4 silver awards and 3 gold awards at this high school event as well as awards at the NZSM Jazz festival in Wellington in 2011 and 2012. The band has many opportunities to gig and tour.
  • Rua Te Kakano and Pasifika. Chisnallwood School has strong Maori and Pacific cultural groups taken by Te Huaki Puanaki, Kathy Baker, Anthony Faitaua and Islay Knight.
  • Theory club. This popular after-school club learns music theory through interactive games as well as working through conventional theory books with the opportunity to sit exams at any level.
  • School production. In alternating years the school puts on a production (or movie) which involves many music students either in the orchestra or singing on stage.
  • Percussion ensemble. This group is available to any student interested in playing percussion instruments, including drum kit, marimba, and even “found” instruments such as 44-gallon drums.They perform annually at “Re-Percussion” an end of year concert for all ChCh percussion groups hosted by Pandemonium, and perform in 2010 at the annual “Marimba Festival” for primary schools.
  • Ukulele Band. Ukuleles as well as rhythm section. They performed at Chartfest in 2010, coming 2nd in the schools competition and also came 3rd in the Auckland Kiwilele competition in 2011. They hosted the ChCh 2012 ChCH Uke Fest.
  • String ensemble. For Violin, viola, cello and double bass students.
  • Brass group. A group for any brass players. A mixture of fanfares, chorales and fun repertoire.
  • Recorder ensemble. This is for recorder players. The school has bass, tenor and alto recorders available.
  • Flute Ensemble. For flute students to develop ensemble skills.
  • Irish Band. Taken by Willie McArthur, this group features stylistic playing and instruments such as fiddle, tin whistle, recorder, bass, guitar etc.
  • Chamber group. Small groups of players are selected to play in chamber groups. In this environment students are solely responsible for their part. There is no conductor so they must learn to listen and work together. They came first in the 2009 ASB Primary School’s Chamber competition.
  • Choirs. The Performance Choir is taken by Ravil Atlas who also leads the vocal programme. The choir takes part in the Christchurch School’s Music Festival as well as other performances. In 2012 they sung with the CSO. The choir learn theory and vocal technique as well as performance repertoire.
  • Rock Bands. Groove, ensemble skills, rhythm section, vocal technique, stage presence, song writing, setting up a PA. They have the opportunity to perform at Rockquest, BandQuest and Pasifika Beats. Many bands from Chisnallwood have made it to the regional finals at RockQuest, a competition for high schools. Since BandQuest started in 2011, our bands have won 1st place the regional finals in 2011, three original song awards and one musicianship award.
  • Technical skills. Interested students are trained in sound production, lighting, camera, recording and other technical aspects supporting music performance.
  • Computer music. A well-equipped computer music lab and recording studio is available for students. At the end of each year the school produces a CD with highlights from the year’s music programme.

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