Rotorua | New Zealand

|Music Captain|New Music Department|Arts Showcase|Developing Liturgy|

|Rhapsody Rotorua|JPC String Ensemble|Trinity Guildhall Examinations|

|IRMTNZ Events|Rising Stars|Music Itinerant Teachers|

Music Captains – 2019

Thanks to the Music Captains this year. Isobel Eggers and Neeve Coumbe are both passionate musicians and have been involved with Music from an early age. They have assisted in rehearsals, photocopying, tutoring, and organisation of JPC music events and competitions. Isobel has been heavily involved with the Music Department this year playing in the Liturgical Band in school Masses, and has been the leader of the flute section in the Concert Band competing in the Rhapsody Rotorua competition.

She was also in the cast of our school production of West Side Story this year. Out of school, Isobel spends several evenings a week teaching piano and basic music theory to younger students. Isobel successfully gained Grade 6 in practical flute this year and has decided to make a career in the music industry, starting her Bachelor of Music in 2020. Neeve is also planning to have a career in Music. She has been very busy this year! In January she attended the ‘NZ Singing School’. This is an 11-day intensive vocal programme in Napier for those looking to accelerate their skills and confidence in singing and performance in either classical music or musical theatre.

Neeve took the crossover course, which meant that she did both musical theatre and classical singing. In term 1, Neeve performed and received a vocal scholarship at Rotorua’s ‘Opera in the Park’ in celebration of Waitangi Day. In term 2, she performed at the ‘One Chance Youth Awards’ as a solo artist. Neeve has been cast in two musical theatre productions this year. In Term 2 she performed as Graziella and was given the Dream sequence solo in John Paul Colleges production of ‘West Side Story’. She then went onto being cast as Ensemble in Rotorua Musical Theatre’s production of ‘Grease’ held in Term 4. She has been studying Music theory and piano as well as singing in the hopes of making music her career. Neeve is a performing Arts Tutor at ‘Lakes performing Arts Company’ where she delivers vocal classes during the holidays.

New Music Department

Our new Music Department is FANTASTIC! We have so much more space than before and both students and music teachers are thoroughly enjoying the new facilities. The Music Department is a great deal larger than the old one, and the sound proofing between rooms has meant that students and staff can work relatively undisturbed. We had a small opening ceremony on 24th July, where the John Paul College Concert Band performed to a gathering of parents, students and staff after which the audience were invited to go in and explore our amazing new Music Department. Thanks to the Senior Leadership Team and our School Board for making this happen!

Arts Showcase

The Music, Dance and Visual Arts Departments put on an Arts Showcase at the end of Term 2. This was a very successful event and we did not expect such a large audience to attend. All the bleachers were full which shows a great deal of interest in our creative subjects! Students were able to complete NCEA assessments during this evening and all the performances were of a high quality. It shows that despite the nerves – especially performing to such a large audience – our students can ‘rise to the occasion’!
Tayla Parris discovered that she actually enjoyed playing in front of an audience during this evening and the Senior Rock Band were very brave in tackling the legendary ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen. Well done to all of you!

Music students involved:

⦁ Jonas Bird
⦁ Henry Booker
⦁ Jesse Chaisongkhram
⦁ Neeve Coumbe
⦁ Karim Efremov
⦁ Isobel Eggers
⦁ Thomas Freeman

⦁ Patrick Gillespie
⦁ Isaac Harris
⦁ Mai Iwasaka
⦁ Tayla Parris
⦁ Ranithu Sendiv Rodrigo
⦁ Jessica Taylor
⦁ Olivia Wallis

Tayla Parris discovered that she actually enjoyed playing in front of an audience during this evening and the Senior Rock Band were very brave in tackling the legendary ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen. Well done to all of you!

Developing Liturgy

Liturgical Band has grown this year and we now have 15 members! They have rehearsed religiously (ha-ha!) every Thursday lunchtime throughout the year. We now have a library of religious songs that can be adapted for most settings including responsorial psalms. Thanks to all the students in this band for making our masses more of a celebration this year.

Liturgical Band members:

Anouk Armingeat – clarinet
⦁ Alliyah Baluyot – vocals
⦁ Neeve Coumbe – vocals
⦁ Sofia Czyrek – alto saxophone
⦁ Isobel Eggers – flute
⦁ Charlotte Graham – guitar
⦁ Vanessa Liang – drum kit

⦁ Hozanna Lopez – guitar
⦁ Emily Park – trumpet
⦁ Macy Pascual – violin
⦁ Rya Patel – clarinet
⦁ Frances Siega – vocals
⦁ Olivia Wallis – vocals
⦁ Adam Wong-Toi – piano

Rhapsody Rotorua

This year we had our largest number of music students competing at Rhapsody Rotorua. Both the Jazz Band and Concert Band performed to the public and took part in the adjudicated performances. The Jazz Band performed ‘Opus One’, ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ and finished with ‘The Pink Panther’.

Hannah Seo playing an awesome solo in ‘I Dreamed a Dream’, and we had more confident solo’s in the other pieces from Veronica Chen on piano, Sofia Czyrek on alto saxophone, Charlotte Graham on lead guitar, and Benedict Larkin on trumpet.

We were awarded a ‘Silver Award’ for the Jazz Band! The Concert Band performed ‘Crossroads’, ‘Counting Stars’, and ‘Crazy Train’. Crossroads is the most advanced piece our Concert Band has played in this competition, and our students performed it brilliantly (despite a slight hiccup into the ‘Allegro’ section where the music stops and changes speed!).

The Concert Band were awarded the ‘Bronze Award’, and this has motivated us to try and go for gold in 2020. We are very proud of these awards as we were competing against very large and established school bands from Australia and schools from around the BOP. With our new system of ‘Electives’ next year, we are hoping to see membership to both bands grow.

John Paul College Concert Band members:

⦁ Isobel Eggers
⦁ Scarlett Carrington
⦁ Anita Hill
⦁ Soo Jung Jin
⦁ Paige Harvey
⦁ Nishali Patel
⦁ Anusha Sharma
⦁ Rya Patel
⦁ Alesha Hemingway
⦁ Joanna Kim
⦁ Emily Coveney
⦁ Sophie McKenzie
⦁ Anouk Armingeat
⦁ Chloe Hill
⦁ Piper Monson

Alto Saxophone
⦁ Sofia Czyrek
⦁ Charlotte Graham
⦁ Joshka Page
⦁ Aaron Ash
⦁ Annahbelle Brown
⦁ Liam Du Plessis
⦁ Emma Hickson
Tenor Saxophone
⦁ Lucy Tokelove
Baritone Saxophone
⦁ Karim Efremov
⦁ Benedict Larkin
⦁ Emily Park
⦁ McKenzie Swinburne
French Horn
⦁ Jenny Underwood

⦁ Matthew Douglas
⦁ Arthur Armingeat
⦁ Gabriel Larkin
⦁ Hannah Seo
Bass Guitar
⦁ Patrick Gillespie
⦁ Ranithu Rodrigo
⦁ Aya Koide – Metallophone/Marimba
⦁ Aoi Tanabe – Metallophone/Marimba
⦁ Willem Underwood – Drum Kit
⦁ Yuki Saiki – Snare Drum
⦁ Isaac Harris – Bass Drum

John Paul College Jazz Band members:

⦁ Benedict Larkin
⦁ Emily Park
⦁ McKenzie Swinburne
⦁ Jenny Urbahn
⦁ Arthur Armingeat
⦁ Gabriel Larkin
⦁ Matthew Douglas
Alto Saxophone
⦁ Sofia Czyrek
⦁ Hannah Seo

Tenor Saxophone/Clarinet
⦁ Rya Patel
⦁ Alesha Hemingway
⦁ Anouk Armingeat
Electric Guitar
⦁ Charlotte Graham
⦁ Lauren Smith
Bass Guitar
⦁ Patrick Gillespie
⦁ Ranithu Rodrigo
⦁ Veronica Chen

JPC String Ensemble

The string students were very sorry to say goodbye to our string teacher, Edith Klostermann last year. However, we were fortunate to hire Lucy Gardiner this year who has worked at John Paul College before. The string students have been working very hard with Lucy and we have had more students wanting to play in the John Paul College String Ensemble.

Our main piece this year was Trepak Russian Dance by Prosper Morand. This piece was suggested by our string teacher and it was a great choice to get us all playing together again. We are planning to perform this piece in front of the school and take part in the string category of Rhapsody Rotorua next year.

String Ensemble members:

1st Violin
⦁ Macy Pascual
⦁ Soo Jung Jin
⦁ Rosa Hook
2nd Violin
⦁ Kate Liley
⦁ Lauren Smith
⦁ Erin Neil
⦁ Alexis de la Rocha

3rd Violin/Viola
⦁ Andrei Contrevida
⦁ Nicolas Dault
⦁ Demi Yang
⦁ Veronica Chen
⦁ Francis Seiga
⦁ Isobel Williams
⦁ Kayla McIntyre
⦁ Michael Fleet

Trinity Guildhall Examinations

Well done to all the music students who entered practical and theory examinations this year. The following students gained grades through the JPC Itinerant Programme.

  • Isobel Eggers – Grade 6 Flute
  • Adam Wong-Toi, Grade 6 Piano
  • Benedict Larkin, Grade 5 Piano
  • Ishan Nath, Grade 5 Piano
  • Arthur Armingeat, Grade 5 Trumpet
  • Lucille Pagaduan  Grade 4 Piano – Merit 
  • Neeve Coumbe, Grade 4 Theory
  • Ishan Nath, Grade 4 Theory
  • Neeve Coumbe, Grade 4 Piano
  • Alesha Hemingway, Grade 4 Piano
  • Anouk Armingeat, Grade 3 Clarient
  • Neeve Coumbe, Grade 3 Theory – Merit   
  • Mickey Wu, Grade 3 Piano – Distinction
  • Lucille Pagaduan Grade 3 Theory
  • Ysabella Pagaduan, Grade 2 Piano
  • Ihita Nath, Grade 2 Piano 
  • Mickey Wu, Grade 1 Theory 

A big thanks to Claire Mason and Paul Sanders for working with our students. Congratulations to all the students not listed here who gained practical and theory grades through private teaching. The John Paul College Music Department is grateful for all the instrumental and vocal teaching that goes on after hours through the efforts of private teachers in Rotorua.


Cushion Concert – St Luke’s Church

Our itinerant teachers always strive to give performance opportunities to their students. The annual ‘Cushion Concert’ is an opportunity for students to share their musical talent with an audience and use this as performance practice for Trinity Guildhall practical examinations. Thanks to the many private instrumental teachers who have worked with our students this year. JPC students performing:
⦁ Matthew Lam – ‘The Can Can’
⦁ Yuchen He – ‘Red Rose Rendezvous’
⦁ Fuwa Gao – ‘Hallelujah’
⦁ Fiona Wang – ‘River Flows in You’
⦁ Lauren Smith – ‘Rondo Alla Turka’
⦁ Veronica Chen – ‘La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin’

Jellybean Concert – St Chad’s

This year we had a record amount of John Paul College students performing at this event. Thanks to our itinerant piano teacher – Claire Mason – for preparing our students. JPC students performing:
⦁ Lucille Pagaduan – ‘Last of the Summer Wine’
⦁ Eilis Dender – ‘Unchained Melody’
⦁ Gian Rutor – ‘Captain Cook’s Rocking Party’
⦁ Ihita Nath – ‘Rigaudon’
⦁ Ysabella Pagaduan – ‘Balletto’
⦁ Mickey Wu – ‘Rondo Alla Turca’
⦁ Adam Wong-Toi – ‘Weaving a Spell’
⦁ Benedict Larkin – ‘Theme of Rhapsody in Blue’
⦁ Ishan Nath – ‘All is Calm’ & ‘Circus Theme’

Senior Music Scholarship – Rydges Hotel

This competition is held every year and organised by ‘LearnMusicNZ’ (Rotorua Branch of the Institute of Registered Music Teachers NZ). This competition is now in its thirty second year and attracts a great deal of musical talent from around Rotorua and the BOP.
This year, John Paul College students dominated this event with half the finalists being from our school! Our competitors were:
⦁ Hannah Seo – Piano and Recorder
⦁ Soo Jung Jin – Piano
⦁ Rosa Hook – Violin
⦁ Veronica Chen – Piano

Hannah Seo won the $1000 scholarship award and played magnificently. Hannah played a selection of three piano pieces that displayed musical talent and technique beyond her years, one of which being the famous ‘Grande Sonate Pathetique’ by Beethoven! Congratulations Hannah and well done to Rosa, Veronica, and Soo Jung for preparing pieces and performing at this event.

Rising Stars

Rosa Hook

Rosa has been very busy again this year! She was a finalist in BOP Symphonia Rising Stars competition where she played the third movement of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor. Rosa also competed in the Tauranga Performing Arts Competition and won the ‘Richard Carey’ award.

Her chamber group – Utopian Trio – won the Bay of Plenty regional competition of the New Zealand Chamber Competition (again!), and she attended the chamber music program at Victoria University in Wellington. The chamber group performed ‘Subtle Dances’ by New Zealand composer Claire Cowan and won the best work by a New Zealand Composer. The group went to Auckland to take part in the final round of the competition. Rosa also played in the Bay of Plenty Symphonia for the ‘Sing Creation’ which was held at John Paul College in September.

Rosa is currently studying for her ATCL in performance which is equivalent in standard to the first year of an undergraduate degree! She has to prepare a 40 minute programme for this diploma and the pieces must all show contrasting styles. Rosa will be auditioning for the New Zealand Secondary Schools Symphony Orchestra (NZSSSO) again (she was successful in 2017) with the hopes of being selected to perform with them next year. WOW! Awesome Rosa!

Hannah Seo

Hannah Seo is in Year 9 but has already reached a performance standard worthy of an adult performer! She is a multi-instrumentalist and plays piano, recorder, alto saxophone and trombone. Hannah took part in the IRMTNZ Eisteddfod Music Competition on the 8th June and competed in the Intermediate Scholarship class with alto saxophone.

Hannah gained the ‘Best Solo Award’ and received a prize sponsored by Trinity College London. Hannah entered her very first piano competition in Hamilton at the University of Waikato, Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on the 7th of July. Hannah competed in 3 classes and won the Betty Dunbar Cup (Age 13 years). 

Hannah received 1st placings in the Baroque and Own Selection classes, performing Partita 6, Toccata by Bach for Baroque, and La Plus Que Lente by Debussy in the Own selection class. She also gained a 2nd placing in the 20th-21th century class, performing Minstrels from Preludes Book 1 by Debussy. Overall she became the winner of the Betty Dunbar Cup for 2019.

Veronica Chen

Veronica successfully sat her Grade 8 piano examination in November this year which is an outstanding achievement for a year 10 student. She also sat her Grade 3 violin this year and received a distinction for Grade 6 theory. Perhaps her most significant achievement however is gaining ‘Excellence’ in NCEA Level 3 Music for the solo performance Achievement Standard.

Veronica performed and recorded two programmes of music (6 pieces) on the piano in front of the junior music classes. The junior students were amazed with her playing!

Veronica performed at the IRMTNZ Scholarship competition and came second, winning $500 and awarded ‘Best Modern Piece’. Veronica also competed in the Tauranga Performing Arts Competition. She played the first movement of a sonata by Haydn. Hannah received 1st place in the Sonata Class. Veronica also gained a 3rd place in the Romantic class playing Waltz in E minor by Chopin. Veronica also performed at Michael Pillars ‘Gift of Music’ memorial concert where she played her Haydn sonata. To finish her musical year, Veronica kindly agreed to perform at the Mayoral Concert for the Elderly at the Energy Events Centre. What a busy musical year for her!

Music Itinerant Teachers

A HUGE THANKYOU to our team of Music Itinerant Teachers this year:

  • Paul Sanders – Wind Instruments, Concert Band, Jazz band
  • Lucy Gardiner – String Instruments, String Ensemble
  • Rob Brittain – Popular Instruments, Rock Bands
  • Claire Mason – Piano, Theory

This year we had an army of over 100 students who registered for instrumental lessons!

The Music Department is very grateful for the work you all do behind the scenes, preparing our students for examinations, assessments, performances and competitions. These teachers also take and assist with the Music co-curricular groups like String Ensemble, Concert/Jazz Band and Chamber Groups. The students and groups of the JPC Music Department would definitely not reach the success they have without your very valuable work this year.

The JPC Music Department looks forward to another exciting musical year in 2020!