Music at St John's College

Extra-Curricular Music Programme

Instrumental Lessons

Tuition by our specialist instrumental teachers is available for a wide range of instruments.  Any student in the college can learn an instrument at any time and in any year level.

Tuition is free if your son is taking music as a timetabled option.

If music is not taken as an option, the annualtuiton fee is $250 or $125 per half-year.

Rental of certain instruments, such as trumpets and saxophones, is $100 p.a. 

Please contact Christopher Wilson for more information:

We are very proud to have the following talented and respected teachers in our team:

Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass – Hilary Baker 

Guitar and Bass Guitar – Campbell Lovatt

Junior Brass & Woodwind, Jazz Band - Simon Schofield

Senior Brass & Woodwind, Chapel Band, Senior Band – Christopher Wilson 

Drums – Chuck Davis

Pipes – provided externally


JRP Band

The Jazz-Rock-Pop Band is a great introduction to Jazz, Swing and Funk styles and participates in band competitions and festivals both locally and nationally. It allows players of intermediate and advanced levels to specialise their development.

Junior Band

The Junior Band is the perfect place for beginner and intermediate players to discover the exciting world of music and the awesomeness of playing in a group.

‘Vox Box’ (Vocal Group)

This vocal group sings for Masses, at various gigs in the community, and enters The Big Sing competition. While they sing a broad range of music from up-tempo hits such as Pinball Wizard to cool classics as Hallelujah, Barbershop is a particularly favourite style.

Combined St John’s and Sacred Heart Concert Band

The band performs in concerts and festivals, such as the Hawke’s Bay Festival of Bands, and to our feeder primary/intermediate schools. It is an exciting group that benefits from the breadth of instruments, the repertoire such a group lends itself and the strengths, experience and skills of the players.  It plays a range of music from TV and film, rock and pop, as well as atmospheric and dramatic.

Assembly/Church Band

This important group supports whole-school singing in Assembly and Mass at Sacred Heart Church.  They give a harmonic and driving accompaniment to the student and staff body for the St John’s Anthem, National Anthem and sacred and secular inspirational songs. A senior pianist and/or guitarist supports regular assemblies and the full band for Mass accompanied by a throng of strong singers.


School Production

Every second year, we have our collaboration with Sacred Heart College to produce our joint-school production.  In 2017 we did the amazing Hairspray, 2019 the fun classic gangster musical Bugsy Malone, and in 2021 Kiwi rock classics through the decades in the 100% NZ Story Aotearoa.

HB Festival of Bands

About eighteen community and school bands from HB and across the country come to perform a set of pieces to display their talents in front an audience and an adjudicator.  SJC combines with SHC to participate in this busy day of music making.

HB Schools’ Jazz Night

HB High Schools’ rock-pop-jazz groups collegially perform to each other at the Napier Sailing Club in August.  A relaxed atmosphere and some fun, lively and up-tempo pieces keep the packed audience entertained. The evening culminates with a massed schools’ band.

Junior School Gig

This is a great opportunity for our burgeoning Year 9 and 10 musos to perform – sometimes for the first time – to family friends and whānau.

Senior Performance Evening

Senior music students perform pieces from their solo and group repertoires at these two annual evenings.

Smokefree Rockquest and Pacifica Beats

St John’s enters Rock and Reggae bands for these competitions. In recent years, our bands have progressed to the national top 20 finalists in the Smokefree Rockquest.

The Big Sing

The SJC Senior Vocal Choir sings their heart and soul out at this national competition.

Chamber Music

We have boys participating in the Chamber Music ensemble competitions each year. Some groups are just St John’s boys and some are combined with other schools such as Sacred Heart College and Hastings Girls.

Eats, Beats and Treats

This is a great opportunity for solo, duo and larger ensembles like the Jazz Band and Mr Dickson’s Reggae Band to perform and entertain the audience. It’s also an open mic event for anyone to air their vocal talents!

Orchestra Day

Our brass, wind and string players attend this combined secondary schools’ workshop and gaining much from the experience of playing in such a large ensemble.

Head of Department: Christopher Wilson -

Music Gallery