At Kavanagh there is a multi-level whānau group for musicians in Years 11-13, also known as the Music Squad, which is responsible for providing music for school activities such as assemblies and our regular Masses. In addition, the Music Squad organises musical events in aid of social justice such as our annual spring concert and a lunchtime concert for the NZ Schools Pride Week.
For more information about co-curricular music opportunities, please contact Georgie Watts.
The Kavanagh Choir meets regularly throughout the year and is open to all students with a passion for singing. The more experienced singers are given lead lines and the less experienced are encouraged to strive for excellence. There is a variety of repertoire, including a range of waiata used at school, popular music and mash-ups, as well as contemporary classical pieces.
The Choir prepares throughout the year for various events in the school calendar including The Big Sing, the Otago Secondary Schools Music Festival, Open Day, the annual spring concert, Kavanagh’s Got Talent and prizegivings.
The Kavanagh Jazz Band rehearses early mornings to prepare for school events such as open day, prizegivings, the Otago Secondary Schools Music Festival, the annual spring concert, Kavanagh’s Got Talent and the Dunedin Youth Jazz Festival. Past alumni of the Kavanagh Jazz Band now play in the Dunedin City Jazz Orchestra and have also started their own small jazz combos that can be heard around the city.
The majority of musicians and singers at Kavanagh College will take part in the Otago Secondary Schools Music Festival each year. The festival is held in the Dunedin Town Hall and involves most of the secondary schools in Otago coming together to sing and perform music as one combined group. Students rehearse orchestral, concert band, jazz, string orchestra and choral pieces in their separate schools and then join together for a fabulous evening of musical entertainment.
Students who are having instrumental lessons are often encouraged, once they reach a certain level of performance, to join with others in small groups for the annual Chamber Music Competition. We sometimes also have individual musicians combine with students from other schools to enter the competition. This is an excellent opportunity for our students wanting to challenge themselves.
The Big Sing is a high-profile event that happens nationwide. As well as being a competition of choirs, it is a celebration of vocal music across the country and Kavanagh College has always been proud to take part in this event with our choir.
The Kavanagh Showband is the crème de la crème of the musicians at school. They provide the musical accompaniment for the major production each year. Ms Watts sets an extremely high standard for the Showband and the musicians always rise to the challenge. The instrumentalists change each year (depending on the requirements for the show). If students are interested in being considered for the Showband, they will often have to audition.
Caritas annually runs a songwriting competition that involves writing a song about a social justice theme set each year by the charity. The Kavanagh Year 10 Music class enters this competition, but all songwriting students are encouraged to take part. In 2014 one of our students at the time, Lucy Wilkins, won the junior section and with her prize donated a beautiful acoustic guitar to Kavanagh College.