Choir runs every Tuesday after school from 3 – 4.30 pm in the auditorium. Led by Michael Grant, the choir is for anyone 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 in school, popular music and mash-ups and 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 ‘Monanza’ Concert, Kavanagh’s Got Talent and Prizegivings. The choir also take a lead role in leading the school in singing for assemblies and masses throughout the year – such as the St Dominic’s Mass and the Youth Masses at St Patrick’s – as well as gatherings at school.
Led by Ms Watts, this group of talented young musicians is so dedicated that they meet before school on a Tuesday. They prepare for school events such as Open Day, prizegivings, Kavanagh’s Got Talent, The Otago Secondary Schools’ Music Festival, and The Annual ‘Monanza’ Concert. 2017 hopes to see the Jazz band take to the road and perform for groups out of school.
The school band is open to anyone who has been learning an instrument for a little while and is keen to get involved with little or no pressure! The Band plays for assemblies and masses and is made up of a wide variety of instruments. The Band is led by Ms Watts and they usually rehearse on a Wednesday during extended Tutortime. They will also play for the school events such as Open Day, Prizegivings, Kavanagh’s Got Talent, The Otago Secondary Schools’ Music Festival, and The Annual ‘Monanza’ Concert. The repertoire is the liturgical music and whatever else the students request! We have had Dr Who, Dance in the Hall of the Mountain King, Uptown Funk and Eine Kleine Nacht Musik in the last year. Ms Watts is always open to suggestions and will arrange parts for any instrument and level of ability.
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 comprises most of the secondary Schools in Otago coming together to perform music together. Students will rehearse orchestral, concert band, jazz, string orchestra and choral pieces in their separate schools then join together for a fabulous evening of musical entertainment.
Students 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 often have groups combined with other schools and 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.
This is another competition that Kavanagh has a long-standing history with. Bands and singer/songwriters are encouraged to take part in this from Year 10 up. Students can use this as a performance opportunity and as a focus for senior composition standards. 2016 saw Kavanagh’s ‘Six Years’ win the Regional heat.
Kavanagh has a history with the Robbie Rocks songwriting competition and our bands have reached the finals each year – winning Peoples’ Choice in 2015. The competition is organised by Toitū and seeks local songwriters to re-imagine the words of Robert Burns into modern interpretations. The Year 10 Music Class enter this competition however, all songwriting students are encouraged to take part.
Caritas runs a songwriting competition each year that revolves around writing a song with a social justice theme set each year by the charity. The Year 10 Music Class enter this competition, but all songwriting students are encouraged to take part. In 2014 one of juniors at the time, Lucy Wilkins, won the junior section and with her prize, donated a beautiful acoustic guitar to Kavanagh College.