Westlake Girls is proud of its vibrant and busy Music Department with many and varied co-curricular ensemble groups that contribute to its longstanding reputation for excellence. Each Premier ensemble group has a development pathway leading in, ensuring that every young musician is developed, whatever their starting level. Our association with Westlake Boys High School allows us to cooperate in numerous mixed ensembles, providing socialisation through music making. For many years the Westlake schools have dominated regional and national music competitions as well as achieving great success in many international competitions.
2019 was an outstanding year of success for our premier groups. At the Big Sing Finale, our premier all-girls choir Cantare won a Gold award – its third consecutive Gold in this competition.
At the KBB Festival Westlake Symphony Orchestra was awarded Gold and “Best Performance of a Romantic Work”. Westlake Concert Band was awarded Gold and “Best Performance of an Arranged Work and Pre-1950 Work”. Westlake Big Band was awarded Gold, Westlake Chamber Orchestra Silver, Taharoto Orchestra Bronze and Symphonic Band Bronze. Both the Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band were invited to perform again in the Gala Concert as one of the top four ensembles in their category. Many Westlake students also participated in the KBB Honours Orchestra and Jazz Band, directed by the adjudicators.
In the NZ National Chamber Music Competition, two students from WGHS performed with their groups – Sputnik and Orbit – both making it through to the semi-finals out of more than 400 groups.
A major highlight of 2018 was the combined Choralation and Voicemale choirs (comprised of 27 Westlake Girls students and 50 Westlake Boys students) tour to Italy. This exceptional trip included performances in in Rome, St Peter’s Basilica in Vactican City, Florence, Sienna, Pisa and Venice.
While in Florence, the choirs attended the Leonardo da Vinci International Choral Festival with choirs from USA, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada and Greece. Choralation choir won the Sacred Music category and Voicemale choir won the Popular/Folk/Gospel/Jazz category, as well as taking home first place in the Grand Prix.
During the year, all of the Westlake music ensembles perform within the school and for the local community, with annual highlights being Gala Showcase Concert in Term 3.
Check out Westlake for yourself
SOUNZ – the Centre for New Zealand Music features videos some of Westlake’s performances over the past few years. SOUNZ facilitates recording and promotion of New Zealand orchestral works for school and non-professional orchestras. You can see the videos here. You can also watch a clip of Cantare performing at the National Finale of The Big Sing in 2019 where they won Gold.