Student Life


Music at Westlake Girls

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.

Itinerant Instrumental and Vocal Music Lessons 2024
Expressions of Interest Now Open

Expressions of Interest are now open for Instrumental and Vocal Music lessons for 2024.

Please complete the expression of interest form (link below), and you will be emailed the relative information, fees and conditions with a further link to the contract.


Year 9 Music Academy

Year 9 Music Academy is a full year specialist music course catering for experienced musicians who are currently learning a musical instrument (including voice). Students develop ensemble awareness by performing in a class orchestra, vocal ensembles, small chamber groups, and pop rock bands. Music Academy offers an extension level of practical music-making (theory and composition) and musicianship (theory and aural skills). There are performance opportunities at school events, community concerts, and local music festivals and students will attend a live orchestra performance. 

Year 9 Music Academy replaces Year 9 Core Music and 3 other option subject rotations. Please apply below:


Outstanding success

2022 was an outstanding year for our music ensembles:

Choral Programme

In June 2022, our Westlake choirs – Cantare, Choralation, Cigno Voce and Nota Bella – all competed at the NZCF Auckland Regionals of The Big Sing. The Auckland region has the largest number of choirs over the country, with 56 entries of Mixed, Female and Male voice choirs performing for adjudicator Dr Andrew Withington. The Westlake choirs shone during their recitals and were awarded numerous awards on the final Gala concert evening:

Nota Bella Junior Choir: Musical Director Elise Bradley

  • Runners up: Best Performance in the Choral Art Composition Category
  • Winners of Best Festival Program by a Junior Choir

Choralation: Musical Director Rowan Johnston

  • Runners up: Best A Capella Performance in Any Genre
  • Winners: Best Festival Program by a Mixed Choir

Cantare: Musical Director Fiona Wilson

  • Winners: Best Festival Program by a Female Choir
  • Winners: Best A Capella Performance in Any Genre
  • Winners: Adjudicators Award for Excellent Performance of a Single Work

Westlake Boys High School’s Voicemale choir were also awarded Best Festival Programme by a Male Choir, which means that the Westlake premier choirs took a clean sweep of Auckland awards for the second year in a row.

Cigno Voce Senior Choir was selected for the first time to compete at the Upper North Island Cadenza in Rotorua with 11 other secondary school choirs in August, coming away with a Korimako (silver) award.

Cantare, Choralation and Voicemale were selected to be part of the top 24 secondary schools choirs to compete in the national Finale in Christchurch in August. Cantare and Choralation came away with gold awards and Voicemale achieved a silver award. Cantare also won the Tour Time Trophy for the best performance of a Choral Art Piece.  

Instrumental Programme

In August our instrumental ensembles competed in the KBB Music Festival along with 145 other orchestras and bands at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell. Over 100 Westlake Girls students participated in this festival, and put on stellar performances. On the gala night, our ensembles were awarded:

Westlake Symphony Orchestra: Music Director David Squire

  • Winners of the Best Performance of a Romantic Work
  • Gold Award

Westlake Chamber Orchestra: Music Director Miranda Adams

  • Winners of the Best Performance of a Baroque Work
  • Gold Award

Westlake Concert Band: Music Director Warwick Robinson

  • Winners of the Best Performance of an Original Concert Band Work
  • Gold Award

Westlake Big Band: Music Director Hayley Barker

  • Silver Award

Taharoto Orchestra: Music Director Jono Palmer

  • Bronze Award

Westlake Girls Symphonic Band: Music Director Jono Howan

  • Bronze Award

In 2022 our Year 13 student Shannelle Fassioms succeeded in making the list of 25 bonus finalists of the Lion Foundation ‘Play It Strange’ Song Writing Competition. The Play It Strange Competition is a NZ wide contest that invites high school age students to submit their original songs for the chance of getting their songs professionally recorded and produced at a local recording studio. Shannelle recorded her original composition ‘A Room Full of Books’ and we cant wait to hear the soundtrack.

Check out Westlake for yourself

If you’d like to experience music at Westlake, our fabulous video is well worth a watch.

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.

Music Opportunities


Cantare Premier (girls) Director: Fiona Wilson
Choralation Premier (mixed) Director: Fiona Wilson
Cigno Voce Senior development (girls) Director: Rachel Carson
Nota Bella Junior development (girls) Director: Elise Bradley
Westlake Girls Gospel Choir All comers (girls) Director: Gnesyer Gomez

 Instrumental Groups

Westlake Symphony Orchestra Premier (mixed) Director: David Squire
Westlake Chamber Orchestra Premier (mixed) Director: Miranda Adams
Westlake Concert Band Premier (mixed) Director: Warwick Robinson
Westlake Big Band Premier (mixed) Director: Hayley Barker
Taharoto Orchestra Development (girls) Director: Jono Palmer
Symphonic Band Development (girls) Director: Jono Howan


Chamber Music groups Premier and development
(across schools)
Rock Bands Development (girls) Tutor: James Bristow
Volante String Group Development (girls) Tutor: Alison Salmons
Flute Choir Development (girls) Tutor: Mary O’Brien