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Better than Bacon performing at Rockquest

Term 3 Music News

Nanako Sato —

Have you ever wondered about how many hours it takes to perfect one performance?

Being a musician, you need to practice your skills, which means you have to spend hours practising your instruments, strengthening your mental capabilities, and rehearsing with groups at lunchtime and after school. Music students at Hagley are no strangers to such discipline, and it has been delightful to see them excel in their chosen genres at competitions.

Jazz Bands

The annual JazzQuest, which is run by Ara Music Arts, has been delivering two categories of competition: a combo and Big Band/Ensemble. This year, our senior jazz band chose to tackle this competition as a small combo consisting of only four members of entirely Year 13 School of Music students: Rongomai Callaghan, Nikos Kazakos, Liam Makinson and Austin Standeven. The senior jazz band, Afrosuede, has been working hard for the combo category of the JazzQuest under the mentorship of Kevin Roberts and received a Gold Award at the recent JazzQuest. They were workshopped by the Ara Music Arts staff members and enjoyed positive feedback/feedforward. Students also performed at the Gala concert on the same evening at The Piano. They will be travelling to Blenheim in the third week of Term 3 to participate in the Southern Jam competition.

The newly formed Hagley Jazz Ensemble, which consists of students from Year 10 to 13, have been enjoying rehearsing twice a week at lunchtime, led by School of Music Programme Leader, Nanako Sato. The ensemble will be competing at the JazzQuest for Big Band and Ensemble category in the second week of Term 3 on Saturday 4th August at 1.30pm. The group is looking forward to performing at Hagley On Show, Groups Evening and Big Band Festival.


We had a slightly smaller number of students entered in the Smoke Free RockQuest from our school this year; however, the results were strong. There were three bands and two acts for the solo/duo categories and another two acts for online solo/duo categories entered this year.

Year 11 student Kayne Child’s band, Better Than Bacon (mixed school band of Hagley College, Burnside High School and Shirley Boys' High School), got through to the regional final and has been selected for the People’s Choice Award. This means that the band is now completing tasks for national selection. Furthermore, Kayne Child received the best musician award for his solid effort with his electric guitar solo on the day. Have a look at the national selection video clips by the amazing Better Than Bacon. https://youtu.be/vWRx7opCytE

For the solo/duo online selection category, Year 13 School of Music student, Rongomai Callaghan, has been selected as one of the Top 8 and is currently completing the requirements for the national selection task. Please have look at her national selection video clips: https://youtu.be/I6ZbnLgNu0E

Voices Festival

Three choirs will be performing at the Voices Festival this year, which will be on Tuesday 14th August. The school choir “Heart and Soul” performed at the Big Sing Competition in Term 2 and will be excited to showcase their well-seasoned voices. The cabaret choir, which was resurrected from Term 1’s Cabaret group, is looking forward to showcasing their whimsical dance moves and, finally, the Theatre Company choir will be singing their hearts out with some dramatic performances.

If you have not done so already, please add the following music events to your diary:

  • JazzQuest at Ara Music Arts on Saturday 4th August
  • Southern Jam Competition in Blenheim from Wednesday 8th August to Sunday 12th August
  • Voices Festival at the Papa Hou at YMCA on Tuesday 14th August
  • Our 3rd NCEA senior students’ solo performance evening at Ara Music Arts on Tuesday 4th September from 6 pm
  • Groups Night (at which all the existing music groups perform) at Ara Music Arts on Tuesday 18th September
  • Annual school Music event, Hagley on Show, at Hope Presbyterian Church, Hornby, on Wednesday 19th September
  • In Term 4, Jazz Ensemble will be performing at the Big Band Festival over Labour weekend.

As always, all parents and caregivers are invited to the above events. Please feel free to come and support us. While you are online, please like us on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HagleyCollegeMusic/.