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Performances, competitions, visits and staff changes – it’s been busy in Te Whare Puoro (Music Department/Block).

Changes in the Music Department staffing

There has been quite a shift around in the music office so here’s a little update.

  • After 26 years as Head of Department (HOD), Margaret Robertson is looking forward to handing over this role and being able to fully focus on teaching and mentoring.
  • From Term 3, HOD Music will be Carmel McGill Wright. Carmel taught singing at Springs some years ago and has always had it in mind to come back here – we are thrilled to welcome her. Carmel comes to us from Tuakau College.
  • Rachel Sutherland was with us for the last 6 weeks filling in fabulously before Carmel was able to join us.
  • Victoria Chellew is well known to us at WSC/NPoW. She was a student here; she came back to us as an ILA for two years; then as a student teacher and now we are thrilled to have her as a permanently appointed classroom music teacher.
  • Daniel Barrett has decided to pause teaching for now to pursue training in counselling.
  • Thea Doyle has moved from classroom teaching to being an itinerant drum teacher.

Phew! That’s a lot of change in 2 terms – we are not planning any more.


As part of a partnership with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO), 40 students heard the orchestra live at a schools’ performance. For many this was their first time hearing a live orchestra and/or their first time inside the beautiful Town Hall.

In Term 3, we will host a visit from a group of players from the APO called the All Star Rhythm and Blues Review Band. This promises to provide some unexpected musical moments.

Courtesy of the Musicians Mentoring in Schools programme, via the New Zealand Music Commission, we had a wonderful two day visit from Aro. Emily and Charles worked magic with groups of Yr10 and Yr11 songwriters.


Western Springs College-Ngā Puna o Waiōrea blasted into Smokefree Rockquest with representation in 8 acts.

Congratulations to these great school ambassadors – Elly Mae Lawson (Year 13), Great Failure, Groop Chat, BUZZ, Arguing with a Child, Unaccompanied Minors, Carthage, and Maxine Allen (Year 11).

Three groups made it to the regional finals where BUZZ placed 2nd, and Carthage placed 3rd! Both groups along with Arguing with a Child (second chance award) are now eligible to submit films for consideration for the National finals. Also at the regional event, Maxine Allen was awarded the Lyric Writer’s award.


Last month, we were represented at the Chamber Music New Zealand competitions by three groups – Western Strings Quartet, Western Springs Trio and Western Wings Quartet! It was wonderful to see our school in this competition again after a very long break. The judges commented that Western Springs Trio brought “lightness and joy” to their performance – beautiful feedback!


In the last week of Term 2, these three groups, along with the school Chamber Group, gave a lunchtime concert in the foyer of Te Whare Puoro. Although wet lunch bells and an early start to period 4 provided a few timing challenges, the concert was heartwarming and very well received by whānau and friends.

THANK YOU and congratulations to Trina Sellers. Trina’s enthusiasm and high expectations have pushed these performers to excellent levels of ensemble work. It is such a treat to watch these musicians enjoying playing together.

Chamber Group, and our Jazz Band, head to the KBB Band and Orchestra Festival early in Term 3.



[Photo Credit: Margaret Robertson. Left Photo – Francesco and Zylah; Right Photo – Bella and Ollie]

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