Welcome to Music
There is a thriving music department at WBHS that aims to provide the best opportunities for students to enjoy making music together. Boys have the chance to participate in a variety of co-curricular groups, both auditioned and un-auditioned. Our musicians have a reputation for excellence and we aim to challenge and extend each student so that they can succeed beyond their expectations.
The premier ensembles are combined with top musicians from Westlake Girls High School to foster collaboration between the two schools and allow students the opportunity to make music at the highest possible level. The combined music groups from Westlake Boys and Girls High Schools are consistent high achievers in both national and international competitions and festivals. In 2016 all four premier music ensembles, Westlake Chamber Orchestra, Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra and Big Band, won the Most Outstanding Awards in their respective categories at the KBB Music Festival. This was the last year that these awards were presented.
BANDS at Westlake
Westlake Concert Band, conducted by Warwick Robinson, performs a challenging repertoire of classical and contemporary pieces, continuously stretching the students to play at their very highest level.
Westlake Big Band– the premier Westlake Jazz ensemble, performing both classic and contemporary Jazz.
Other bands include the Westlake Boys Symphonic Band, an 80-piece un-auditioned band, Westlake Boys Stage Band a junior jazz band, and numerous Rock Bands who work with teacher mentors, aiming to enter the national rock band competition Smokefree Rock Quest.
ORCHESTRAS at Westlake
Westlake Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Squire and Westlake Chamber Orchestra conducted by Mark Bennett both perform to a very high level and enjoy playing a very broad repertoire across a range of eras and genres. Other orchestras include Taharoto Orchestra, combined with Westlake Girls, Camerata Strings our senior Boys string group and Conchordia our junior string group.
CHOIRS at Westlake
Our male voice choirs, Voicemale and Momentum, see nearly 100 boys rehearsing choral music each week, a tradition we are extremely proud of. Voicemale, conducted by David Squire, is a consistent winner of the Best Performance by a Male Choir at Big Sing Regional level and has been the top-performing male choir in the country at the Big Sing National Finale for several years.
Choralation, conducted by Rowan Johnston, (our combined choir with Westlake Girls High School) remains the only choir to have won the top Platinum Award for seven years at the National Finale of the Big Sing.
2014 EUROPEAN TOUR
In 2014 the combined Westlake premier groups travelled to Europe in July to perform in Germany, Austria and Hungary, and to take part in the Prestigious “Summa cum Laude” music festival in Vienna. It was a huge success with 124 students and 16 staff taking part. After competing against school, youth and University level groups from around the world, Westlake came home with top honours in three out of the four categories:
- Westlake Concert Band – 1st place
- Westlake Symphony Orchestra – 1st equal
- Choralation – 1st equal, Mixed Choirs section
- Westlake Chamber Orchestra – 3rd place