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Rangi Ruru is regarded as one of New Zealand’s top performing schools in music.

Our music programme, titled The Stellar Programme, is offered as a subject to all girls. Increasing specialization is available as a girl progresses through NCEA Levels 1-3 and Scholarship. Our musicians achieve at the uppermost level academically, consistently achieving NCEA and scholarship results well above the national average. This includes a 100% music scholarship success rate in recent years, including Outstanding and Top Music Scholar awards.

Music Successes

Rangi music groups are highly regarded. Ensembles are regional and national award winners in a diverse range of secondary school music events, and our girls are in demand as performers in many concerts in Christchurch.

  • Resolutions, our senior choir, is frequently a national finalist at the BIG SING National Finals.
  • Rangi’s Chamber musicians have been national finalists, winning top awards in the NZCT Chamber Music Contest.
  • Our Jazz Band and Combo are gold and silver award winners at several Jazz festivals.
  • Composers and songwriters are gaining national recognition with their work.

Our talented musicians are selected to be members of regional and national groups, including the NZSO National Youth Orchestra, National Youth Jazz Band, National Youth Symphonic Winds, New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Choir, and the Pettman National Junior Academy of Music. Many are fully involved in a range of music and performing arts groups in the wider Christchurch community.

See Our Music Successes

Orchestral Programme

The Rangi Sinfonia is Rangi’s senior orchestra, and is open by audition to advanced players from Years 7-13. The Sinfonia performs at various functions, including collaboration with other school orchestras, and participates in the annual Christchurch Secondary Schools’ Orchestra Festival.  A large number of our players gain selection for the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Symphony Orchestra, which has included the position of Concertmaster.  Alumini have also been soloists with this orchestra.  Several girls have gained selection for the NZSO National Youth Orchestra, the NZSO National Mentoring Programme, and play professionally with the Christchurch  Symphony Orchestra.

Rangi Players is a training ensemble for instrumentalists to prepare for audition for the Rangi Sinfonia and/or Jazz Band. Performances are school and community based, and include workshops and performances with students from contributing schools.  Year 7 and 8 girls often gain places in the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band.

Jazz Programme

Our Jazz Band is open to girls by audition and performs at school and community events, including the Southern Jam Youth Jazz Festival and ARA Jazz Quest, where many Gold, Silver, and Individual awards have been wonThe award-winning Jazz Combo provides opportunities for advanced jazz musicians to further develop their skills in improvisation and ensemble playing.

Girls in both groups work with highly regarded jazz musicians in Christchurch, including Dougal Canard and Lana Law, and further afield.  Our advanced jazz musicians perform alongside semi-professional players in groups such as the Christchurch Youth Jazz Orchestra and All Girl Big Band, as well as in gigs in cafes, restaurants and events in Christchurch.

Choral Programme

Rangi Voices (Years 7–10) and Resolutions (Years 11-13) are auditioned choirs directed by Helen Charlton, one of New Zealand’s most experienced choral conductors and voice teachers. Both choirs perform a wide range of repertoire at school and community events, including the New Zealand Choral Federation BIG SING competition and Voices Festival. Resolutions has recorded for TVNZ’s ‘Praise Be’, and sung with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Symphony Orchestra. Girls in both groups have gained selection for the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Choir and the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival Senior Choir.

Smaller vocal ensembles are formed according to student interest, and may include Barbershop and Jazz Ensembles. Opportunities are made available for solo work and gigs both in school and the wider community, including singing with the Jazz Band/Combo, and in Junior and Senior Productions.

Girls involved in our vocal programmes are encouraged to have singing lessons either through the Itinerant Music Programme, or outside of school.

Band Programme

Rock Bands work with our contemporary music specialist, writing their own material and competing in the secondary schools’ Smokefree Rockquest competition.  In addition, there are numerous opportunities for live gigs, working with mentors from the music industry, and recording in professional recording studios.  The Junior Band Programme is aimed at girls particularly in Year 9 as an introduction to the skills of performing in a band.

New Music Programme

Girls who have a special interest in Composition and Songwriting are well supported through opportunities to work with established and recognized composers and songwriters both individually and in a workshop situation.  The girls’ work often receives recognition and placings nationally in events such as the Play it Strange Songwriting Competition and the Shakespeare Composition Competition.  Girls work with software such as Sibelius and Logic, and are encouraged to arrange live performances and recordings of their work.


Stellar Programme at Rangi Ruru – It’s a Family Affair

Three sisters have come together with their mum to talk about the outstanding music programme – the Stellar Programme – at Christchurch’s leading girls’ school, Rangi Ruru.

Established to offer music scholarships and grants as well as enhance the current music programme with workshops, masterclasses, and national and international mentorship, the Stellar Programme is unique to Rangi.

The three Anderson girls, Jessie, Lucy and Pippa, are a string trio in their own right but they all come from different places as far as their music is concerned.

The school ‘music block’, as it’s lovingly referred to, is home to some of Rangi’s most talented Stellar musicians. Pianist and viola player Jessie, who is now studying Music and Psychology at the University of Auckland, is still a regular face at Rangi and says coming back is like returning to “a home away from home”.

“I really encourage everyone to get as involved in music as much as possible. I was a ‘late bloomer’, taking up the viola in Year 11,” she says. “The Stellar Programme helped my life in a direction I never would have imagined. It was actually old girl Bryony Gibson-Cornish – who resides in London and works in the UK and Europe with her professional string quartet, the Marmen Quartet – who really helped me realise that studying music at a tertiary level was actually a possibility, especially as I started so late. I played with her during a residency at Rangi that was part of the Stellar Programme, and it was really influential as far as my options and choices were concerned.”

Mum, Kate Anderson, agrees.

“There is a really effective support system,” she says. “All the older girls support the young ones, and that carries through as they get older. It’s genuine mentoring and role modelling at its best.”

And in true sisterhood fashion, the two younger Anderson’s, Lucy (Year 12) and Pippa (Year 8) are both current members of the Stellar Programme. Lucy plays the cello in the senior orchestra Sinfonia, and sings in the school’s choir, Resolutions, while Pippa – a violinist, pianist and singer – has received a music scholarship for Years 9-13. This will allow her to take full advantage of the opportunities offered as a part of Stellar, including masterclasses with professional musicians and ensembles, additional tutoring, and access to national competitions and events.

“The places Rangi can take us and the things we can achieve when we put in the work and hours, are amazing,” says Lucy.

The family agree that the Stellar Programme has truly transformed them as musicians and young women.

“The girls take from the experience and learning whatever they wish to,” says Kate. “They may not continue with music but they have options and that’s powerful for anyone but particularly young women.”

“It is such an amazing group of girls, and one you don’t see in many schools anywhere,” finishes Jessie.

To support and enhance our Music curriculum programme, Rangi offers a wide range of co-curricular programme including: Resolutions, Rangi Voices, Barbershop ensembles, Rangi SinfoniaJazz Band and Jazz Combo, Chamber Music groups, Rangi Playerspercussion and flute ensembles and rock bands.

Itinerant Music Programme

Individual tuition in a wide range of instruments, voice, and composition is offered to girls wishing to further develop their music skills to support their curricular and co-curricular programmes. This tuition is given by some of Christchurch’s most respected specialist music tutors.

Rangi Ruru Prizegiving - Music

Music Scholarships at Rangi

Stellar Music Scholarships are available for girls starting in Years 7 and 9, as well as scholarships for current students. Scholarship information.

Merivale Lane Theatre Stage

Performing Arts Building

The Performing Arts Building, opened in 2015, contains specialist teaching and learning spaces and equipment, including practice and rehearsal studios and a fully equipped recording studio. In addition, there is a purpose-built dance studio, and theatre - the Merivale Lane Theatre. This building is a dynamic hub for performing arts staff and students.

The Stellar Programme

Here at Rangi Ruru we believe talent deserves to be nurtured, given opportunities to excel, and be amplified through being surrounded by appreciative and like-minded people.

Music may perhaps be magic to some, for others it’s a way of life, a well-honed craft, or a gift.

In 2016, Rangi Ruru launched the Stellar Programme with a vision to nurture and grow musical talent.

Through a personalised learning environment the programme provides

  • a framework to inspire, challenge and empower musicians from Years 7 to 13 by supporting them to achieve personal bests at the highest level
  • opportunities to extend musical horizons through experiencing a wide range of musical pursuits, including mentoring with leading creative and forward thinking musicians, whilst being supported and encouraged to be involved in the wider academic, sporting, cultural and creative programmes at Rangi.

Stellar Music Scholarships and grants are available each year. These recognise and support gifted and talented musicians to achieve their goals amongst like-minded young women, fostering life-long learning and engagement in and through music.

A girl who has been a part of Rangi’s Stellar Programme will have choices. She will leave Rangi with the skills and dispositions to contribute positively and connect with others through music to any community that she may become involved in.

Find Out More

“A programme such as this inspires students to do their best and strive to achieve excellence. Having access to like-minded musicians, who are leaders in their field, is incredibly valuable, helping a student to grow their musical talent.”

Patron, Dame Malvina Major


For further information on the Stellar Music Programme or Scholarship opportunities, contact Director of Music, Janet Kingsbury on +64 3 983 3735 or

Music Staff

Janet Kingsbury

Director of Music

B.Mus (Hons), LRSM, LTCL, ATCL, AIRMT, Dip.Tchg.
P: 03 983 3735

Jeremy Thin

Music Teacher

Grad Dip Tchg, MA, Mus.B, ATCL

Henare Kaa

Music Teacher

BMus, GradDipTchg

Lana Law
Lana Law

Jazz Band Director

Helen Charlton
Helen Charlton

Resolutions/Rangi Voices Director

Itinerant Music Programme

Individual tuition in a wide range of instruments, voice, composition, and speech and drama is offered to girls wishing to further develop their performance skills to support their curricular and co-curricular programmes of learning. This tuition is given by some of Christchurch’s most well-known specialist music and speech and drama tutors.

Itinerant Music Staff

Accompanists Michael Lawrence, Tim Emerson
Acoustic Guitar David Smith
Bass & Electric Guitar Dougal Canard
Bassoon Melanie Chua
Cello Alison Hansen
Clarinet Jonathon Prior
Classical Voice Barbara Walton
Composition Philip Norman
Contemporary/Popular Voice Natalie Elms
Double Bass Gerald Oliver
Drums Andrew Couper
Flute Margo Askin
French Horn Antonio Dimitrov
Harp Helen Webby
Jazz Improvisation Dougal Canard
Oboe & Recorder Susan McKeich
Percussion Roanna Funcke
Piano Melanie Chua
Piano – advanced Tim Emerson (visiting tutor)
Pipe Organ Russell Kent
Saxophone Lana Law
Theory Melanie Chua
Trumpet, Trombone & Tuba Antonio Dimitrov
Violin & Viola Natalia Lomeiko

Artist in Residence Programme

Rangi Ruru has an Artist in Residence programme. Past Music Residents have included Percussionist Roanna Funcke, Composer Dr Philip Norman, and alumna and Musical Theatre specialist Ali Harper. Our Artist is Residence for 2017 was viola player Bryony Gibson-Cornish, also an alumna of Rangi, who is currently studying and working in London after completing her Masters in Music at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York. These residencies are one of many ways that the Stellar Programme provides opportunities for girls to work alongside and learn from professional musicians.

Violin master class with Bryony Gibson-Cornish, artist in residence

Violin master class with Bryony Gibson-Cornish, artist in residence