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Music is an important part of the all-round education on offer at King’s. Taking part in musical opportunities gives our students an outlet for their creativity and encourages them to move outside their comfort zone.

Music department

Our students are able to learn an instrument or sing with one of the 20 visiting professional instrumentalists and singers who provide lessons onsite at the College. Instruments offered include bass guitar, bassoon, cello, clarinet, classical and contemporary guitar, double bass, drum kit, flute, horn, oboe, organ, percussion, piano, saxophone, trumpet, tuba, viola and violin.

To give our students the opportunity to perform as part of an ensemble, we coordinate a number of auditioned and non-auditioned bands, orchestras, smaller ensembles and choirs, catering to different musical tastes and talents.

With the support of our Music Department, many of our students have their musical talents recognised at a national and international level.

Performance opportunities

We support our students to take part in various public performances, festivals and events throughout the year including the KBB Music Festival, Music Showcase, Music Dinner and Dance, The Big Sing, Smokefree Rockquest, Polyfest and the National Chamber Music Competition. Individual performance is encouraged and developed through Music Performance Evenings every term and the annual Music Soloist Competition.

Students are also encouraged to contribute their talents to our Chapel services and College production and every King’s student performs in the annual Big House Music event at Spark Arena in Auckland.

  • Little Big Band

    The Little Band is an auditioned traditional Stage Band that performs a range of Big Band standards, including Swing, Latin, Funk and ballad styles. This group performs at KBB Music Festival and Music Showcase.   

  • Burtones

    The Burtones is a band with members across all year groups, equipped with its signature powerful horn section. Known for blues, jazz, reggae and rock this band has a wide variety of different styles for anyone to enjoy. The Burtones has been playing for King’s for over 12 years and gone far and wide to showcase their talent. The band regularly performs around Auckland and has toured internationally (Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia). The Burtones have also recorded several albums which are available on all streaming platforms. This band is an invitation only band and has the best of King’s musicians. 

    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3VIdXgp53jQxrfG2pmTgiL

    Teacher-in-Charge of Burtones: Mr Gary Burton

  • Chamber Music

    Students are able to sign up for a variety of groups, which are put together based on students instruments and ability. Groups have included Saxophone Quartets, Piano Trios, a Trombone Quartet and mixed ensembles. Chamber Groups perform at a variety of events, including in the National Chamber Music Competition.

  • Choirs

    Chapel Choir: one of the busiest and most rewarding groups in the College. SATB all welcome. 

    Kappella: SATB advanced chamber ensemble; solid musicianship and previous experience required.

    All the King’s Men: Male voice (non-treble) ensemble.

    Junior Choir: Year 9 and 10 all-comers.


  • Concert Bands

    Premier Concert Band

    This is a smaller, auditioned Concert Band that rehearses weekly from Terms One to Three and performs more advanced music at the KBB Music Festival and Music Showcase.

  • Late Night Jazz

    An auditioned group which performs a range of jazz standards at various school and external events throughout the year, including The Headmaster’s Garden Party, King's College Art Sale, Dinner Dance and Music Showcase.

  • Orchestra

    Symphony Orchestra

    An auditioned full symphony orchestra that performs a variety of symphonic repertoire at a variety of events during the year, including the annual KBB Music Festival and Music Showcase concert.

    String Orchestra

    This group will perform a variety of repertoire written especially for string ensemble. This group will perform at a variety of different events through the year, including the annual KBB Music Festival and Music Showcase concert.

  • Rock Bands

    Rock Bands are put together based on students instruments and ability. They have weekly rehearsals and prepare for performances throughout the year include at the Smokefree Rockquest and at the Tuning Fork in Auckland CBD.

  • Lesson Timetabling Policy

    The majority of instrumental and vocal lessons occur during class time. There are only a limited number of out-of-school and lunchtime slots and it is not possible for every student to have their music lessons outside class time. The same scenario occurs in every school that has an itinerant music programme and in all cases students come out of class for these lessons.

    Due to the rotating nature of the class timetable, it is unlikely that students with a fixed weekly time will miss the same class each week. Students may request a different time in Term 2 (and again in Term 3).

    As we receive a number of parent requests for out of school tuition (not all of which can be accommodated), we have prioritised the out-of-school tuition times in the following order;

    1.     Year 13 Students
    2.     Year 12 Students
    3.     Year 9/10/11 Students who learn more than one instrument (so they only miss once per week).
    4.     Year 11 Students
    5.     Year 10 Students
    6.     Year 9 Students

    It is hoped that parents will see this as a fair system, and will also understand that the study of an instrument is not a distraction. Learning an instrument is complementary to academic study – using computational and mathematical skills, and fostering creative problem-solving, memory improvement and multiple other intelligences.

    Many thanks for your support as we continue to encourage King’s College students in commitment to all-round excellence.