Friday 17 October 2014

Wellington bleg: good high schools for music

The staggered move of Offsetting Behaviour to Wellington will soon be completed. I will be following Eric to the capital having taken a position at the School of Government at Victoria University, starting in the new year.

When Eric was about to make his move, he blegged on real estate in Wellington. I shall free load off the intelligence that he gathered then, but now I have a different request: What are the good high schools for children with a strong interest in classical (orchestral) music? Considerations here are whether they have music options as a classroom subject that group together people who already know how to read music and have the rudiments of theory, and whether they have school ensembles (not necessarily an orchestra) of a reasonable standard. We have a preference for co-ed over single-sex and state over private, but are looking at all options. All suggestions welcome.


  1. Wellington High. Co-ed. No uniform. Definitely got the ensembles and a choir. Excellent jazz and celtic bands. They put up music evening videos on You Tube. Try a search of Wellington High School Music Evening 2014.

  2. I think you will find that at high school level, Wellington does not offer as much as ChCh, but if they are still interested at tertiary level they will probably be better off in the capital.

  3. Wellington high school if you want modern music, but it is a particular flavour of school and you would have to be happy with that.

    Onslow college for a wider range of musical styles.

    Both of those are co-ed.

    For single sex schools for boys, Wellington college has a wide range of styles including orchestral (middling) and a concert band (which is excellent) and modern rock styles, and also a choir that regularly ranks high in the inter-school competitions. They also do really well in the stage challenge and on the drama side. It also does exceptionally well academically for ALL kids - not just the top. (Bias alert - that is where my many boys all went and they had a range of academic levels and a wide range of interests, and I can't speak highly enough of the school experience and education they gave each and every one of them.)

    I only have boys so I don't know the Girls schools.

  4. Then again, Wellington High is basically coterminous with the Jazz School, and counts Shihad, Phoenix Foundation among its alumni...

  5. Thanks everyone for these comments (and those submitted privately). They are very helpful.

  6. The world that actually exists is one in which every person (or almost every person) is subject in some way to a governing state. It's not a voluntary situation which you can choose to join or not. Yes, some people can make a (limited) choice as to which state they are subject to, but being a subject is, currently, a fact about how the world is. It's hard to know how to change that, but that's what the world is like now. Given that reality, I don't think the argument you present about consent applies. You are already a non-consenting subject to a state, but you happen to be a non-consenting subject to a particular state which allows it's subjects to have some amount of say in how that state will be constituted. In this view, your voting doesn't thereby give a state legitimacy, since states have already declared themselves "legitimate" over you. Even if you define your subject-to-the-state-ness to be illegitimate (as I'm sure you would), that does not preclude you from taking actions that could affect how that state institutes policies that govern the people who live in that state. In fact, I'd argue that choosing not to be involved in the voting process only increases (by, yes, a very very small amount) the chance that you will become subject to increasingly harsh conditions by the state when your vote could, in theory, have some net positive effect.