JazzQuest

Image of student playing the trumpet

Christchurch's Premier High School Jazz Band Competition

JazzQuest is an annual competition for secondary school jazz bands, showcasing the quality of some of the countries top school jazz bands and musicians.

Bands are awarded gold, silver and bronze awards, and individual musicians are presented awards for outstanding contributions on their instruments, as well as for original compositions and arrangements.

JazzQuest 2016 - 5-7 August

Download the JazzQuest competition application form (PDF: 0.7MB).

JAM Jazz mentoring programme

Do you run a high school jazz band or contemporary group? Would you like help and advice to get the most out of your band?

Ara's Music Arts has set up JAM, a jazz mentoring programme to help out band leaders, choral groups and directors in the Christchurch area by offering one of our experienced tutors to attend your band rehearsals and offer practical advice. One of our tutors can attend your band's rehearsal, offering advice on areas such as articulation, dynamics, sound production and technique, technology, repertoire choice, phrasing, improvisation, feel and stylistic interpretation.

This service is offered at no cost to your school or band. Please note, the JAM service is subject to availability of Ara tutors at the time of your band practice.

JAM sessions are available all year long, but are usually undertaken during Term 2, in preparation for JazzQuest.

2015 JazzQuest winners

Individual awards


Student Instrument School
David Petch Trumpet Burnside High School
Ben Rainey Trombone St Andrews College
Hamish Smith Bass Burnside High School
Ben Ashby Reeds Christchurch Boy's High School
Jack Page Piano Burnside High School
Matthew Howes Guitar Burnside High School
Karen Hu Drums Rangi Ruru Girl's School
Ella Dunbar-Wilcox Vocalist Burnside High School

Competition top awards


Student or group Award School
Ella Dunbar-Wilcox Best Composition Burnside High School
Hamish Smith Best overall musician Burnside High School
Burnside High School Big Band Best Jazz Ensemble Burnside High School
Burnside High School Senior Combo Best big band Burnside High School

Gold winners

Group School
Junior Combo Burnside High School
Senior Combo Burnside High School
Big Band Burnside High School
Big Band St Andrews College

Silver winners

Group School
Senior Combo St Andrews College
Big band Rangi Ruru Girl's School
Combo Rangi Ruru Girl's School
Funk Band Christchurch Boys High School
Big Band Christchurch Boys High School
Dr Vesuvius and the Uranus Moon Children Hagley College
Jazz Combo Cashmere High School
Big Band Logan Park High School
Stage Band Cashmere High School

Bronze winners

Group School
Darfield Big Band Darfield High School
Darfunk Darfield High School
Bedes Per Minute St Bedes College
Chisnallwood Combo Chisnallwood Intermediate School
Jazz Combo Marian College
Big Band Nelson College
Jazz Band Hagley College
Big Band St Margaret's College
Jazz Theory Club St Margaret's College
Big Band Cashmere High School
Big Band Chisnallwood Intermediate School