The Arts

Aquinas actors, musicians, artists and performers are given the platform to participate, create and perform in school events, local, regional and national competitions, concerts and shows. Through such opportunities, students develop skills of creativity, collaboration and critical thinking while learning about themselves and their identities.


Itinerant Music Lessons

In-school instrument tuition and voice instruction are available from specialist tutors.

Instrument Lesson Options

  • Brass: Trumpet, trombone, tuba, French horn, baritone horn, euphonium
  • Drums, bass, and guitar
  • Strings: Violin, viola, cello, and double bass
  • Woodwind and Saxophone: Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, and baritone saxophone
  • Other instruments may be available upon request.

Please contact

Vocal Lessons
A limited number of spaces are available and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority will be given to students studying Music as a subject or completing NCEA assessments with Voice as their instrument. There is a fee for vocal lessons. Contact

Private Lessons
Students can also take private piano or guitar lessons at school. Fees are paid directly from students to the tutor.

● Guitar: Lessons are provided by Andrew Upton. Contact him at, Ph 020 400 78454 or
● Piano: Lessons are provided by Kathy Stewart on Tuesday mornings. Limited places are available and students will need an instrument to practice on. Priority will be given to students taking Music as a subject. Contact Kathy at

Music Ensembles

Aquinas has a variety of musical ensembles to help students grow and showcase their skills. Groups perform at a number of school and public events throughout the year including school masses, Aquinas’ annual Performing Arts Evening, The Big Sing, Tauranga Jazz Festival and the Waikato ITM Band and Orchestra Festival.

Voci Celesti
Is an auditioned mixed choir of students from Years 9 to 13. The choir is involved in events including The Big Sing, Aquinas’ Performing Arts Evening, the ITM Music Festival, and various workshops with notable NZ and international choral experts.

Junior Choir
Is a mixed choir of Year 7 and 8 students. The choir takes part in the Tauranga Primary School’s annual Music Festival and offers a useful experience for those keen to advance to Voci Celesti.

Mass/Liturgy group
Provides the music and hymns for college Liturgies and each term’s full school Mass.

AC Big Band
Consists of up to 18 brass, woodwind, drums and guitar musicians. It performs at the Aquinas Performing Arts Evening, Prize Giving assemblies, Tauranga Jazz Festival each Easter, and the Waikato ITM Band and Orchestra Festival.

AC Orchestra
Is a collection of woodwind, brass, and percussion musicians. It performs at various events for the school, in competitions, and takes part in orchestra workshops and concerts such as the Taupo Big Day Out.


Participating in Drama fosters teamwork and confidence, nourishes the imagination, expands friendship circles, and hones public speaking and presentation skills.

Aquinas students study Drama in Years 7 and 8 and can then choose it as an option subject in Years 9 through 13. Students learn from visiting specialists, attend theatre productions, and experience the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival.

Aquinas stages biennial large-scale productions, enabling students to practice, hone and exhibit their performance skills in front of a public audience. This year, students brought to life Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ Previous productions include ‘The Fiddler on the Roof’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

The college also has a lunchtime Drama Club which draws students of all ages to our Drama Studio each Wednesday. It is run by our senior drama students.

Visual Art

By engaging in the visual arts, students develop critical thinking and an ability to interpret meaning in the world around them. Our Visual Art programme includes painting, drawing, art design, printmaking, photography, digital art and sculpture.
All Year 7 and 8 students study Visual Art as a curriculum subject. From Year 9, Art becomes an option and specialist art subjects are introduced. Our specialist teachers help students explore, refine and communicate their artistic ideas.