Creative Shirley


Shirley Boys’ High School’s Creative Shirley is charged with the responsibility of providing a quality creative program for our students. 

Creative activities offer opportunities for students to: 

  • Have FUN 
  • Demonstrate the school values of Whakaute: Respect, BTB: Better than before, Tuakiri: Character, and Hononga: Belonging 
  • Pursue aims of excellence, personal achievement, and self-discipline 
  • Improve self-esteem and confidence 
  • Enhance cultural skills 
  • Establish friendships with other students within and beyond the school 
  • Meet and get to know teachers outside the classroom 
  • Develop leadership and ‘followership’ skills 

Opportunities will be available in a diverse range of activities for all to participate in, enjoy, and achieve at a level appropriate to their development, skill, and potential. 

We aim to maximize the resources available in the school and our immediate community, increasing opportunities for participation at all levels while facilitating the transition into SBHS from contributing schools and into community groups for school leavers. We provide the best possible facilities and resources for the effective delivery of our creative programs. 

The music, art, drama, performance technology, dance, and cultural groups all fall under the banner of the Creative Shirley Committee, and we aim to offer all students the opportunity to experience a wide range of activities, whether at the highest skill level or just starting out. This guide outlines the opportunities in the Performing Arts, Music, and Clubs and activities available to students, as well as expectations of participants and selection policies. Clubs and Activity Groups are created throughout the school year. Look at the daily notices for more information.  

Highlights throughout the year include Poly Fest in term 1, a Matariki performance event in term 2, the Musical Showcase in term 3, Kapa haka performances throughout the year, and the major Drama production, a collaboration between Shirley and Avonside, which takes place every second year. Pop-up concerts and events also happen regularly, and these will be advertised on the school’s social media platforms. If you are looking for one of these platforms, search on Facebook for Shirley Boys’ High School Creative Shirley; you should find it. There are also different groups set up for Māori and Pacifica students as well as pop-up groups each year, and you will find the most updated links to these on the Shirley Boys High School website. 


At Shirley Boys’ High School, we believe that education involves learning and citizenship both inside and outside the classroom. Supporting our extensive Spartans Sport program is Creative Shirley. Shirley Boys’ High School students will achieve personal growth and success through involvement in our Creative Shirley programs.

We will achieve this vision by: 

  • Providing opportunities for students to be involved in a broad range of music, art, drama, performance technology, dance, cultural groups, and clubs 
  • Establishing and maintaining facilities, technology, and equipment suitable for developing a diverse range of creative activities 
  • Encouraging students to strive toward BTB (Better than Before) 
  • Fostering lifelong friendships, developing leadership skills, and experiencing education outside the classroom 
  • Putting the student at the centre of the decision-making process 
  • Providing pathways from our contributing schools and to our community groups and organizations 
  • Actively promoting the principles and philosophy of the Shirley Man 


All students representing Shirley Boys’ High School are expected to abide by the rules and regulations within the Creative Shirley code and the school rules. 

Students are required to attend rehearsals and pay all fees (where applicable). If unable to attend, they must notify the leader or manager in advance of rehearsal or performance. 

Students are expected to give total commitment to the Creative Shirley code they have selected to be involved in. 

Students will show that it is an honour to represent Shirley Boys’ High School and will treat all performers with respect and courtesy. 



These exciting bands and combos comprise of boys of all ages from Year 9 – Year 13. The groups regularly play at school and each year go on a 6-day trip competing in the Southern Jam Youth Jazz Festival and performing at different venues around Picton and Blenheim. Any boys learning brass or woodwind instruments wanting to be part of a tight knit group should check this out. 

  • Teacher in charge – Ms Jane Herman 
  • Terms – All year round 
  • Competition – CPIT Jazz Quest, Southern Jam Youth Jazz Festival 
  • Events Ōtautahi Jazz Spectacular, Christchurch Big Band Festival 
  • Rehearsal Times – Thursday Mornings, 8:15 – 9:30 with Jazz Combo 9.30 – 10.30 
  • Where – Music Department 
  • Tutor – Mrs Judith Bell   


Usually formed in class time and then carried on into their own time, these groups get to practice at times organized by themselves and the Music Department staff. The school also offers bands a band mentor that takes bands for 30 minutes weekly as they create their original music for the competitions. These groups get to play in assemblies, pop up gigs and they perform at various times throughout the year but generally their main goal is to get to Smoke-free Rock quest and Tangata Beats in Term 2. Throughout the past 10 years we have had much success with these competitions. In 2013 we were fortunate enough to have all three of our bands reach the Canterbury Finals with one group, Nomad, going on to compete in the National Finals. In 2023 our entry in Tangata Beats. “Twin Harmony” won the National Duo competition.  

  • Teacher in charge – Ms Jane Herman 
  • Terms – All year round 
  • Competition – Smoke-free Rock Quest and Tangata Beats, Play it strange songwriting competitions  
  • Rehearsal Times – By arrangement, Band mentoring Monday 9 -11:30  
  • Where – Music Department Performance Room 
  • Tutor – Mr Shaun Malloch, Mr Rutene Rickard  


Each year we form different groups depending on the instrumental talent and interest at the time. These can be string trios, saxophone quartets, classical music duos or any combination of chamber music groups. These groups are normally offered in instrumental lesson times by the itinerant music teachers and will be students taking music lessons with that teacher.  

In 2024 so far, we have a saxophone quartet and a string trio. Students interested in forming any other groups should speak with Ms Herman and/or their itinerant instrumental teacher.   

  • Teacher in charge – Ms Jane Herman  
  • Terms –All year round 
  • Competition – tbc 
  • Rehearsal Times – String trio: Tuesday, Saxophone group: Monday 
  • Where –Itinerant teaching space 
  • Teacher – Ms Rees- Stevenson and Ms Brizell 


Calling all singers! We are a group of students who meet weekly to rehearse material for The Big Sing Choral Competition which is held in June each year. We rehearse and perform a variety of material from Māori waiata to Latin pieces and modern arrangements of popular songs. In 2013 we won the best performance at The Big Sing in the Mori/Pasifika category for the Canterbury region. The group members range from Years 9-13. Boys who enjoy singing or who would like to try being part of a vocal group are very welcome.  

  • Teacher in charge – Ms Jane Herman  
  • Terms –All year round 
  • Competition – Big Sing 
  • Rehearsal Times -Thursday afternoon 3pm  
  • Where -Room Music Performance Room 
  • Accompanist – Ms Jane Herman or students by arrangement  
  • Teacher – My Nye 


We have senior and junior groups of guitarists, acoustic bassists, ukulele players, and various other instrumentalists that form string ensembles throughout the year. Students can learn to play in an ensemble with other like-minded musicians, with each group varying in musical styles and experience. These groups cater to abilities ranging from mid-level guitarists jamming for fun to more experienced groups that perform in assemblies and concerts throughout the year. Students rehearse weekly to create layered guitar arrangements spanning from Spanish guitar music to Māori and Pacifica waiata, as well as popular music. In 2023, we have two year 9 groups, a senior group, and a string band starting later in term 2. Entry into some groups is through audition only. Please see the Music Department staff if you are interested in auditioning for any of these groups. 

  • Teacher in charge – Ms Jane Herman  
  • Terms – All year round 
  • Competition – NA 
  • Rehearsal Times – Year 9 groups: Tuesdays within periods 1 and 2, Senior group: Friday lunchtime, String Band- tbc 
  • Where – Room M1 
  • Teacher – Mr Rickard, Ms Herman 


Free Tuition and instrumental hire are offered for various instruments (including voice). Lessons offered are normally in small groups for junior students with priority given to senior students that are doing NCEA performance. Lessons are within the school day and a pass is issued for class and students must endeavour to catch up on any missed class work. Priority is given to boys who choose music as one of their option subjects and there is high demand for lessons with the school having a waiting list for students wanting to learn. Because of the demand the rule is that if a student misses 3 lessons without clear communication and valid reason their spot will go to the next person on the waiting list.  The times, waiting list and attendance roll for music lessons are posted on the Creative Shirley Facebook page and on a digital screen at the top of the stairs to the left of the Performing Arts block. For further information and to apply for lessons, please email Jane Herman, HOF Performing Arts. [email protected] 

  • Terms – Full and half year options 
  • Times – By arrangement 
  • Where – various music studios  
  • Cost – Free 
  • Equipment – Instrument hire can be arranged with a form to be completed  

Itinerant music teachers: 

  • Guitar – Hanifi Machirus, Rutene Rickard, Cameron Sloan 
  • Bass guitar – Mike Fudakowski 
  • Brass – Antonio Dimitrov 
  • Drums – Mark La Roche 
  • Piano – Maree Gutsell  
  • Strings – Kerrin Brizell 
  • Voice – Emma Summers  
  • Woodwind – Georgina Rees Stevenson 


In the fashion of “Whose Line is it anyway?”, Theatre sports is a team-based activity where they must create a scene out of a ‘theme’ or ‘idea’ given to them only a few seconds prior to beginning. Theatre sports is improvisation based so within those few seconds prior to performing, players must create a scene with a beginning a middle and an end. 

Various mini competitions occur throughout the year as well as Canterbury regional competition in Terms 3 & 4 and South Island championships in Term 4. 

  • Teacher in charge – Mr Emerson  
  • Terms – All year round 
  • Competition – Canterbury Theatre Sports tbc 
  • Where – Drama Room in the Performing Arts block 
  • Equipment – a great sense of humour 


Students of all year levels who wish to be involved with specific Visual Art projects in and around our community may join the Art Club. Projects can occur at any time during the year and could include creating a mural, painting or digital imagery. 

  • Teacher in charge – Mrs Aindow 
  • Terms – All year round 
  • When – tbc 
  • Where – tbc  


Kapa Haka offers students an opportunity to be involved in Māori performing arts. They will learn a whole range of Kapa Haka skills, including a variety of haka and waiata, choreography, as well as mau rākau (weaponry) and taonga puoro (musical instruments). 

  • Teachers in charge – Mr Chez William-Waihi, Mr Rutene Rickard 
  • Terms – All year round 
  • Possible Competitions – Waitaha Sec Kapa Haka Competition, Ngā Manu Kōrero Speech Competition tbc each year  
  • Rehearsal times – Monday lunchtime 
  • Where –Te Paeroa 
  • Equipment – Rākau and Patu 


Shirley Boys’ High School strongly encourage Pasifika students to maintain their cultural links. Christchurch Poly fest Festival is the predominant focus of the Shirley Boys’ High School Pasifika Cultural group. Practices are three times per week to start with, increasing as we get closer to the event. The festival involves dances such as the Sāsā and the fa’ataupati, mixing traditional with modern approaches. 

Senior students have the opportunity to have their dance assessed under the NCEA (National Certificate in Educational Achievement) curriculum area of Dance subject and a number of credits may be available. All students prepared to commit are welcome to join. 

  • Teacher in charge – Mr U Pesefea 
  • Terms – All year round 
  • Competition – Christchurch Poly Fest Festival 
  • Rehearsal Times – Lunchtimes and Saturday 
  • Where – TBA 


Shirley Boys’ High School experience has been enriched by numerous Productions, Musicals Performances throughout its history. Every two years (often in conjunction with Avonside Girls’ High School) students from all areas of the school audition to become part of this long tradition of performance magic. Don’t worry if you cannot sing or act, there is still a place for other enthusiastic members of the production team. Become a backstage helper – set, costume, stage management and other technical areas are always needed. The School’s Production creates friendship and memories that last forever. All students are welcome to audition in Term 2. 

  • Teacher in charge – Mr N Munn 
  • Terms – TBA 
  • Rehearsal Times – TBA 
  • Where – TBA 


Have you a desire to perform some truly challenging theatre? Are you interested in the stories of Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet? The Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival is a nationwide event in which high school students perform five to fifteen minute scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, set in any time, place, dress – though definitely in Shakespeare’s words. 

The Canterbury Regional Festival takes place at the end of Term 1, and is the culmination of many hours of work from student director and their enthusiastic cast. The Festival scope is wide as students act, direct, serve as crew, compose music, create costumes and posters for their performances. 

  • Teacher in charge – Mr Emerson  
  • Terms – TBA 
  • Competition – TBA 
  • Rehearsal Times – TBA 
  • Where – TBA 


Gold Awards – these are awarded to senior members of the school who have attained a standard of performance which, in the opinion of the teacher in charge, is outstanding and warrants the award of a Gold, participated over a substantial period, been a worthy representative of the school, shown a satisfactory attitude to school work (including 80% attendance), displayed a quality setting him apart from others, e.g. leadership, willingness and inspiration.

Supreme Award – the Demaine and Robertson Tray for Outstanding Contribution to Culture. “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see”. Edgar Degas

The arts and cultural activities of any country represent a high mark of their society, and their identity. They underpin how we see ourselves; our past, the present and our globalised future. The impact that culture and the arts play in our life is clear; they stimulate us, educate us, challenge and entertain us. An English philosopher Alan Watts is famously quoted as saying: ‘’Wonder, and its expression in poetry and the arts, are among the most important things which seem to distinguish men from other animals’’; ultimately, it is our appreciation and devotion to the arts that make us better people. Consequently those who are involved in the arts, need to be congratulated for their contribution to society, citizenship and our values are great.

In recognition of the artistic and cultural contributions to Shirley Boys High School, the Demaine and Robertson Tray is an award that recognises a student’s outstanding contribution, leadership and skill in the cultural arts of Shirley Boys High School. This award, will not necessary be given out annually but will presented to a student whose contribution to culture has been vast; across a number of years and disciplines.

In 2015 the award was presented to the band ‘Nomad’ who now have a music video and two soundtracks playing on the radio – Oh My My and Love Will Call.

Luke Longworth, whose contribution to culture at Shirley Boys High School has spanned five years (across debating, theatre sports, public speaking, creative writing and music) won the award in 2014. As well as Luke’s talent and involvement in culture, it is his leadership and integrity to culture that will leave a lasting footprint in our school.