Academy of Arts

Based on a strong and proud arts tradition and a history of success at the highest level, the Hamilton Boys' High School Academy of Arts continues to develop fine young artists. The role of the Academy, and the Junior Specialist Arts Programme, is to provide our talented young artists with the guidance, tuition and coaching they need to reach their considerable potential. Not only do our artists improve at their chosen discipline, they also learn to balance their artistic commitments with their academic pursuits and their personal lives.

Mission Statement

To identify, support and maximise the development of talented visual and performing artists within Hamilton Boys' High School. To create an environment that encourages artistic and personal excellence, one that develops creative thought and commitment through high performance programmes.
Hamilton Boys' High School has an enormous talent base and a strong sense of pride in the School and the artistic success it has achieved. The School believes in the ideal of the 'right people delivering the right message,' and has been fortunate to secure the services of some of New Zealand's finest teachers, coaches and mentors.

Academy of Arts Specialist Staff and Tutors
Whole School Assembly Singing

Our whole school focuses on singing in weekly assemblies and prepares for House Competitions in both traditional and modern song. Songs are drawn from a wide range of sources including traditional, cultural and popular.

Mr Adrian Botting

Head of Music, Head of Arts Languages and Music Faculty. Waikato’s foremost music teaching specialist with over 30 years’ experience in Waikato schools, Mr Botting is a current band leader and professional musician in a wide range of genres. Mr Botting is the former Music Advisor and Arts Curriculum facilitator at Waikato University.

Mr Dwight Ashton - Drama, Dance and Theatre Sports

Mr Ashton has recently joined Hamilton Boys’ bringing with him over 25 years experience working in the performing arts. Having lived and worked in the United States, Japan and South Korea for more than a decade, Mr Ashton brings an international perspective on the Arts to our school. Mr. Ashton holds a degree in Theatre and Film from Victoria University and worked for several years as a professional actor both here and abroad. As well as directing his inaugural school production of Dracula, Mr Ashton also aims to collaborate with students and staff to create an original musical production that showcases the immense talent within our school from play writing and music composition to performance.

Mr Rob Wilson

Mr Wilson is a comtemporary fingerstyle guitar player who also plays and teaches electric guitar and bass. He originally trained as a Physics and Chemisty teacher and then moved to the Itinerant Music Scheme. Mr Wilson has experience in teaching overseas and has played professionally and semi-professionally for over thirty years.

Mr Bevan Galbraith - Rock, Drums and Ukelele

Mr Galbraith is an old boy of the school who has over 15 years of experience as class teacher and itinerant teacher of bass guitar, drums and ukulele. He runs his own recording studio and has extensive knowledge in working with student bands. Mr Galbraith has performed in a wide range of musical styles, both nationally and overseas. He has published tutor books for bass guitar, and he is an accomplished luthier whose distinctive instruments sell world-wide. Mr Galbraith oversees entry to Smokefree Rock Quest each year of which students enjoy considerable success.


Mr Nathan Koretz - Saxophone

Mr Koretz is a prolific and multi-talented musician with over 15 years experience in rock and jazz. He is involved with many groups locally and has experience as a “session” musician in America.

Mrs Jane Martin - Choir, Barbershop

Mrs Martin has been involved in choirs, musical theatre, vocal education and bands for more than 20 years. Having represented
NZ internationally she currently performs with several singing groups around the North Island and provides vocal for a number of English education websites.

Mr Sam Cleaver - Vocal

Mr Cleaver is an accomplished pianist and singer who has worked extensively in music theatre, jazz and classical music. He currently
holds an Associate Diploma in Voice from Trinity College, London and Diploma of the institute of Registered Music Teachers. Mr Cleaver has toured Australia with various successful performance groups.

Mrs Sharon Stephens - Stringed Instruments

Sharon Stephens is a free-lance violinist with 21 years of experience teaching and has an excellent record of student examination success. As a contract violinist for Opus Orchestra, Mrs Stephens brings a wealth of performance experience to the school which is supported by her work with Trust Waikato Orchestra where she held the position of Concert Master.

Mr Aaron Kearney - Debating & Speech

Aaron Kearney is an enthusiastic English teacher who has 10 years experience as both a student and a teacher in regional and national debating competitions, guiding HBHS teams to success at both regional and Super 8 level.

Mr Quentin West - Film and Television

The school has an extensive video and audio programme. Students document the life of the school, as well as creating their own film and television works.

Ms Jamieson Hudson - Photography and Design

New to the school, Ms Hudson holds a Bachelor of Media Arts specialising in Photography. As a practising artist, she is an expert
in digital and analogue formats. Ms Hudson views Visual Arts as a pathway to convey and understand ideas in a much wider, and more enlightened way than we may have previously.

Specialist Visiting Lecturers and Clinicians
Mr Phil Broadhurst - Jazz Performance

Mr Broadhurst teaches jazz performance, piano, composition and history at the New Zealand School of Music. He is active as a
professional jazz pianist and composer, and writes and presents The Art of Jazz weekly on Concert FM. In 2001 he became the first jazz musician to be awarded the MNZM for services to jazz.

Mr Pete France - Saxaphone and improvisation

Expert in jazz improvisation and theory, saxophonist Mr France has played at jazz festivals and concerts throughout New Zealand with the Rodger Fox Big Band, One MIllion Dollars, Natalie Cole, Randy Crawford. He has performed around the globe, notably at the Monterey Jazz festival.

Mr Mike Booth - Trumpet

An ex-student of HBHS, Mr Booth is a highly regarded musician with over thirty years experience. He is recognised internationally as a performer, clinician and tutor. Mr Booth has tutored at various National Jazz clinics and was Big Band Director at the Alkmaar Conservatory in the Netherlands. Mr Booth is a tutor at the reknowned New Zealand School of Music, and currently leads the Auckland Jazz Orchestra.

Mr Thomas Botting - Jazz Rock

Mr Botting is an old boy with a Masters degree in Jazz and works with the school’s Jazz Band and Combos.

Mr Timothy Dent - Arts Coordinator, Percussion, Advanced Drums and Pipe Band Instructor

Mr. Dent, an old boy of HBHS (2005-2009) is an internationally recognised drumming champion, having won several national and
international solo and group championship titles. He is the Drum Sergeant for the current 2018 grade three national champion pipe
band, Hamilton Caledonian. In 2017, as a soloist, Mr. Dent won the Musicworks Drum Off Final in Auckland. Mr. Dent regularly performs around the North Island as a member of several music groups. He has a wealth of percussion-based knowledge and he enjoys nothing more than to pass on this knowledge to enthusiastic students.

Performance Workshops

HBHS is fortunate to have hosted the New Zealand School of Music in 2014, allowing students to further develop their skills under the tutilage of pianist Phil Broadhurst, drummer Jonothan Sawyer and saxophonist Pete France. This relationship is set to continue into the future.