Our students and graduates

Meet some of our current students and graduates across our musical disciplines. 



Ivan Mouraviev - musicology

"Music has been integral to my life since a young age. I’m also passionate about biology. It allows me to better understand the world around us and help preserve it. Not willing to leave either of these passions behind when entering tertiary study, I took up a Music/Science conjoint degree. It’s enabled me to study exactly the subjects I am interested in, whether it be through production and music in video games, or nutritional science and drug design for major diseases like cancer.

"I’m grateful for being exposed to teaching staff and methods from disparate fields, they motivate me to explore diverse ideas and experiences. This helps me explore different styles of learning and better understand myself as a student and as a person. The University of Auckland is formidably ranked internationally. It’s also close to central musical and cultural venues.

"I have access to myriad high-quality resources and facilities for academic research and music production. I’m unrestricted in exploring my creative freedom. I have liberal access to state-of-the-art facilities in music production and audio engineering at the Kenneth Myers Centre, which houses our Jazz and Popular Music departments. Many brilliant musicians hone their crafts there. Sharing musical experiences and collaborating with these artists has been a major highlight of my degree.

"During our Stage III Hit Single Project, we spent two full days in a professional studio in central Auckland, collaborating with and learning from some of New Zealand’s top session musicians, as well as Scott Seabright, an eminent sound engineer and producer. We had opportunities to participate in both recording and performance, and have had our personal creative input considered. The course has inspired me to cultivate my music production skills beyond university, and potentially pursue music production as a career – something I wasn’t considering at all before the course.”

Ivan completed his Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Science (BMus/BSc) conjoint and is moving into the Bachelor of Music (Honours) in specialising in Musicology.



Manase Lātū - voice

"I had joined my school choir in Year 11 and my conductor saw a lot of potential in me. I auditioned for the University of Auckland Chamber Choir, and was involved in that for two years before I started at the School of Music.

"The transition from school to university is a big step, as it’s all on you; you have to motivate yourself, no one is there telling you what to do. But it is also really good. I get to sing every day and listen to the other students, which is really amazing. My vocal teacher focuses mainly on technique, and our vocal coach helps us with the phrasing and language in each piece. You form good relationships with your teachers, they become your friend.

"I’ve had lots of exciting performance opportunities. I have been involved with Graduation Gala, Opera Scenes and I also won the Graham Allen Musical Theatre Prize. That was a great opportunity to learn a different genre – it’s completely different from classical voice. They focus on the character and storytelling, which is a good skill to have as a classical singer.

"The important thing is to find something you’re good at and love to do, and stick with it – don’t let it go!”

Manase completed his Bachelor of Music (BMus) majoring in Classical Performance – Voice, and is now undertaking his Honours year. 


Anita Austin Music

Anita Austin - French horn

"Doing a music degree at The University of Auckland, your instrument teacher is allocated to you one-to-one, which is invaluable support transferring to the big world of university and to your personal musical development. They’re very active in the industry too, so we can observe, learn by osmosis and alongside them as well. The amount I’ve learnt already has been huge - the understanding, confidence, knowledge and ability.

"I still think it’s amazing that I’m doing music, that I get to play horn all day. And I think the biggest thing is the wonderful network of friends that I didn’t think I could ever have.

"My dream? To be one of them in concert-dress-black on stage. And see it from the other side."

Anita completed a Bachelor of Music degree (BMus), majoring in Classical Performance on French Horn, and is now undertaking her Honours year. 


Garling Wu

Garling Wu - composition (sonic arts)

"I have played and learned music since I was seven, and in high school I was involved in a great music department. I played in rock and jazz bands as well as chamber ensembles. There were so many options for university study, so I did my research and chose music because it gave me the chance to be a creative and be challenged.

"In the first year of composition, you cover both traditional composition and sonic arts, and then you can choose to specialise. Traditional composition is for acoustic instruments and voice. Sonic arts uses electronics and technology to create works. You can record sounds or acoustic instruments, then move into the electronic domain to edit and manipulate them to create an experience you couldn’t get from an instrument alone. Sonic arts sets you up with a variety of skills in the technological world which you can then take into industry. Technology is always evolving, so it’s good to be in a field which makes use of that.

"I’ve had the chance to work with other disciplines, providing sounds for dancers, artists and a creative writer across the University. Collaborating across disciplines is giving me practical skills as I continue to learn, and is something I hope to continue once my studies are finished."

Garling completed a Bachelor of Music (BMus) majoring in Composition – Sonic Arts and is undertaking her Honours research.  



Denholm Orr - jazz

"With a Master of Music, I am continuing to add to my skills as a musician and bass player. It will set me on a good path for future employment in tertiary institutions or musical organisations.

"I’ve been fortunate to receive a handful of scholarships which helped further my studies. In particular, the Summer Research Scholarship was a great means of getting a feel for the requirements of a masters programme, with regards to having complete freedom to choose my course of study. My current research looks at tone, an easily-glossed-over aspect of music performance. My aim is to look in-depth at tone production with the bow on upright bass, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Such insights could eventually lead to new bass teaching methods.

"The staff in the jazz department at the University of Auckland are at the top of their fields, but the education you receive goes well beyond what you learn in the classroom!"

You can watch Denholm's postgraduate recital on YouTube here

Denholm is currently completing a Master of Music (MMus) specialising in Jazz Performance.



Sharna Llorando - popular music

"I really enjoyed our performance classes and being able to play new songs and receive constructive feedback from other creatives. It's a great way to test out new material in a positive environment, and be inspired by the songs of other students. 

"Becoming a professional music artist and travelling the world with my songs - that's my career goal. Being taught by renowned lecturers in an internationally-acclaimed University was a great first step."

Shana completed a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Commerce conjoint degree. You can find out more about her on Facebook and Soundcloud




Martin Qi - studio pedagogy

"I decided to focus on pedagogy as I wanted a well- rounded musical experience.

"I transferred to the University of Auckland after my viola teacher relocated from Christchurch. The facilities here are the best I’ve experienced, and the academic staff are incredibly knowledgeable and approachable. Everyone is a specialist in their field, and I’m able to take what I learn in class and actively apply it to my playing. I also enjoy how the community of students is tight-knit and forms groups despite their year level.

"Being a teacher has aided my playing; I understand how to teach myself, and I better understand what my teacher is saying.

"After my studies I would like to get into the chamber music side of things; forming groups and competing, advancing as a chamber player. At some stage throughout my career, I’d also like to go back to China and contribute to the musical development there."

Martin has recently completed his Master of Music (MMus) majoring in studio pedagogy.