Wananga landing Wananga landing
Student story

Matthew Harris

02 August 2023

"I can learn from some of the best musicians in the city..."


Studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and a Bachelor of Music in Performance

Godley-Wakefield Choral Scholar and Gentleman of the Choir, Christchurch Cathedral

Double Bassist, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

Tutor and Assistant Conductor, Christchurch School of Music

Assistant Conductor, Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival Orchestra

Matthew’s strong passion for music has set him on the path to be a professional musician, with ambitions to one day be a member of a world-class orchestra.

"Some of my earliest memories as a child were of going to classical music concerts and I’ve had a passion for music ever since," he says. "I believe that the tutoring and experience I gain here will be vital in helping me pursue a career in music."

His particular interest in classical voice, and playing the double bass and tuba, sees him major in Performance in his Music degree.

"I have enjoyed learning more about the music I play on a regular basis, particularly how a piece was written and the history behind both the piece and the composer. I chose to study at UC because I value the connections between the University and professionals in the music scene in Christchurch, and I can learn from some of the best musicians in the city who tutor here."

Also completing a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting meant picking up on his interests from high school.

"I enjoy learning more about the business world around me and how things and systems that we take for granted work for the benefit of us and the entire world," he says. "I find it fascinating being able to see how each individual item or transaction, even if it’s small, affect the big picture of how well an organisation runs."

For two years, Matthew was a member of UC’s chamber choir Consortia doing vocal performances alongside other students.

"I found it rewarding to work with my fellow students from all different kinds of backgrounds and fields of study and to be part of a team where the group is greater than the sum of its parts," he says. "I really enjoy the sense of community at UC and that we are all part of one big collective that care for each other and all contribute to university life."

Matthew has also had a number of performance experiences outside of UC, including playing tuba in the Leopard Coachlines Canterbury Brass and double bass with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

He also holds assistant conducting and supervising roles with the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival Orchestra and Christchurch School of Music for primary schools, alongside instrument tutoring work.

A number of scholarships have been awarded for his Music studies at UC, including two Leigh and Judith Pownall Scholarships, a University Madrigal Singers Prize, and a Christchurch Symphony Orchestra Elaine P. Snowden Scholarship.

Through the Christchurch Cathedral he has also received a Godley Wakefield Choral Scholarship, involving church engagements and providing worship music for the weekly services.

With his extensive experiences, Matthew advises other students at UC to be "be open to new information and new ideas".

"The ability to see things in different light is key in communicating with others and enriching our own view of the world."

More student stories
Privacy Preferences

By clicking "Accept All Cookies", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.