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Jake Church



Jake Church is a Wellington-based guitarist who specialises in contemporary/avant-guard music and is looking to expand the repertoire and conventions for the guitar. He recently completed a Master of Musical Arts research degree at the New Zealand School of Music—Te Kōkī, Victoria University of Wellington under the primary supervision of Dr Jane Curry, which explored the collaborative practices between non-guitarist composers and guitarist performers during the creation of new works for the guitar.

As a soloist and founding member of Duo Kitā, Jake has toured New Zealand and gained numerous performance accolades. Some of these accolades include: the Body/Harris Prize for best performance of a NZ work (Gorzanis Frammenti by Glen Downie, 2017): the New Zealand Aspiring Guitarist Award (2016), the Audience Choice Award (2014) and 2nd Place (2014 and 2016) at the NZ Classical Guitar Competition, the Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL) Competition Final with Duo Kitā, and the winner of the Muriel May Competition (2015). He is also a grateful recipient of many grants and scholarships from the Dame Malvina Major Foundation, J. C. Richards Award, Freemasons Lankhuyzen/Whetu-Kairangi Biannual Music Award, Royal Arch Jubilee Scholarship, and Hinemoa-Kairangi Benevolent Trust Scholarship.

Jake’s interest in composition and collaborative practices has allowed him to work with some of New Zealand’s leading young composers. His Masters project resulted in three new works for the guitar: Too (Sur)real by Louisa Nicklin, Soliloquy for Guitar by Reuben Jelleyman, and Gorzanis Frammenti by Glen Downie, winner of the Matthew Marshall Guitar Composition Prize 2017, and 2nd Place at the Lilburn Trust NZSM Composer Competition.

Jake currently works as a guitar teacher at the Raroa Music Centre Saturday morning programme as well as privately. He continues to collaborate and perform with composers around the country, and endeavours to pursue further postgraduate (PhD) research in collaborative practices.

Composed (2)

First Improvisation

for taonga pūoro and electric guitar with pedal

The Whampster Illusion

for alto saxophone, violin, double bass, electric guitar and effects pedals

Resources (1)