Performing Arts is part of Iona College's Special Character and enhances our holistic approach to empowering girls for life. It helps develop many valuable skills in young people, from self-confidence through to fine motor skills. It teaches the appreciation of performance and expression while igniting one's imagination.  

Iona is the ideal school for any girl with creativity, enthusiasm and talent. As well as offering girls the opportunity to explore and enjoy a wide range of visual and performing arts classes, we have facilities that rival professional studios and venues.

Iona attracts teachers recognised for their expertise and girls enjoy regular opportunities to see professional performances and to learn from world-renowned authors, musicians and artists.

Rounding out the range of cultural activities on offer, Iona has a long tradition of success in debating, a small but proud Kapa Haka group, and we have access to a thriving private tuition programme for singing, contemporary and classical dance, learning musical instruments, speech and drama, and public speaking.​​​​​​​​​

Our extensive Performing Arts 
programme includes:

  • ​​​​​​​Choir 
  • Dance 
  • Debating ​​​​​​​
  • Drama / Theatre Clubs 

  • ​​​​​​​Kapa Haka 
  • Music 
  • Private Music/Singing Tuition 


  • Rock Bands 
  • Sheilah Winn Shakespeare 
  • Speech and Drama 


Sheilah Winn Shakespeare  

Iona College students were selected to represent Hawke’s Bay at the National Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival - SGCNZ for the sixth consecutive year.

Iona College has been entering the Hawke’s Bay Regional Festival of the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand since 2013. The festival gives young people a springboard to show their talent and bring new approaches to Shakespeare; it encourages students to explore the richness of language, have fun with figures of speech, delve into literature and develop the expression of their creative art.

Iona students did us proud at the 2021 regional final, winning the 15-minute improvisation, and being awarded the privilege of representing Hawke’s Bay at the annual SGCNZ University of Otago National Youth Shakespeare Festival in Wellington.

Following her outstanding portrayal of Brutus at the National Festival, Year 12 student Taygen Elliott was invited to return to Wellington to be part of the prestigious Shakespeare Globe Centre National Shakespeare School’s Production. 

Dance NZ Made ​​​​

Dance NZ Made is an interschool competition run throughout the country which celebrates the strength, diversity and passion of dance in NZ. In August 2023, Iona dancers competed in the regional finals held at Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre.

We were exceptionally well represented, with multiple entries across all age groups and categories. The girls delivered incredible performances with creative flair, technical ability and professionalism, and Iona scooped numerous awards. 

This year the girls were awarded the Overall Hawke's Bay Championship Award in the Duo/Trio and placed second in the Overall Hawke's Bay Teams Award.

The only 'Excellence in Choreography Award' went to Grace Pritchard for her Open Jazz Choreography, a huge accomplishment with a 10/10 awarded from both judges.

Five outstanding performers were also awarded Golden Tickets and a chance to compete for ten $1000 scholarships at the Nationals, with one of these performers being the first time a Year 7 student had been selected.

An Excellence in Choreography, having multiple group dancers selected for the Dance NZ Made Nationals, and being awarded five golden tickets, was an outstanding achievement. 

Musicianship at Iona  

In 2021, we welcomed Mrs Lindsay Coxan, an experienced musician and teacher, to our staff.  Under Lindsay’s guidance, La Albondiga Jazz Band entered Smoke-Free Rock Quest. To qualify for the competition, the group, or someone in the group, must write an original song that the band performs. The girls practised at every opportunity and performed brilliantly.

Elsa Hosford received a musicianship first place award for her trumpet playing.

La Albondiga's musical skill and maturity belie their young years and they have enjoyed playing at many events. We look forward to hearing more about their successes over the coming years.​​​​​​​

Te Ahumairangi - Kapa Haka 

We are thrilled to have launched a joint venture with Havelock North High School and our Kapa Haka students to create “Te Ahumairangi.” Te Ahumairangi was formed through the combination of talents, creativity, knowledge, experience and expertise of Matua Peter Robin and Koka Ripeka Hapuku so that the rangatahi can thrive and celebrate Maori culture through Kapa Haka.

In 2021, our students participated in the Ngati Kahungunu Secondary Schools' Kapa Haka Regional Competition. The level of performance was awe-inspiring, and our young rangatahi learnt so much about themselves as well as gaining invaluable experience competing at this high level. 

Fame - The Musical   

The joint Iona College and Lindisfarne production of Fame  - The Musical was a fun, fresh, vibrant and energetic performance that delighted five sell-out audiences.

The show introduced us to the trials and tribulations of a group of students at The High School of Performing Arts in New York, sharing their highs and lows as they sought fame and fortune in an unforgivingly competitive world. The casting was superb, and the performances were polished with an eclectic mix of singers, dancers, actors, prefects, sportspeople and the academically-inclined showcasing their own talents, mirroring the aspirations of the characters they were portraying.