Jake Church

Meet Jake Church, a recent Master of Musical Arts graduate (classical guitar)

Jake Church

Why did you choose to study at Victoria?

I wanted to study classical guitar and pursue it as my career—Victoria University of Wellington was the only place where I felt I could develop my chops in New Zealand. Studying guitar in a well-resourced university like Victoria University has kept me interested and motivated.

Tell us about choosing classical guitar

I studied the classical guitar because I’m obsessed with the art of performing this plucked-acoustic-nylon-string instrument. Dr Jane Curry taught me to aim for sound production with full-tone and effortless facility. This approach has become a foundation for my general guitar style.

Why Welly?

Wellington is a compact and inclusive city where art flourishes. The southerly wind sucks (you kind of get used to it), but it does make those sunny days a bit brighter. I can’t imagine not living in Wellington—it’s a place where I feel driven.

Do you have any advice for current/future students?

It’s important to take advantage of the vast amount of opportunities at the University, even if it’s something you’d never think of doing before. Preparing and executing my best within these opportunities has exposed me to new people, communities and interests. I have been able to develop the practice of my discipline and future post-university work options.


Jake recently received a Judith Clark Memorial Fellowship to develop his PhD proposal in Sweden under the aegis of Stefan Östersjö, Professor of Musical Performance at Luleå University, and Associate Professor of Artistic Research in Music at Malmö Academy of Music, Lund University. Jake’s project will focus on the interactions between Māori and New Zealand western art cultures through structured improvisation.