North Canterbury Academy of Music was established in September 1983 by Julia Holcroft and a steering committee. This committee included a Chairman, Secretary, Musical Director and Treasurer. In 1983 the Academy was originally supported by the Rangiora Borough Council, The District Council, Eyre County Council, Kaiapoi Borough Council and the Hurunui Council. There were originally 8 students studying violin and the Academy has grown over the years reaching 100+ students in 2021. They are enrolled studying a range of instruments from Violin to Drums and Voice to Electric Guitar. NCAM began as the North Canterbury School for Instrumental Music (NCSIM) however, a couple of years later changed its name to NCAM due to another local Music School in Christchurch having a similar name.
When NCAM was established 2 violin classes were run at St Joseph’s School, Rangiora which remained a great supporter of NCAM for many years. Joan Farquhar at Rangiora Borough School and the Principal of Kaiapoi Borough School supported NCAM over many years and were connected to NCAM when the Ministry of Education began partially funding the Academy.
The aim of the Academy has always been “to teach children a musical instrument, so that the child’s life might be enriched, not only by personal satisfaction and achievement, but also by the participation and enjoyment derived from music-making in small groups.” The Academy Orchestra was founded in 1985 followed by a number of groups over the years. The Academy now offers a Junior Orchestra, Senior Orchestra, Choir, Wind Ensemble, Cello Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Celtic Fiddles and Music Mind Games, an introduction to Music Theory.