Class Act 2023: Logan Park High School

Jack Ta


Musical progression and personal development are one and the same for Jack Ta.

The gifted 16-year-old Logan Park High School pupil has his sights set high and is not afraid of the self-discipline required to reach his goals.

His deep-seated love of jazz comes from more than just the enjoyment he gets from playing. It also gives him a life-long educational path and keeps him aligned with his values.

He feels deeply connected to the music and believes it is a good representation of who he is as a person.

He says studying music has given him life skills, including building habits, staying consistent, communication, leadership and teamwork.

The continuous, side-by-side growth of his personal and musical skills are what keep him happy.

Jack has a clear idea of where he would like to be in 10 years — working as a high-profile musician on the New York jazz scene.

After high school, Jack hopes to study at a top jazz conservatory, such as Julliard or the Manhattan School of Music.

He says he is looking forward to studying jazz in its most authentic form, learning from top calibre musicians.

He hopes to one day tour the world and bring jazz to as many people as he can.

He is thankful for his parents’ support, providing him with a living environment optimal for practicing his music and preparing him for the adversities of life.

He has been mentored by many musicians and believes the help he has received will play a significant role in his future.


Achievements: NCEA Level 1 and 2 excellence endorsement; 3rd place in New Zealand national jazz improvisation competition (2022); LPHS melody trophy for best melodic improvisation (2022); selected as a member of Dunedin City Jazz Orchestra (since 2021); Young Jazz Band-it national finalist (2022);  Otago badminton representative (2020-23); Southern Jam Jazz Festival, adjudicator choice 
(2021), All-Stars big band (2021), gold award-winning LPHS jazz band (2021); Christchurch Big Band festival, All-Stars big band member (2022); Dunedin Youth Jazz Festival best performance on piano (2021-22), alto saxophone (2022), improvised instrumental solo (2022), trombone (2020, 21), big band winner (2020-22); Dunedin City Jazz Orchestra, piano (2021-23), 1st alto saxophone (2020-23); LPHS 
Music prefect (2023); musical director of LPHS musical (2023); excellence in music (2021, 22); Blues awards, badminton (2021, 22), jazz band (2022).

Role models: His grandfather, who is self-disciplined and treats those around him with love and respect, and his piano teacher, Joe Block, who has incredible piano skills and has studied music deeply.

Hopes for the future: To tour the world, bringing jazz to as many people as he can.


Cora Chapman


Working in a job that helps people would be ideal for Cora Chapman.

The creative thinking 17-year-old is always up for a new experience.

When not in school, it is safe to assume she is sitting stick-in-hand behind her drum kit or chasing basketballs at the Edgar Sports Centre.

The Logan Park High School head prefect is keen to learn and is not afraid of a challenge.

Sport has always been a big part of Cora’s life. It gives her an enjoyable alternative to school work and helps to clear her head.

At school, she has made it into the A team for various sports including netball, football, basketball, badminton, futsal, water polo and handball.

Cora values good time management and has worked hard to find a balance of work and play while still pushing herself.

Thanks to movies, Sir David Attenborough and family fables, Cora’s interest in travelling has grown.

At some point, she would like to see the world and experience new environments, perspectives and cultures.

Adaptability is a core value.

Next year, Cora will spend her first semester at the University of Otago trying different papers, in time settling on a more structured course.

She is considering her options for the future but hopes to end up in a profession where she can help people, such as law, psychology or history.

She blames her altruistic personality for the leadership opportunities she has taken and the enjoyment she gets from supporting others.

Unsure of the future, Cora says she will make sure she always works hard on things she is passionate about.

She achieved success at this year’s Dunedin Youth Jazz Festival when her jazz band and jazz combo won their sections. She was also named most promising drummer.

Cora is thankful for her parents’ support and for encouraging her to try new things.


Achievements: NCEA level 1 and 2 excellence endorsement; LPHS head prefect (2023); bronze award in the New Zealand international biology Olympiad; LPHS sports prefect council (2023); Cadenza competition with school choir (2023), first place in Dunedin Youth Jazz Festival with the LPHS jazz band (2022); top 10 finalist for the Essential New Zealand Jazz Band competition with LPHS jazz band; 
Played in a featured band at the Dunedin midwinter carnival (2022).

Role models: My three older sisters whom I respect for their kindness, compassion and bravery. My parents, for the way they live their lives and the effort they put into their work and family. My friends, for their achievements, making me laugh and their consideration of those around them.

Hopes for the future: To study at the University of Otago and end up in an academically and creatively challenging career that also has the potential to help lots of people.