Performing and Creative Arts
Music, in particular, is highly regarded by the world’s leading Universities. WAIS has several rehearsal rooms, a 400 seater theatre, ensemble performance areas, specialist music classrooms and the latest Western software and technology in a state-of-the-art jam room.
For Art the School has three superb art rooms, three artists in residence, an Art gallery, two studios and a photographic room.
Director of Music: Dr Nelson Wu
Dr Nelson Wu firmly believes music is a powerful transformative agent for physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual growth in our society. As a dedicated pedagogue, Dr Wu has taught students of all ages and abilities across four continents. He has taught in the UK and more recently the Director of Performing Arts at The Scots College, one of the leading Australian schools. He is excited to take his new post as the Director of Music at Wycombe Abbey International School in Changzhou, China, in August 2016.
Dr Nelson Wu has strengths in both musical knowledge and performance. He completed his PhD in Music at King's College London and studied violin at the Royal Academy of Music. Dr Wu was a professional orchestral and chamber musician in Auckland and London. He also made several award-winning recordings with the London Symphony Chorus as a first tenor. He is an established instrumental and choral conductor and directed a full-house performance of Handel's Messiah with a 200-strong combined Church Chorus and Orchestra in Sydney Town Hall in August 2015. Dr Wu has worked under the direction of world-class maestros such as Sir Colin Davis, Sir Bernard Haitink, Sir Richard Hickox, Sir Mark Elder, Sir David Willcotts, Sir John Rutter, Sir John Taverner and John Nelson. He has performed in renowned venues in the UK, US and Australia including the Sydney Opera House, Severance Hall in Cleveland, the Lincoln Centre in New York and the Barbican Centre, Royal Albert Hall and St Paul's Cathedral in London.
Dr Wu's musical interests extend beyond the realm of Classical Music; he has collaborated with legendary Jazz musicians Dave Brubeck and Wynton Marsalis. As a scholar, Dr Wu has presented academic papers at both Oxford and Cambridge. He published two peer-reviewed articles on Brahms and Messiaen in international academic journals.
Dr Nelson Wu is an inquisitive thinker who loves exploring new learning and teaching strategies. As a curriculum leader, he has enjoyed developing innovative learning and teaching programs under the educational frameworks of New Zealand, Australia, Cambridge International Examinations, and International Baccalaureate syllabi. In 2009, one of Dr Wu's students at Auckland Grammar School was awarded third in the world in A level music in Cambridge International Examinations. Dr Wu is also an avid user of technology and presented a joint paper with one of his colleagues at the International Music Technology in Education Conference in Sydney in June 2011.
He has led ensembles performing and touring on domestic and international stages regularly. In January 2014, Dr Wu hosted an international chamber music camp in Sydney, offering students the opportunity to learn from world-class professionals as well as forging long lasting friendships with their peers.
In November 2006, HRH Queen Elizabeth II received Dr Wu for his academic excellence and distinguished service to community.
In his personal time, Dr Wu enjoys travelling, experiencing different cultures, playing sports, reading, researching and spending time with his family.