Introducing our New Arts Coordinator

Tuesday 14th May 2024

Meet Peter Claman, who joined the John McGlashan team at the beginning of Term 2 as our new Arts Coordinator. We sat down with Pete for a chat about the experience he brings to the role and his plans for the future.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

"I've lived in Ōtepoti for just over 30 years - most of my life! Dad teaches brass and Mum played principal flute for the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra so music and art in general were always a big part of what we did as whānau. I've carried the passion for music through life and these days I'm spending most weekends playing all sorts of gigs as a professional Trombonist."

What skills do you bring to the role?

"Coming from a musical family, the question was always which instrument I'd be playing rather than whether I'd be playing one - so I decided to take after the other Mr Claman and picked up the Trombone as soon as my arm was long enough!

That's turned out to be a great choice as the Trombone is one of the few instruments that you can play in just about every band in town. I'm a staple player for the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, Dunedin City Jazz Orchestra, Tahu and the Takahē (Blues), Loose & Colourful (RnB), 'Koile (Reggae) & Ed and the Shadow Boys (Latin) - to name a few! This means I'm connected in with just about every musician in town.

I have experience recording and producing original music through projects like Piecemeal (Jazz Combo) and Texture Time (Live Electronics), and I'm no stranger to cameras, video editing and social media given the self-promotion that comes with working freelance.

In my other life I am also a Community Connector at Volunteer South, which means I'm connected in with organisations all across the non-profit community!"

Image by: Peter Claman

What do you think of Arts at John McGlashan?

"In my first two weeks at the school I've actually been blown away by the amount of talent, creativity and courage I've seen from the students here - and I don't say that lightly. The bands give it their all and they have seriously great original music. I've seen incredible photographs, paintings and sculptures from Visual Arts. The  enthusiasm for drama and film is absolutely infectious, as is the camaraderie amongst their groups. 

It's been incredibly energising learning just how much amazing art there is to support!"

What are you hoping to achieve as the new Arts Coordinator?

"To shine a light on all of the amazing artistic talent we have at John McGlashan, and to help our rangatahi take their art out of the school and into the public arena so they can learn the skills they'll need to operate as independent artists once they move out into the world. From personal experience I know that there is a huge amount to learn and a lot of connections to make, as well as a bit of luck for those who manage to profit from their art full-time. 

I'm looking forward to to setting our boys up with the skills they'll need to keep their art with them for life!"

If you'd like to contact Peter to talk about what's happening in Arts at John McGlashan, or to shine a light on any upcoming events or alumni achievements you've heard of, please feel free to reach out to him via email at