A wide-ranging series of concerts occur throughout the academic year, ranging from solo recitals and large-scale ensemble concerts, to musicals, performances in professional jazz clubs, and a series of contemporary concerts.

“Our tailor-made music programme challenges pupils to develop their talents and exposes them to high quality music making; however, our focus on inclusivity means that the less experienced are never left behind, with opportunities to perform and participate for all.”

Paul Johnson-Hyde, Director of Music

Pupils flourish within the department due to the range of opportunities available, the supportive attitude of their peers, and the direction of inspirational staff.

Participation in the department’s activities encourages pupils to develop self-discipline, become confident in themselves and to be tolerant and appreciative of others.

View our calendar of events for Lent Term 2020 here

Click on the headings below for more information on our co-curricular programme:

 

The Barbershop Chorus sings a broad range of close harmony music. There are a huge variety of concert opportunities throughout the year. It is non-auditioned, but it is important to have a basic ability to read music. 

The Big Band rehearses weekly and offers a number of performance opportunities for the College’s finest musicians. Popular events in the calendar include the College Jazz Night, Big Band Concert and performances at external venues such as the Hideaway Jazz Club. This group is by invitation only – please talk to the Director of Music if interested.

The Cantores Choir is made up of Lower School pupils and rehearses weekly. The repertoire covered is hugely diverse.
The Chamber Choir is an auditioned group which aims to further develop the musicianship of the strongest singers. It sings both sacred and secular repertoire. Recent projects have included Vivaldi’s Gloria, accompanied by a professional chamber orchestra. Please talk to the Director of Music if interested.

There is a broad tailormade Chamber Music Programme, such as String Quartets, Piano Trios, and Wind Groups. Please talk to the Director of Music for further details.

Chapel Choir is the school’s foremost vocal group, leading the music in Chapel each week, and for special services.

This large choir covers an enormous repertoire of sacred music during an academic year and is also given opportunities to perform outside school, most recently in Southwark Cathedral and Canterbury Cathedral as well as performing in tours to Catalonia, Malta, Tuscany and Venice.

Membership of Chapel Choir is open to all year groups and by audition with the Director of Music.

No audition is required to join this large choir. Choral Society rehearses on Tuesday evenings from September until its annual concert in January. With around 60 members, made up of parents, staff, and friends of the school, this choir performs a major choral work, often joining forces with Chapel Choir.

For the concert, Choral Society is joined by a professional orchestra and superb soloists. Where appropriate, pupils are invited to gain valuable experience as part of the orchestra.

The large-scale and non-auditioned Concert Band plays symphonic wind band music. Recent performances have included Shostakovich’s Waltz No.2 from his Jazz Suite and arrangements of Wicked and Pharrell Williams’ Happy. Parts can be differentiated, so there is no minimum required standard for this ensemble.

The Glee Choir sings contemporary acapella music. There is no audition or minimum requirement to join.

Recent performances have included an arrangement of Stitches, which can be viewed here.

Our lessons are taught by a highly-experienced and inspiring team of visiting teachers, most of whom also maintain thriving performing careers. Lessons can be arranged for any instrument, including specific Music Technology or Composition lessons. Beatboxing was introduced in September 2013. Instrumental lessons are taught during Activity times so pupils never miss an academic lesson to attend an instrumental lesson.

Individual and group lessons are available in Alexander Technique. Instrumental lessons are supported by separate classes in Music Theory and Aural Training when required.

Practical examinations for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, Trinity Guildhall, London College of Music, and Rockschool, are held in the department twice a year.

The Jazz Ensemble looks to build pupils improvisational skills and is run by a specialist Jazz Coach. Popular events in the calendar include the College Jazz Night and performances at external venues such as the Hideaway Jazz Club. This group is by invitation only – please talk to Director of Music if interested.

The percussion department is particularly strong and many of the School’s percussionists join together to form the Percussion Ensemble.

We are also proud to have our own Samba Band, an ensemble using mainly unpitched percussion. Traditionally, samba is the carnival rhythm of the samba schools of Rio de Janeiro and our Samba Band plays a range of styles of Brazilian percussion on their samba drums, including reggae, funk and hip hop.

Some pupils will be asked to join this group but there are limited spaces for others to also opt in. The commitment to the group must be for a complete academic year.

In collaboration with the Drama Department, significant pieces of musical theatre are staged annually in both the Senior and Lower Schools. Most recent productions include Evita, Jekyll and Hyde and Cabaret.

The orchestra needs players of all standard orchestral instruments and players should be at Grade 4 standard or higher. It performs each term with a repertoire covering the full gamut of symphonic music. Recent performances have included Sibelius’ Finlandia and Vaughan Williams’ Folk Song Suite. This group is by invitation only – please talk to the Director of Music if interested.

Just under half of our pupils currently take music lessons at school. Of these, almost a quarter have singing lessons.

Our lessons are taught by a highly experienced and inspiring team of visiting teachers, most of whom also maintain thriving performing careers. These lessons are taught during activity times so pupils never miss an academic lesson to attend these.

Practical examinations for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, Trinity Guildhall, London College of Music, and Rockschool, are held in the department twice a year.