Music | Epsom College

One-third of pupils across the year groups learn an instrument, while many learn two or three. From the Rock Band to the Chamber Choir and with a lively calendar of concerts and performances, we cater for the widest possible range of tastes, expectations and experiences. The diverse range of places where pupils can make music, practise, listen to and compose it, makes Epsom very special indeed. Class music lessons are given to all Lower School pupils.

There are two main choirs for new pupils. One is inclusive, with all Third Formers taking part during the Michaelmas Term. The other is an auditioned Lower School Chapel Choir, which prepares music for the weekly services and festivals.

The Ensembles programme includes the Lower School Concert Band/Orchestra, Contemporary/Rock Band Workshops, Music Tech Club and a Blues group. More advanced musicians, such as Music Scholars, will be invited to join the senior ensembles where possible.

All pupils who take instrumental lessons at school are required to participate in a suitable ensemble when they have reached an appropriate standard, to enhance their musical education.

Individual lessons

As part of your enrolment to the College, you will be asked if you wish to take individual music lessons. Our Music School Administrator, Jacqui Bustard, will be in touch to make arrangements, and schedule lessons during the school day. Any music lessons that take place at the same time as academic lessons will happen on a rotational basis. The lesson length means that you will be able to attend part of every academic lesson. Pupils who learn additional instruments will have lessons scheduled at a fixed time outside of academic lessons. Music lessons are charged as an extra on your School invoice.

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Choral Music

All pupils are involved in singing, whether it be hearty hymn-singing in the Chapel or the fiercely-contested House Choral Competition. This culture is established right at the outset with all new Lower School pupils singing in the Third Form choir.

The Chapel Choirs lead the music in Chapel each week, and for special services. They cover an extensive repertoire of sacred music and are given opportunities to perform outside school, including regular cathedral visits and tours abroad.

The Chamber Choir gives our senior choristers the chance to explore a more complex repertoire and experience workshops with professional choirs. Many of our singers are members of national youth choirs and take up choral scholarships at universities.

Instrumental music

There are numerous opportunities for instrumentalists at the College, whether through larger-scale ensembles or our chamber music programme. We provide two ensembles within each area of music-making; one that allows musicians to gain experience and another that stretches our leading musicians.

Our Scholarship programme encourages musicians to participate regularly in chamber music, and they have regular meetings with staff to discuss performance opportunities and their general progress; while the broader programme is tailor-made each year to the needs and abilities of our pupils, to provide them with a host of enriching musical opportunities.

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Contemporary Music & Technology

Whether it be rock groups or close harmony singing, there are myriad opportunities for non-classical music-making. From September 2023, the department has a Head of Contemporary Music and runs several band workshops led by our visiting music staff helping them both perform and write their own songs.

There are opportunities for pupils to get involved with music recording and production, such as producing their own music videos or recording songs they have written.

Pupils have the opportunity to work with and learn from our full-time audio technician who has a wealth of professional experience within the recording industry.

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Jazz is increasingly popular at Epsom with highlights including our annual Jazz Night and performances at professional Jazz Clubs.

We have designed a programme that allows pupils to develop as jazz musicians throughout their time at the College. Lower School have a Junior Blues Ensemble which introduces pupils to the art of improvisation. This programme continues into the Senior School with an inclusive jazz ensemble and the auditioned Big Band.

Concerts & Performances

Details of concerts are published termly in the College Calendar and a separate concert brochure. There are usually more than 25 concerts during the school year, in addition to more informal lunchtime recitals. We would love to welcome you to attend any of these events – they are all the richer when parents are in the audience, and our pupils gain a huge amount from your support.