Welcome to the Music Department
Mrs J Bristow, Director of Music Miss A Williams, Head of Music Mr M Lorentzen

The Music department consists of 3 full time teachers and 17 instrumental teachers who teach over 350 students in the school to support the department. The subject is taught as a separate subject through all key stages, but belongs to the Expressive Arts Faculty.

In February 2004 a new ‘state-of-the-art’ music block was opened by Percussionist Evelyn Glennie, which comprises of two large teaching spaces, five practice rooms, an office and a concert hall. Other facilities in the school include another ICT room and three further practice rooms.

The school is connected to the charitable foundation The Worshipful Company of Coopers and to that end, there are various concerts and events in the city of London throughout the year.

There are 2 music classes each in year 10 and 11 and large classes at AS/A level. There are 15 students in year 13 and 10 students in year 12 sitting AS or A2 level exams. All pupils in the lower school are taught music once a week for 75 minutes. Many students go on to further studies in music at Conservatoires or Universities. We also have students who attend the London Conservatoires on Saturdays and who play in National Ensembles such as the National Youth Brass Band, National Children’s Orchestra, the London School’s Symphony Orchestra, the National Youth Wind Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra.

The department runs a very varied and exciting extra-curricular programme. All three members of staff and instrumental teaching staff work very hard to maintain the programme. There are 28 weekly-run activities including 4 Wind Bands, 2 Orchestras, 4 Jazz Bands, Swing Band, Brass Band, 5 Choirs, numerous rock bands plus a whole range of chamber groups, as well as Theory club, GCSE composition, Aural training and Studio recording sessions. Many of the ensembles, along with solo items, perform in up to 13 concerts a year, ranging from recital evenings to concerts in the city, also playing annually in the Mansion House, home of the Lord Mayor of London.

The Symphonic Wind Band has achieved a hat-trick of Gold awards at the National Concert Band Festival held in Manchester, culminating in the presentation of a special award recognising our consistent outstanding achievement. We were also invited to play at the Primary School Proms at the Royal Festival Hall. Each year we host the Regional Festival for Music for Youth and have gained success with the Symphonic Wind Band at the National Festival performing at the Royal Festival Hall, London and latterly at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham. The school is understandably proud of its achievements on the national stage and we are keen to develop this achievement with other ensembles in the school.

The department runs residential courses throughout the year. In September the junior ensembles spend 3 days at a house near Saffron Walden rehearsing and studying Music. On a bi-annual basis the department takes on an International Tour. In the past we have travelled to various regions in Italy and have forged links with the ‘A Forzana’ Band of Savona, with whom we have recently been part of an exchange visit. The most recent tour last July was to Catalonia, where we presented 4 concerts. All residential trips are hugely popular events and reflect the enthusiasm for the subject in the school.

This is a very busy Music department where demands on both teacher and student time is high, but there is outstanding support for all aspects of the subject from Senior Management, parents, staff and governors.

 

Virtuoso - Autumn 2010 Issue


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