Welcome to the Music Department
Facilities and opportunities for Music are extensive and the self-contained, purpose-built Music School fizzes with activity throughout the day. The experienced and well-qualified permanent staff are joined by forty specialist instrumental teachers, many of whom coach ensembles in addition to their one-to-one tuition.
The Hooper Music School
The Hooper Music School was opened in 1995 and provides the School with extensive facilities. The building is used exclusively for the music provision for both the Senior and the Junior School. There are 2 recently created dedicated music rooms for the Junior School music teaching and there are 4 further dedicated classrooms for Senior School classes. There are 2 recital/rehearsal rooms (which are often used for smaller scale concerts as well as regular rehearsals for the ensembles), a music technology suite based around a network of 30 Apple Mac computers, a well-equipped 24-channel recording studio and a Sixth Form Listening Room. Across both floors there are 11 instrumental teaching/practice rooms. In addition, there are offices, a staff room and three instrument storerooms. With a large stock of school instruments, a teaching staff of 5 full-time teachers, a team of over 30 visiting instrumental teachers (all professional performing musicians) and a department administrator, we work to support the musical interests and development of all the pupils.
Music plays an important part in the lives of many pupils and the co-curricular musical life of the school is very rich. Numerous performing opportunities exist, both formal and informal, and we aim both to cater for a diverse range of styles and experience and to achieve excellence, whilst including all. Each student is assessed on their instrument at least once each year to ensure that their ensemble options reflect their current standard. The result is that nearly half the pupils take part in ensemble rehearsals each week and much of this activity is at an impressively high standard at all levels. There are currently four orchestras, four choirs, two jazz bands, one concert band, various wind and brass ensembles and around 30 string, wind and brass chamber groups; there is also a Parents’ Choir.
Click on the links in the right-hand column for further details of our weekly rehearsal schedule.
In each year there are nine large-scale concerts (including three or four at public venues outside school, including St John’s, Smith Square and the Purcell Room on the South Bank), six individual pupil recitals, two instrumental prize competitions, frequent informal lunchtime concerts, various informal House music performances (organised and led by the pupils), a biennial House Music Competition (attracting well over three-quarters of the Middle & Upper School pupils), four chamber concerts, a GCSE Composition Concert and two Year 7 concerts.
Click on the links in the right-hand column for further details of this term’s concert calendar.
Alleyn’s International Concert Series
In each of the three terms in a year we engage internationally renowned musicians to give a concert in the Michael Croft Theatre. At the hear of each event is an important associated education programme in which the professional musicians coach and give masterclasses to pupils during the day. Recent artists have included the Endellion, Dante & Heath String Quartets, the Swingle Singers, Onyx Brass, Endymion Wind Ensmble, pianists Steven Osborne and Alexandra Dariescu, violinists Ning Kam and Thomas Gould and cellist Guy Johnston.
Details of forthcoming concerts in the series can be found on the Michael Croft Theatre web site
Musicals and Tours
The relationship with the drama department is strong and a biennial Musical is produced in conjunction with the drama department (recent productions include West Wide Story, Into the Woods & Les Misérables). Similarly, annual joint concerts and services are put on with the other two Foundation Schools. European music tours for a few of the more advanced ensembles are arranged in some years.
Pupil involvement in national and area ensembles and music colleges
A number of individual pupils are members of national music ensembles such as the National Youth Orchestra, the National Children’s Orchestra, the National Youth Choir and the London Schools’ Symphony Orchestra and some attend the Junior Departments of the London Conservatoires, the CYM or the Goldsmiths and Blackheath Conservatoires each Saturday. Over the years various ensembles have had successes in national music competitions.
Pupils going on to further study in music
Over recent years many students have gone on to read music at university, including Oxford and Cambridge (some with Choral and Organ Scholarships), as well as to all of the principal Music Colleges in England (RCM, RAM, Guildhall, Trinity, RNCM & Birmingham).
The full programme of co-curricular activities is complemented by a flourishing range of academic courses.
For further details please click on this link to our Music Department academic pages.