Music is integral to life at Alleyn’s. We believe in and actively promote the value of music as a means to foster creativity, passion, ambition, team spirit and confidence.
The musical life of Alleyn’s is rich and diverse, and everyone is encouraged to participate in co-curricular musical activities beyond the classroom. With more than 40 ensembles rehearsing each week, and over 50 performance opportunities in the course of a single year, we truly believe there is something for everyone.
We cater for a broad range of styles and experiences, and adapt the precise make-up of our ensembles in any given year depending on personnel, experience and interest. At present we have three orchestras, four choirs, two jazz bands, a concert band, various wind and brass ensembles, and around 30 string and piano chamber groups. We also have a number of student-led close harmony vocal groups, jazz ensembles, and bands. We meet with all instrumentalists annually on an individual basis to discuss their musical aspirations, offer guidance, and to help them balance their co-curricular commitments.
Numerous performing opportunities exist throughout the year, ranging from the informal weekly Friday Lunchtime Concert series (open to all, regardless of instrument or standard), to large orchestral, choral, and jazz concerts. We make regular use of our theatre, the MCT, for large-scale concerts, as well as the Great Hall and Lanchbery Rehearsal Room for smaller recitals. We regularly visit external venues, including St John’s Smith Square, the Hideaway in Streatham, and Blackheath Halls. Our choirs frequently perform outside school – recently at St Paul’s Cathedral, St Peter’s College Oxford, and Holy Trinity Sloane Square – and we periodically join forces with the other Dulwich Foundation schools to put on a joint performance at the Royal Festival Hall.
A number of pupils are also 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.
Alleyn’s International Concert Series
Every term we engage internationally renowned musicians to give a concert in the MCT. At the forefront 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 Castalian, Endellion, Dante, and Heath String Quartets, the Fibonacci Sequence Trio, the Swingles, Voces8, Onyx Brass, Endymion Wind Ensemble, trumpeter Alison Balsom, violinist Thomas Gould, and cellist Guy Johnston.
Details of forthcoming concerts in the series can be found on the MCT website.
Music Tours take place on an annual basis. In recent years, we have taken a large group of singers and instrumentalists to Tuscany, Rome (performing in the Pantheon, St Giovanni in Laterano, and All Saints), Barcelona (Santa Maria, Barcelona Cathedral, and Sant Pere in Figueres), and Paris (Notre Dame, La Madeleine, and St Sulpice).
Music Scholarships, Exhibitions and Bursaries
Various generous Music Awards are available at 11+, 13+ and 16+. More information on these, including the dedicated Open Morning for potential music scholars in October (to which all interested applicants are encouraged to attend), can be found in our Senior School Admissions Supplement.