“The school has excellent music provision; pupils of all ages can participate in a wide range of choirs and ensembles, and in a school orchestra…. Pupils demonstrate excellent achievement in the creative areas such as music, with high quality musical achievement evident in choirs, many ensembles and the work of the choristers in the cathedral.”
ISI Inspection Report 2016
We have a long heritage of musical excellence and we are proud to be one of 44 cathedral schools delivering outstanding music education. Music helps bind pupils into the wider life of the School through a combination of classroom teaching, instrumental and vocal tuition, playing together in ensembles and orchestras, the chance to learn from professional musicians and multiple opportunities for performance.
Music is embedded within the curriculum all the way up to and including Year 9, and pupils can choose to continue studying music at GCSE and A Level. Pupils can benefit from individual lessons in all orchestral instruments, plus piano, organ, guitar, recorder, saxophone, drum kit and voice. Free trial lessons are available to any pupil before committing to weekly lessons. Our excellent team of visiting music teachers are extremely experienced and regularly perform professionally. Pupils are supported to progress through ABRSM, Trinity Guildhall and RockSchool examinations.
Pupils play in our Symphony Orchestra and ensembles including Junior and Senior Flute, Longdon Ensemble, Jazz Fusion, Junior and Senior Strings, Saxtastic and Recorder, Percussion, Brass and Clarinet Ensembles. There are plenty of opportunities to hone performance skills at whole-school events in the Cathedral and other professional venues, as well as smaller recitals and concerts.
Singers can join Junior Choir, School Choir, Harmonics, Barbershop and Cantorum. Talented senior students may also join The Palace Singers, a choir formed primarily of parents and school staff.
Concerts and events are held throughout the year – examples include the Lunchtime Recital Series in the Cathedral and School Chapel, year group concerts for parents, whole-school concerts in the Cathedral and the Coton Centre in Tamworth, joint concerts with other schools and fundraising performances to support local charities, as well as entry to Competitive Music Festivals and the annual House Music Competition. International tours for choirs and instrumentalists have recently visited France, Germany, Ireland and the USA.
Many of our pupils take part in external music courses including Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department, National Recorder Ensemble, Stonebridge Music Courses (formerly IAPS), National Youth Music Theatre, National Youth Choir and National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain.