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The standard of music-making at St Paul’s has a well-deserved reputation for excellence and a rich history. Holst, Vaughan Williams and Howells all taught here and music lessons still take place in the room where Holst composed The Planets. However, music at St Paul’s is for everyone whatever their level; we provide opportunities for students who have just started learning and help the most advanced performers to achieve their goals.
Academic music aims to develop a variety of different musical skills through a wide range of musical genres. We run an internally devised course, which allows pupils to study beyond the confines of a GCSE curriculum, developing their musical knowledge together with a range of highly desirable transferable skills, such as critical thinking and intellectual curiosity. We follow the Eduqas syllabus at A level and regularly prepare students to study music at leading universities.
We are fortunate to have a staff of around 60 musicians teaching in the department, many of whom are leading professionals within their fields. In addition, there are workshops and masterclasses given by prominent musicians, which further enrich what we offer.
We run a wide variety of ensembles in a range of styles, from large orchestras to close harmony groups, with over 40 groups playing in more than 60 concerts and events each year. Many bring together musicians from all years and most can be joined without audition. We believe in tackling major works from the orchestral and choral repertoire, with performances at national and international venues, offering pupils amazing experiences that stay with them beyond their time in school. Alongside this we have regular opportunities for pupils to play in more informal concerts and events, in a range of styles, to gain experience of playing to others or to focus their performance skills further.
The music department here is a vibrant and inspiring place. We hope that, at the very least, students will leave St Paul’s with a life-long love for music.