There is no doubt that St. Edmund's has an outstanding reputation for music. The vast majority of children play an instrument and/or sing in one of the five choirs and the department benefits from an extremely strong complement of teachers. Music has protected time within the timetable every day of the week so that children may engage in ensembles, choirs, theory, and scholarship preparation, without the distraction of other activities being scheduled at the same time.
Over the past few years our choirs have sung at top venues around the world, for example St. Mark's Venice, Verona Cathedral, Montserrat Abbey, and Barcelona Cathedral. In July 2012 the boys' Chapel Choir and the girls' Chamber Choir toured in Italy singing full mass at St. Peter's Basilica, Rome and a Papal Mass for Pope Benedict XVI at Frascati Cathedral. A combined girls' and boys' choir was also selected as one of the top six in the country in the BBC Schools Choir of the Year competition and appeared on Songs of Praise, and most recently, in March this year (2019), our Chapel Choir won the Godalming Operatic Cup for overall Choir performance at the Godalming Festival.
The school offers tuition in singing and the majority of musical instruments. Most children go on to take Associated Board examinations in their chosen specialism, and external examiners normally visit the school for this purpose for one or two days each term. Music theory lessons are offered and are a requirement for those children going on to compete for music scholarships to our Prep and Senior school. Alongside the most popular classical and pop/rock instruments we are uniquely offering bagpipe tuition to all students as well.
The music department is thriving with approximately 140 instrumental lessons taking place each week alongside the regular class music lessons, theory lessons, ensembles and choirs. Due to the number of children involved in music, there are normally three or four concerts per term at which parents can watch and listen to the children performing. Music-making and singing also regularly take place outside the school and the department has had successful links for joint performances with other schools and with musical groups within the area. Students are required to participate in regular congregational hymn practices during the morning chapel services.
Apart from instrumental tuition we are offering weekly after-school extra-curricular activities in the field of Music Technology (mTech).
Senior students can enhance their music knowledge with further studies in our GCSE Edexcel Music Course. The course provides an engaging range of set-works to nurture an in-depth musical understanding, composition skills and performance skills. We are providing high-quality support to all GCSE Music students, every step of the way.
During the academic year music students are participating in Music galas in our Farley Hall, concerts in our chapel, church services, scholarship concerts, nativities, music showcases, performing arts productions and themed concerts. We also celebrate our performers with a biographical display of our Young Musicians of the Month from our Lower Prep, Prep and Senior schools.
Our choirs and ensembles include:
- Chapel Choir, Forms 5-8
- The Probationers (The Little Chapel Choir), Forms 3 and 4
- Years 3 and 4 Congregational Choir
- Senior Choir, years 9-11
- Voces Volantes, Senior Boys’ Choir, Forms 9-11
- Pop/Rock Ensemble/Band