The quality and breadth of music-making at King's has always been one of the school's greatest strengths. Almost every child learns an instrument; many learn two, three or occasionally even four.
There are two main orchestras (both numbering between 60 and 80 players, and divided for rehearsal purposes into Strings A, Strings B, Wind and Brass), a wind band, four choirs (not including the choristers) and forty chamber groups.
The department consists of Simon Brown (DoM), Lucy Bunce and Davina Shore (ADoMs) , John MacDonald, and an experienced peripatetic staff of over 30 visiting teachers. All orchestral instruments are offered, together with recorder, guitar, saxophone, percussion (classical and modern) and singing. This year the school has successfully entered over 200 candidates for Associated Board exams, including over 20 at Grades 6-8.
The pre-prep department offers tuition in violin, cello, piano and recorder given by specialist teachers of this age-group. Class teaching in music takes place throughout the school; extra help in theory and aural (for Associated Board exams) is also offered where necessary. The department runs a special course for those attempting music scholarships to senior schools - this year 12 music awards were won by pupils at the school (the photograph below shows the record 19 music scholars from 2002).
Facilities for music at King's are excellent, following the completion of 16 new practice rooms as part of the school's Performing Arts Centre in January 2001. The school owns a huge number of orchestral instruments, most of which can be hired by the term by the pupils, in addition to 25 pianos (5 grand), a two manual tracker-action organ, a harpsichord and a vast array of classroom percussion. Sibelius software (invented by two ex-pupils of the school) is networked into the school's computer suite.
The school has a wide-ranging concert programme, which includes:
- Major concerts in spring and summer terms at the University Music School, West Road.
- Chamber music concerts and masterclasses.
- "Founders Day" concert in King's College Chapel (March)
- Form concerts and pre-prep music morning (May/June)
The school's new music rooms were formally opened in May 2001 by Sir David Willcocks, former Director of Music at King's College, with a concert given by present and past pupils of the school (including Guy Johnston, BBC Young Musician of the Year 2000).
Director of Music