Welcome to Wilson's School Music Department
Music is a vitally important part of life at Wilson’s School.
During a normal school year, we host well over thirty-five concerts, recitals, productions and other musical events. Music plays a prominent role in whole-school celebrations like Founder's Day and the Carol Service. There is an annual Junior Production in July for students in Years 7 and 8 and a Senior Production in February for older performers. Many of our students go on to study Music at the country’s leading conservatoires and universities (recent destinations include Oxford, Cambridge, and the RCM).
Every term, we hold at least one large-scale concert for our ensembles: three Orchestras, three Choirs, two Jazz Bands, two Brass Ensembles, three Wind Bands, Barbershop Group, Wind Ensemble, and two advanced String Ensembles. Concerts can include over two hundred students. In recent years we performed Mozart's Requiem, featuring our senior choir, chamber orchestra, and some of our most dedicated and talented sixth form students as vocal soloists. You can hear highlights of the performance on this site. We were incredibly fortunate to be joined by guest soprano soloist, Jessica Broad, in one of our Spring Concerts, in which Haydn's challenging Nelson Mass was performed. In 2018, the Choir performed Haydn's The King Shall Rejoice, which is a particularly challenging work. The Summer Concert, which took place at St Elphege's Church, was a resounding success with a number of fabulous performances delivered by our younger students. We look forward to our Spring Concert in which the Senior Orchestra will be tackling Borodin's challenging Polovtsian Dances, the Wilson's School Choir and Chamber orchestra will be performing Schubert's Magnificat in C, and Haydn's exciting Insane et Vanae Curae, and a selection of other exciting works will be performed by our other ensembles.
Each week, over 250 students receive specialist tuition from a dedicated team of experienced peripatetic instrumental teachers. Some of our most promising students study in the junior departments of London’s leading conservatoires; many more enjoy success each term in music examinations, or in the department’s annual search to find Wilson’s Young Musician of the Year.
Three full-time teachers work with students in the classroom. Lessons are practical and creative; students are taught in small classes (usually no more than twenty-two). We help students quickly acquire the technical skills they need to make sophisticated music in a range of traditions from Western classical music to pop music, blues, African drumming, and Javanese Gamelan. Increasingly large cohorts of boys enjoy success at GCSE and A-level commensurate with the outstanding academic standards expected at one the country’s leading grammar schools.
Nine years ago, the department began to offer free specialist tuition in voice or a musical instrument to every student in Year 7. Instruments and equipment are provided free of charge to students. We believe it is one of the first programmes of its kind in the UK. The programme has proved a tremendous success and it has become a permanent feature of musical life at Wilson’s. Many students continue to play their instruments beyond Year 7 and they prove to be enthusiastic and accomplished members of our various ensembles.
I hope you’ll have the chance to explore our site: read a little more about what we do, with contributions from students, parents and staff; see photographic highlights from recent events in our gallery; and, most importantly of all, watch and listen to some of the music students and staff make in the Composers' Gallery.
Ms Hayley Burton
Director of Music