The College enjoys an outstanding reputation both nationally and internationally for the excellence and variety of its music.
Music plays a prominent and central part in school life and pupils may opt to take Music at AS/A Level (OCR). There is currently one set in each of the Sixth Form years. Within these lessons pupils will study a broad range of musical genres and enjoy full use of the excellent teaching facilities.
At the heart of the department is the Recital Room (seating up to 150) used for teaching and concerts, surrounding which is a Music ICT Suite, a 24 station keyboard suite, four smaller study/teaching rooms, six further practice rooms (each with a piano/clavinova), and a large store room with lockers for pupils to use. The Department also has its own Gamelan, Samba kit, and set of African Drums for use across all years both within the curriculum and extra-curricular timetable.
The Music Department comprises three full time staff, twenty four visiting teachers and a part-time Music Administrator. Over 350 pupils take individual instrumental / voice lessons each week and the St George’s College provides opportunities for all of them to perform throughout the year. There are several choirs at the College, a Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonietta, Camerata, Concert Band, Jazz and Big Bands, and numerous other chamber and rock groups.
The annual concert calendar provides a wide variety of performance opportunities and several pupils have places at the junior departments of London Conservatoires. Current pupils have places in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Great Britain, National Youth Choir of Great Britain, National Schools Symphony Orchestra, London Schools’ Symphony Orchestra and Surrey County Youth Orchestra, and in past years sixth form pupils have gained instrumental scholarships to UK conservatoires, and organ and choral awards the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
The College has a particularly strong choral tradition. Recently performed works include Bach St John Passion (with the Brandenburg Sinfonia) and Magnificat, Britten Rejoice in the Lamb, The Creation by Haydn, Messiah by Handel, and the Duruflé, Fauré and Mozart Requiems.
The choir has sung services and concerts at prestigious venues including Westminster Cathedral, The Chapel Royal at Windsor Castle, the Barbican, Royal Albert Hall, and St Martins in the Fields, and future plans include a performance of The Ceremony of Carols by Britten, Elijah by Mendelssohn, and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. The choirs have made two highly acclaimed cds, ‘I am the day’ and ‘In corde meo’ and a third disc of instrumental and choral music from the College was released in 2012. The College musicians have toured extensively within Europe and North America and the Chamber Choir has enjoyed recent national success wining both the BBC Songs of Praise Senior School Choir of the Year and Barnardo’s National Choir competitions 2012-2013. Since then the choir has gone to enjoy a busy calendar of BBC television and radio appearances.
Details of music awards are available in the College Scholarships section of the prospectus.
Music as an examined course in the Sixth Form
As an examined subject Music is available at both AS and A Level, administered by OCR. Pupils considering this subject should already have an A*/A at GCSE Level, a good pass at GCSE English, and be able to perform to a standard roughly equivalent to grade 6 or above.
The specification is aimed at those pupils who: have studied GCSE Music and wish to develop their skills and understanding; wish to study music, popular music or a combined arts degree in higher education; and wish to pursue a vocation in music, and/or the arts.
AS Unit 1 – Performance (recital)
AS Unit 2 – Composition / technical study (coursework)
AS Unit 3 – Introduction to Historical Study in Music (listening / written paper)
A Level Unit 4 – Further performance (recital)
A Level Unit 5 – Further composition / technical study (coursework)
A Level Unit 6 – Historical and Analytical Studies in Music (listening / written paper)