Music

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 A Level (AQA). 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.

The Music Department houses a Recital Room (seating up to 100) and a large classroom equipped with 24 PCs running Sibelius, Cubase and Audacity as well as access to 24 keyboards and a class-set of iPads. There are several small study/teaching rooms, several practice rooms (each with a piano/clavinova) and store rooms with lockers for pupils to store their instruments. The Department also has its own Gamelan, Samba Kit, set of African Drums, Roland digital harpsichord. 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. Students take individual instrumental / voice lessons each week and 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, String Camerata, Concert Band, and numerous other chamber and rock groups.

The annual concert calendar provides a wide variety of performance opportunities from film scores to major works of the classical repertoire. In past years Sixth Form pupils have been selected to perform with national youth ensembles and gained instrumental/vocal scholarships to UK conservatoires, cathedrals and universities.

The College has a particularly strong choral tradition. Recently performed works include Bach St John Passion and Magnificat, Messiah by Handel, and the Fauré and Michael Haydn Requiems. In November 2018, the Music Department collaborated with Drama to perform a full-staged production of The Sound of Music with professional band in the Amanda Smith Theatre. The Music Department contributed to the College’s 150th anniversary celebrations by singing Vespers at Westminster Cathedral and giving the first performance of a specially commissioned oratorio in College and at St George’s Hanover Square in January 2020.

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. The College musicians have toured extensively within Europe and North America and the Chamber Choir has enjoyed national success winning both the BBC Songs of Praise Senior School Choir of the Year and Barnardo’s National Choir competitions. 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 A Level, administered by AQA. Pupils considering this subject should already have a grade 7-9 at GCSE Level, a good pass at GCSE English, and be able to perform to a standard equivalent to ABRSM Grade 6 or above, aiming for ABRSM Grade 7-8 in the Upper Sixth.

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.

  • Recital performance (solo and ensemble)
Solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist, or vocalist and/or music production (via technology).
Requirement

A minimum of ten minutes of performance in total is required.

This component is 35% of A-level marks (50 marks).

  • Two compositions (Board-set brief and Free composition)
  • Composition 1: Composition to a brief (25 marks)
  • Composition 2: Free composition (25 marks)
Requirement

A minimum of four and a half minutes of music in total is required.

This component is worth 25% of A-level marks (50 marks).

  • Listening, analysis and appraisal of various musical styles from 3 Areas of Study
  • Listening
  • Analysis
  • Contextual understanding
How it's assessed
  • Exam paper with listening and written questions using excerpts of music.

Questions

  • Section A: Listening (56 marks)
  • Section B: Analysis (34 marks)
  • Section C: Essay (30 marks)

This component is 40% of A-level marks (120 marks).

There are seven areas of study:

1.Western classical tradition 1650–1910 (compulsory)

2.Pop music

3.Music for media

4.Music for theatre

5.Jazz

6.Contemporary traditional music

7.Art music since 1910.

Students must study Area of study 1: Western classical tradition 1650–1910 and choose two from Areas of study 2–7.

Currently we prepare Areas of Study 3 and 4 for exam sessions 2021 and 2022.

All Arts subjects