Music

Music is at the very heart of College life and every pupil has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, experience the thrill of performing and listen to a wide variety of live music.

Calendar of Availability 2021
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In recent years, Wellington has built up a considerable reputation for the quality of its music and for the breadth of what it offers.

We provide opportunities for pupils to explore the many facets of music making, from being a song writer/composer to performing in a musical. We want all pupils to discover their individual musical niche, whatever that might be, and we aim to provide the right environment for this to take place.

For the aspiring professional, we offer time to practise, excellent visiting instrumental teachers and the opportunity to continue at Junior Music Colleges in London. We have our own specialist music scheme, hold masterclasses with visiting professional musicians and ensembles, and perform at local performance venues and in London.

The College also has musical links with our teaching partnership schools, with our sister schools in China, and with The Wellington Academy.  Regular tours include successful trips to Europe (Spain and Germany), China and to Nashville and Memphis.

Performance opportunities come in many guises from concertos, recital competitions, weekly Monday concerts, weekly assembly performances, busking, informal evening events in the V&A cafe, formal concerts, links with art, dance and drama as well as performing in the many ensembles that make up the buzz in the music department. From chapel choirs to symphony orchestras, from string quartets to brass quintets, from jazz bands to rock groups, we are constantly reviewing our repertoire to challenge and inspire.

There are over 800 weekly instrumental lessons taught by a team of over 50 instrumental teachers tutoring a very wide range of instruments.  Almost half of all pupils learn at least one musical instrument, and many Wellingtonians frequently go on to study music and music technology in tertiary education at a wide variety of institutions including Oxbridge and specialist courses at Conservatoire.

Our aim is to inspire, enrich and nurture each individual pupil to fulfil their musical potential in a dynamic, vibrant and exciting environment. We wish to provide the opportunity and flexibility for the leading musicians of the future to achieve their ultimate ambitions and to remain one of the top five non-specialist music schools in the country.

A considerable number of muisc scholarships are awarded at 13+ and 16+ entry. There are over 90 music award holders in the school. For more information on applying for a music award or to meet the Director of Music, Mr Simon Williamson, informally, please contact music@wellingtoncollege.org.uk or visit the Admissions pages of the website.

Instrumental Music

There is a wealth of instrumental ensembles at Wellington run by full time staff and visiting teachers as well as students: Wellington College Symphony Orchestra; Wellington College Jazz Orchestra; the Concert Band; Camerata string ensemble; choirs, including The Wellingtones; chamber music, from string quartets to wind quintets; singer songwriters and rock bands; percussion ensembles, including the Drum Corps; societies, including the Music Society.

Chapel Music

Chapel services are enriched by enthusiastic congregational singing, and a fine Chapel Choir, which is supported by our superb Harrison & Harrison organ.

The Chapel Choir’s raison d’etre is to sing for the weekly services of Choral Evensong and Eucharist in Chapel. The choir also enjoys regular trips abroad (recent tours have included Leipzig and Dresden, Seville and Granada, Salamanca and Burgos, and Cologne), gives concerts at Wellington (often with Symphony Orchestra) and in London, and has lately sung Evensong at Christ Church, Oxford, Winchester Cathedral, Chichester Cathedral, Trinity College, Cambridge, and St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Recent collaborations have included performances with Stile Antico and the choirs of Eton College and Guildford Cathedral. The choir’s latest CD recording, ‘Advent to Epiphany’ (available from the College Shop and for streaming on Spotify) was released in Winter 2019, and they have also featured on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Worship, with a commissioned work by composer Alan Bullard. The choir is open to Music Scholars, Choral Award holders, and all other pupils by audition, and comprises 45 pupils and staff. It is a diverse and friendly group, and enjoys frequent social occasions, often open to parents. Pupils are encouraged to take lessons with one of the College’s ten singing teachers, and masterclasses are organised frequently with leading practitioners, such as Roderick Williams and Louise Crane. Alumni of the choir are currently Choral Scholars at Oxford and Cambridge, and a number have become distinguished international soloists.

The College is fortunate to possess three pipe organs; two Skrabl tracker practice organs, and a fine three-manual Harrison & Harrison of 1921. In addition to the three College Organists (Mr Simon Williamson FRCO, Mr George de Voil FRCO, and Mr Sean Farrell FRCO), students who learn the instrument take a leading role in playing voluntaries and accompanying the choir. Recent masterclasses have been given by Daniel Moult and Wayne Marshall, and in the past few years, pupils have gone on to Organ Scholarships at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and a number of major cathedrals.

Every year Choral Awards are awarded to Third Form and Lower Sixth entry. For more information contact music@wellingtoncollege.org.uk or visit the Scholarships page of the website.

To see and listen to more examples of Wellington music, clicke here.