Music is central to the life of ECS.
Founded as a choir school in the 12th century, and as one of today’s 42 Cathedral Schools in the UK, ECS has music and music-making at its heart: it is in the walls and in the blood. To this day we are known for the breadth of musical opportunity that we provide, and for being a school which promotes ‘music for all’ whilst all the while providing high-calibre training and opportunities for our most gifted elite musicians.
The hub for our music-making is Kalendar Hall, a recently-refurbished studio space, classroom and practice rooms for rehearsals, ensembles, productions and performances. We are also proud to make use of the Cathedral Nave as a regular (and spectacular) performance space for our large-scale recitals and concerts, as well as tapping into the city’s leading professional performance venues for our major productions and performances. Our annual Prep School House Music Competition takes place in our neighbouring local church; and more intimate recitals, soloists’ evenings, chamber concerts and our Performers’ Platform Series take place in the Headmaster’s family drawing room, the Chapter House, Kalendar Hall and the Cathedral Quire.
Each pupil receives a class music lesson each week (from our Reception classes right through to Year 8), delivered by our Director of Music or our Assistant Director of Music & Chorister Tutor. Performance opportunites abound, and specialist tuition in music theory is available. A huge number of instrumental lessons take place each week, with our pupils being taught by some of the regions’ finest visiting music professionals. We are proud of our track record of impressive ABRSM grade results.
Our extended lunchtime activity slots, as well as some before-school sessions, provide ideal rehearsal time for our many music ensembles. Typical ensembles at ECS include: 3 School choirs (Year 3 & 4 Choir, Year 5 & 6 Choir, Year 7 & 8 Choir), Orchestra, Big Band, Senior Strings, Junior Strings, Senior Wind, Junior Wind, Brass Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Morning Worship Choir, Jazz Singers, Guitar Ensemble, Recorder Group, Music Enrichment Group, Hall House Singers. Some of our most gifted pupil musicians are Choristers but by no means all: we are proud that music scholarships and awards to some of the country’s leading senior/public schools are won by Choristers and Non-Choristers alike. Our weekly Senior Enrichment Programme allows all senior musicians, of whatever standard, to take part in enriching music-making sessions and, for those who wish, to receive specialist preparation for scholarship exams and auditions.