Music is central to the cultural life of St John's. We pride ourselves on delivering a musical programme which both celebrates excellence and is inclusive, so that musicians of all ability levels and stages of development can participate. We are fortunate to have exceptional facilities including the Old Chapel, an atmospheric concert venue and recital hall, as well as the purpose-built Performing Arts Centre.
From congregational singing and house music competitions to the numerous concerts that take place throughout the year, there are opportunities for pupils to get involved, enjoy making music and to showcase their talents.
The School boasts a Chapel choir, Schola Cantorum, sinfonia, string orchestra, quartet, quintet, brass ensemble, big band, jazz band, a large number of contemporary music and rock groups, and many other opportunities for ensemble performance. The Chapel choir has been particularly prominent in taking music outside the walls of St John’s, performing at Southwark, Winchester and Guildford cathedrals, as well as enjoying overseas tours. The Chapel choir sings at every Sunday service, drawing on repertoire from across the cathedral music spectrum.
Students have the opportunity to perform regularly alongside professional ensembles and a flourishing lunchtime recital series allows musicians of all abilities the chance to perform on a regular basis to an appreciative audience. We encourage our pupils to participate in challenging and enriching musical performances and St John’s pupils are increasingly selected for the National Youth Orchestra and other national ensembles.
Many pupils also have individual instrumental lessons from our team of talented, enthusiastic and dedicated visiting music staff and we cater for beginner and specialist. Lessons can be taken in any instrument. The generous timetabled activity sessions at St John’s allow for separate classes in music theory and aural training. Many pupils appreciate the opportunity to develop and hone their theoretical skill. Practical examinations are taken each term through the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music, Trinity Guildhall and Rockschool.