The Music department is led by the Director of Music, Simon Werner, the Assistant Director of Music, Mea Jenkins, the teacher in charge of Music Technology, Matt Grimstead and the Director of Instrumental and Vocal Studies, Scott Wilson. It also consists of a part-time classroom teacher, Dominique Jones, a part-time music technician, an administrative assistant, part-time heads of strings, woodwind, brass, percussion, piano and singing and seventeen visiting music teachers covering the full range of orchestral instruments as well as voice, piano, jazz piano, drum kit, acoustic, electric and bass guitar.
Dame Alice Owen’s School specialises in Music and ten pupils each year are admitted to Year 7 on the basis of aptitude in the subject. At Key Stage Three, pupils in Year 7 receive two lessons of classroom music per week and those in Years 8 and 9 receive one lesson. Year 9 pupils are taught in groups of no more than twenty-one pupils per class. All pupils follow a National Curriculum integrated course in Performing, Composing and Appraising.
There are large option groups at GCSE and A Level; currently (2015/6) eighty-eight pupils are studying GCSE Music in three sets per year group, twenty-four students are studying A Level Music and ten students are studying A Level Music Technology. Results are excellent, with many students going on to study Music at University (including Oxbridge) or at the Conservatoires.
Approximately four hundred pupils receive instrumental lessons in school and many more have private tuition outside. Several pupils attend the Junior Saturday Morning Schools at the Guildhall School of Music, the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music.
The department is well resourced, with a concert hall, three specialist classrooms (one with networked Sibelius 7 and LogicPro X software), a fully-equipped state of the art recording studio, seven practice rooms, a rehearsal and recital studio, main office, store rooms and staff room.
The department runs an extensive range of extra-curricular activities including five orchestras, two concert bands, four choirs, two soul bands, an extensive range of chamber music and an annual musical production. Access and involvement is encouraged for as wide a range of pupils as possible.
The Symphony Orchestra has performed in all the major London Concert Halls and has toured in France and Italy. It has taken part in the National Festival of Music for Youth on four occasions where it has been Highly Commended and has taken part in the Schools Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. The Concert Band has also taken part in the National Festival receiving a Highly Commended and undertook an eighth tour of Belgium in July 2015. The Junior Chamber Choir, the Senior Mixed Choir, the Senior Chamber Choir and the Close Harmony Group have all achieved 1st place in their categories at the Mid-Somerset Competitive Festival held in Bath. The Senior Chamber Choir has competed at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, North Wales on numerous occasions, most recently achieving fourth place against eighteen international choirs.
Please follow link on the right.
Currently showing photographs taken at our 400th Anniversary Concert at the Royal Albert Hall April 2013 and our Junior and Senior Soul Band Evening April 2014.
We will be adding to our gallery over time.
Thank you to our volunteer photographers for contributing to our gallery.
The following clips appear on YouTube:
Llangollen 2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OuYW_wyZ4c
Mid Somerset Festival 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofEzg5SaqcM
Most recent musical productions have included Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2006), Merrily We Roll Along (2007), Bugsy Malone (2008), Guys and Dolls (2009) Thoroughly Modern Millie (2010), Little Shop of Horrors (2011), Into the Woods (2012), Grease (2014), The Threepenny Opera (2015) and High Society (2016).
Mr S Werner (Director of Music)
Our school is very fortunate in being able to offer one string player a bursary from the Benslow Trust. Please see below the letter sent to all parents regarding this award.