‘Music in the school is outstanding’ – Independent Schools Inspectorate report.
‘Every child counts’ is as relevant in the Music department as it is everywhere else in school. Each child, no matter how new or experienced in singing or playing an instrument is offered every encouragement. The children may choose to be prepared for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music examinations, or to develop their skills naturally.
The talents of our musicians are always carefully monitored in case there is the potential to become a music scholar for future schools.
The music department offers an extensive choice of instrument lessons as well as opportunities to be part of an orchestra, with more advanced players forming smaller chamber groups or ensembles. As well as tuition in piano, violin and flute, pupils may choose from a wide selection of instruments including cor anglais, trumpet, guitar and drums.
Cottesmore has three choirs. The youngest is from the Pre Prep where the children are encouraged and taught to sing from the age of 4. The largest is the school choir, where any child who enjoys singing and wishes to sing may do so.
The third is our Chapel Choir, a group of singers who perform internationally, with 32 choristers lead by two Head Choristers. They perform on most Sundays in the school chapel and always in school concerts. The chapel choir is a working choir, regularly invited to perform for weddings, memorials and different public events at theatres, arts centres, churches and Cathedrals. Some of our European destinations have included Ephesus (as part of the Izmir Performing Arts Festival), Salzburg, Vienna, St Mark’s Venice, Verona, Florence, Monticatini and Barcelona cathedral.
The Chapel Choir has made several recordings. Their repertoire includes “Requiem” by Fauré, “A Ceremony of Carols” by Benjamin Britten and “The Coronation Mass” by Mozart, as well as a large selection of works by Rutter and Chilcott and numerous Gospel songs.
The choir has auditioned for a place to perform at the Wintershall Charity concert this summer. This will involve performing with artists such as Eric Clapton, Roger Taylor, Mike Rutherford and Katie Melua.
The Marching Band forms and rehearses in the summer term, for its special appearance at the start of every Sports day. Each year the band marches to tunes such as “The Great Escape.” Our traditional tune as we march away from the sports field is of course “Sussex by the Sea”
The music department produces a full and exciting calendar every year. Some of the many highlights include: the school musical; Grandparents concert; Arts week and the Christmas carol service.
Exciting future plans for the music department include the development of a new drum and recording studio. This will be co-ordinated by our drum teacher Mike Kelly, who has inspired the children not only with drums, but also with music technology.