Music at Marlborough offers something very special. It embodies everything you might expect of an inspired, energetic and forward-thinking department, but with that little bit extra which makes us a prospect worth investigating.
‘Inclusive’ and ‘exclusive’ are our preferred terms – inclusive in that we offer a musical opportunity to every age and stage, exclusive in that we provide unique programmes of study to those who wish to pursue music as a future career. Further information on the array of musical benefits offered to pupils is available under ‘enrichment’.
All this is within the context of meeting the specific talents and abilities of individual pupils within our care. If you are interested in finding out more, please do get in touch. We shall be happy to share our enthusiasm and passion for music with you – either through a personal tour or an informal chat with any of our team of dedicated staff.
The music department fosters a supportive environment in which individual endeavour and creative collaboration can thrive. In addition to the many ensembles and individual instrumental and singing lessons available at the College – details elsewhere – the academic core of the department starts with a year of teaching, which involves all members of the Shell. The aim is to provide a foundation in composition, performance and critical listening as part of a general cultural education as well as providing a platform for those who will continue their studies to GCSE and beyond.
We have chosen to follow the Pearson Edexcel GCSE and A level courses, as they provide a perfect balance of rigour and diversity to enable a broad spectrum of pupils to pursue their individual musical interests. The courses promote a suitably varied syllabus which allows pupils to work in a multitude of styles – Rock, Jazz, Music Theatre, World Music, Classical and Fusion.
The department benefits from three recently updated technology suites which give all pupils the opportunity to enjoy Cubase and Sibelius on new iMac computers. Many pupils choose to pursue Music at university, with a strong representation at Oxbridge and other Russell Group universities in recent years.
The department also offers Edexcel Music Technology as a two-year A level. This course prepares pupils for further study in sound engineering, sound design and composition. Pupils should note that the recording facilities in the department are not exclusively for use by senior pupils. Staff actively encourage and offer support to pupils in making use of the high-quality production tools available. Junior pupils, including some Shell classes, are given access to studio time as part of private projects, some classroom lessons or the Shell Form Festival in the Summer Term.
It is what goes on outside the classroom which enhances all that is contained within and gives the practical focus and fulfilment to all musical expression.
The Music Department at Marlborough offers some unique opportunities for young talented musicians. Our professional orchestra in partnership is the dynamic Southbank Sinfonia. The Sinfonia visits the College periodically to give workshops, classes, one-to-one tuition and the unique side-by-side orchestral programme in which the College Symphony Orchestra rehearses and performs alongside the Southbank Sinfonia in an annual concert. Appointed visiting musical figures of international distinction also periodically visit the College to offer concerts, classes and consultation lessons to music scholars.
Chapel Choir participation in services includes weekly Sung Eucharists and termly Choral Evensongs in Chapel and at local Cathedrals, and in addition, an annual evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral, London. Other highlights include the Advent Carol Service, four annual carol services as well as special services for Ash Wednesday, Ascension Day, Confirmation and Commemoration. Instrumental concerts include the Orchestral Concert, Concerto Concert, Summer Gala Concert, Wind Department Concert, Junior Summer Concert, as well as termly advanced pupils’ recitals. In addition, the department runs a weekly Lunchtime Concert Series.
There is also an annual Music Technology Coursework Concert. Each year, the Marlborough College Concert Series presents five concerts, attracting world-famous artists to the College, and in addition, an annual choral concert is given by the Choral Society and Chapel Choir.
Festivals, Competitions and Workshops include: the House Music Competition (Harmony & Unison Song), Strings Day, Singing Day, Piano Day and the Instrumental Music Festival. Work towards the Associated Board music examinations (Practical and Theory) and the Trinity Guildhall (Singing and Percussion) examinations, forms a large part of our weekly programme.
P T Dukes FGSM ARAM (Artistic Director)
C Toomer GGSM (Deputy Head of Music)
A O J Meehan-Staines BA (Choirmaster)
H Scott DRSAMD (Head of Strings)
M J Baldrey BMuS FTCL (Head of Music Technology)
A J Arkwright BA (Head of Woodwind, Brass & Percussion)