Rock, Pop and Beyond

Music at Marlborough embraces an inexhaustible range of contemporary styles and genres, from rock and pop to hip-hop, electronic dance music (EDM) and music for film and media. There is a vibrant performance scene offering regular performance platforms, many of which are pupil-designed and led. The Department has a soundproofed and treated rehearsal space, which doubles up as a 16-track recording studio, equipped with drum kit, stage piano, Clavinova, Yamaha DBR active PA , studio monitors for playback, mixing desk and, most importantly, a sofa.

The Michaelmas Term sees the first of the College’s New Writing platforms, Live Lounge. This event showcases material from singer-songwriters, bands and electro-acoustic acts. It is also an opportunity for pupils to get involved with the sound design, lighting, stage management and marketing of the event, all valuable tools for a career as a performing musician.

The Department holds regular Song Writers’ Circles, which provide an opportunity for writers to share their work in progress with other musicians in a supportive, informal environment. Once a year, a day is given over to writing sessions run by professional artists, who help with developing and producing ideas.

Classic Album Club is the weekly listening space for producers and performers. The rules are simple – one person selects a life-changing album, we listen to it start to finish, with no interruptions, we then dissect the mix, production and songwriting decisions taken by the artist. This forum helps musicians to grow and to understand the sonic landscape they are entering.

The Summer Term plays host to Pulse, the music technology concert, which is an opportunity to showcase the electronic side of the College’s music-making.

On the lighter side, performers regularly contribute to the annual Illuminations, the College-wide talent show, and take over Norwood Hall during Christmas lunch to provide some festive cheer. The College also hosts an annual Battle of the Band competition, displaying a range of interhouse talent.