From classical and jazz to blues, swing and rock, a wide variety of musical genres can be heard echoing through the corridors of our Music Department, even before school has officially begun.
With almost all boys playing at least one musical instrument, the quality of our music education is extremely high. We offer a broad range of musical activities to ensure that the boys enjoy their musical education and whatever a boy’s age, level of ability and preferred style of music, they will be given the chance to learn, progress and perform. While many boys enjoy learning more conventional instruments such as the violin or guitar, the sounds of the harp, ukulele or organ are not unheard.
Music is a key part of the curriculum for all our pupils but, for those who want to pursue it more actively there are also many opportunities to enjoy it outside formal lessons. Boys might choose to join one of our larger choirs or orchestras, or get involved with any of the smaller musical groups such as our big band (The Pink Panthers), jazz ensemble, brass group, guitar ensemble, percussion group, or various string quartets.
Individual tuition is available for virtually all instruments as, in addition to the Director of Music and our Assistant Director of Music, we have over twenty visiting music teachers. Nearly all boys in the school choose to learn at least one instrument and the emphasis is very much on enjoyment as well as progression.
The boys have many opportunities to perform within school, as we stage a variety of formal and informal concerts across the year as well as singing at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey for our Festival of Lessons and Carols and for our Summer Concert at St John’s Smith Square. There are also significant opportunities for tours and competitions outside school, in which Westminster has seen great success in recent years: our Senior Choir, Westminster Boys’ Choir, frequently performs at prominent London venues and they have appeared in concert with the English Chamber Orchestra, The City of London Choir, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and The London Mozart Players. They have been finalists in the BBC Radio 3 Choir of the Year Competition three times, have performed live on television and have gone on tours throughout Europe, Canada, South Africa, South America, the USA and China.
Additionally, our proximity to some of the world’s most exciting music venues on the South Bank and in the West End means that there are regular opportunities to arrange school trips to various contemporary concerts and classical recitals, extending the boys’ musical horizons.