Sherborne School Music Department
Sherborne prides itself on the quality of its music-making, with its robed choir singing two choral services in the Abbey each week; a Symphony Orchestra which is joint with Sherborne Girls, Leweston and The Gryphon and which regularly plays in London, Oxford and Bristol; a Swing Band which is in much demand as a dance band, which toured Grenada in 2008, St Lucia in the summer of 2010, and will be touring Barbados in July this year; chamber music ensembles which have achieved national success in the Pro Corda competition, and a RocSoc which boasts some ten bands who feature in the annual "Concert in the Courts". For those who sing or play an instrument the opportunities are extensive but music at Sherborne is for everyone: this is nowhere more obvious than in the Abbey where the whole school's singing of the hymns is exceptional and the source of much school pride.
Shirburnians benefit from an all-round education which offers a great variety and this is reflected in the school timetable which is carefully structured to avoid conflicts of priorities and interests: last term the Head of Choir was in the 1st XV, as were five other members of the Choir, and they enjoyed a full musical programme alongside an equally full sporting life. This term many choristers are involved with hockey and football. An hour after lunch, known as "Q Time", offers protected music times for the rehearsal of ensembles and then in the early evening many opt for individual music practice as a choice of activity. Choirs and smaller ensembles practise in the evenings after sport.
A brand new music school was opened in July 2010. Facilities include a state-of-the-art Recording Studio, several large sound-proofed ensemble rehearsal rooms with tie-lines to the studio, two new music classrooms with composition workstations for classes up to 22, and a 120 seat Recital Hall. A large number of individual practice rooms, both in the new building and amongst those retained from the Old Music School, allow a large number of boys to practise in the evenings and during the weekends. All pianos in the Music School were new in July 2010, consisting of Yamahas, Schimmels, a Brodmann and uprights by Venebles and Sons.
Weekly lunchtime recitals in Cheap Street Church, often enjoying a local audience numbering more than eighty people, provide the mainstay of performance opportunities at Sherborne but there are additionally many competitions and larger scale concerts each term.
James Henderson MA
Director of Music