The Music Department is an active department housed in its own, purpose-built Music School. There is one large room which doubles as a big rehearsal studio, concert hall and the main teaching room. It is equipped with digital recording equipment. A second teaching room is equipped with electric keyboards and computers running Sibelius – the state-of-the-art music software. There are six small practice rooms used for Instrumental Tuition and a store room for instruments.
Outside the classroom, Music is very much a part of School life, with many boys taking Instrumental Tuition in School (as well as numerous others learning an instrument privately). There are several visiting music teachers who, between them, teach the whole range of orchestral and band instruments, as well as piano, organ, guitar and singing.
In addition there are various ensembles catering for different standards of playing, most notable at the highest level being the Concert Band, Swing Band and Strings Plus. There are now four established singing group- ranging from the MicroTones for Year5/6 boys, the Overtones (Year 7), the SemiTones for Year 8 -10 and a group of Senior Singers: The Tones who sang in Liverpool Cathedral before Christmas to an audience of 2,000 people. There is a senior saxophone quartet, plus several other woodwind groups, and a MegaWind ensemble, a brass group, and various other groups formed ad hoc to give boys the chance to play together. In addition there is a String Group, senior woodwind quintet, 5 other woodwind groups, 3 brass groups, and other groups formed ad hoc to give boys the chance of playing together.
From time to time a large choral society joins forces with local adult choirs and performs large scale works in the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. In April 2015 we performed Carmina Burana and previous concerts included Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast and Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man.There are a number of concerts each year in School, and boys also regularly perform out of School – recently the Saxophone Groups played to appreciative audiences at lunchtime concerts in Crosby and Southport. The Tones have performed at the Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London, and three boys from the SemiTones took part in a BBC Prom concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
The best part of my job is that every day is different: I might be teaching a first year class about crotchets and quavers; analysing the harmony of J S Bach; helping a boy prepare for entry to a Music College; rehearsing for a concert in the Philharmonic Hall; or accompanying a nervous candidate in a music exam.
David Holroyd Head of Music