Welcome to Music
Welcome to RGS Music! We are really looking forward to meeting you all, and hoping you are ready to get involved in all things musical from September!
At RGS we are extremely proud of our long-standing musical traditions and we are dedicated to ensuring that all students receive the best musical education that we can offer, both inside and outside the classroom. Whether you enter Sixth Form with limited musical experience, or whether you’re working towards Grade 8 in various instruments, we are here to guide you in your musical journey.
Indeed, many of our Old Wycombiensians have made their names in the musical world, such as Richard Hickox (1948–2008 - conductor), Ian Drury (1942–2000 - rock musician) and Lawrence Power (b. 1977 - international viola player) with many more pursuing a career in the music profession.
To help nurture and inspire the next generation of musicians, our Junior students receive a weekly 75-minute music lesson throughout Year 7 and in modules in Year 8 and 9,. This allows them the opportunity to learn how to play the ukulele, guitar and keyboard, as well as a wide selection of brass instruments, and develop compositional skills using a range of software packages.
Following on from these classes, many of our young men are inspired to continue their instrumental education through individual lessons with our outstanding team of more than twenty visiting music teachers, covering all disciplines (orchestral, vocal and popular).
To further enhance our music provision, we have been facilitating a [/page/?title=Admissions&pid=7]music scholarship scheme for the past number of years in which boys entering the school can audition to receive free tuition on selected instruments, thus ensuring that the ‘endangered species’ of orchestral instruments do not get forgotten.
Many musicians choose GCSE and A-Level Music, where we have an excellent track record, and even in our departing Year 13 class, we have two Oxbridge organ scholars, two music conservatoire entrants and one drama college entrant, amongst other leavers studying a wide variety of subjects.
Concerts at RGS
With strong musical leadership and so many talented students, we are fortunate to be able to offer a strong and vibrant co-curricular musical programme at RGS. Whether it’s before school, breaktime, lunchtime, or indeed after school, the music department is always buzzing with activity. Our musical community is always thriving, and we aim to hold a major musical event at least once a month throughout the year (including a large-scale House Music Competition, Musical production, Carol Service, Oxford Evensong trip, Jazz evenings, and visiting professional recitals) . Our concerts are always well attended, and ably assisted by our “RGS Friends of Music” – an organisation that helps to support our musical output, both financially and logistically.
Instrumental Groups at RGS
For those students coming into Year 7, there are various junior wind and brass groups, a string ensemble and a junior guitar ensemble. In middle school, the best wind players will progress to the Flute, Clarinet and Saxophone ensembles and the Swing Band, while the string players will take part in chamber groups. Our senior level students are invited to join the classic Big Band, the Orchestra, our 40-piece symphonic wind band or various Trad Jazz Bands. We also regularly contribute to the national youth music scene and are delighted that many of our instrumental ensembles (Big Band, First Wind Band, Clarinet & Saxophone Ensembles) have appeared multiple times at the National Festival of Music for Youth in Birmingham.
Singing at RGS
Singing at RGS is greatly encouraged, both inside lessons and outside, and our Junior Choir usually has around 50 – 60 members at any one time. Our full choir which consists of 120 students (singing at either soprano, alto, tenor or bass range) regularly participates in the annual carol service and around 80 of those singers will also sing Choral Evensong in either Oxford or Cambridge.
We produce large-scale musicals at RGS, with previous successes including West Side Story, My Fair Lady and Les Mis (that incidentally has amassed nearly two million views online.
Our most senior vocal group, ‘Singers Ltd’, are an acapella group consisting of around 20 sixth formers. In 2012, they were invited to take part in the Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall, and in 2014 they won the coveted title of Youth Choir of the Year in the competition televised by the BBC. Singers Ltd have a regular biennial exchange with an international school in Salzburg, and have sung in the cathedral there many times, as well as appearing twice in the opening weekend festivals preceding the Salzburg International Festival.
Chiltern Music Academy
We are also proud to be the home of the Chiltern Music Academy (CMA) which meets at RGS on Friday nights and at Wycombe High on Saturday mornings. Many of our students are involved; performing regularly in their concerts and taking part in their international tours every other year.
Head of Music