The Music Department at Rendcomb is a vibrant and thriving place. We aim to make the academic and practical aspects of music enjoyable and engaging, relevant and attractive for all students by providing an imaginative and stimulating music curriculum and inclusive extra-curricular programme.
There are opportunities for students of all abilities to learn an instrument and participate in a range of activities and concerts that run throughout the year. Rendcomb College is a centre for ABRSM examinations which are held termly, and students are entered for other examination boards, such as Trinity College London, on a regular basis.
Choral music has a strong reputation at Rendcomb College with a College Choir, open to all students, an auditioned Chamber Choir, a Show Choir, and the Choral Society. Recent performances have included Faure’s Requiem (2019), Rutter’s Requiem (2019), Haydn’s Nelson Mass (2018), and Vivaldi’s Gloria (2017) all with professional orchestra. John Wright’s Voices of Children, settings of poetry by William Blake, was especially commissioned to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the College and was premiered in 2020.
In addition to the choirs, students can participate in a full programme of extra–curricular musical activities including the College orchestra, Woodwind ensemble, Percussion ensemble, String Ensemble, Ukulele Club, Rock band, Music Tech Club and Classical Guitar Ensemble.
The Music Department collaborates with the Drama Department to mount a bi-annual musical, with recent productions including We Will Rock You (2020) and Les Miserables (2017).
The department promotes regular performances with monthly Coffee Concerts, termly concerts, and many other performance opportunities including the annual Carol Service in Cirencester Parish Church, and regular performances at Chapel Arts, Cheltenham. The annual Concerto Concert offers the most advanced students the opportunity to perform with a professional orchestra. Recent performances have included Vivaldi’s Concerto for two cellos, Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C, Mozart’s Piano Concerto no 24 in C minor, Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D minor, and Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto no 2 in C minor.
VISITING ARTISTS AND MUSICIANS
A thriving program of guest artists and workshops allows students at Rendcomb to experience professional music-making first hand. Recent Professional Concerts have been given by the pianist Jeremy Carter, former Ray Charles lead saxophonist Greg Abate, The Corinium Trio, and the City of Bristol Brass Band. The department also organises regular workshops and events: year 7 attend the annual Keystage 3 Concert by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, and year 10 have attended workshops at LSO St Luke’s and the Tetbury Goods Shed Arts Centre.
All pupils study curricular Music at Key Stage 3. In addition to studying the development of Western classical music and the instruments of the orchestra, students investigate a diverse range of musical styles and genres from around the world, including Indian fusion, Indonesian Gamelan, British folk music and Blues. All students learn the fundamentals of composition, music theory and the basics of keyboard playing with students writing and recording their own compositions.
Music is a popular subject at GCSE and A Level. GCSE and A Level pupils take individual instrumental lessons and are expected to participate in extra-curricular ensembles at the College. Recent pupils have go on to study Music at the University of Surrey, the University of Edinburgh and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
The department offers individual instrumental lessons for all orchestral instruments, drum kit, guitar (acoustic and electric), piano, organ and the voice, as well as jazz piano and double bass.
Music Scholarships are available preceding Year 7, Year 9 and Year 12 entry.