The music department at St Alban’s is one of the busiest in the school and plays a central role to its ethos and life.
The department has an enviable proven track record of successfully preparing pupils for the study of music at conservatoire/university. During the last few years, pupils have continued their studies of music at destinations such as the universities of Oxford, Oxford Brookes, Bath Spa, York, Southampton, Goldsmiths, Cardiff, Birmingham, ACM, GSA, Chetham’s School of Music, The Royal College of Music, London, Birmingham Conservatoire, The Royal Northern College of Music and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Many pupils receive weekly tuition and are prepared for ABRSM/Trinity/LCM music exams by an exceptional team of peripatetic staff; some of whom are professional performers.
The extra-curricular programme at St Alban’s is highly successful and membership of the school choirs is well in excess of one hundred pupils. Choral and musical theatre singing are particular strengths and our international award winning senior choir is regularly invited to perform at concerts in the locality.
Lower School Choir have performed at Disneyland Paris every year for the last thirteen years. Since 2007, Senior Choir have toured to Prague, Barcelona, Warsaw, Holland, Normandy and New York. They undertake a busy schedule of annual concerts and were awarded the ‘Award of the Head of the Jury’ at the Warsaw International Choral; Festival in 2008.
Tuition is provided by Gwent Music and pupils who study GCSE or A Level Music have the cost of their lessons subsidised. Or outstanding team of peripatetic staff offer highly specialised tuition to pupils across the school whether they are advanced players or beginners. Lessons are delivered in the recording studio or the small practice room in C block. Musical disciplines currently on offer are: voice, woodwind, brass, strings, drum kit and guitar.
All members of peripatetic staff prepare pupils for exams with one or more of the following exam boards: Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, Trinity and London College of Music. Exam results are consistently high and are regularly reviewed. Each member of staff completes a timetable at least one week in advance which is displayed on the notice board outside C15 and in the teaching rooms. All pupils receive an annual report and are expected to participate in an extra-curricular music ensemble.
We are a very well-travelled department and since 2006 have undertaken twenty three concert tours abroad. Our lower school choir has performed in Disneyland every year since 2006 in the Lucky Nugget Saloon, Fantasy Festival Stage and Videopolis Arena.
Our international award winning senior choir competed in the Warsaw International Choral Festival during 2008 and was awarded the ‘Award of the Head of the Jury’ by Professor Romauld Twardowski.
Our instrumentalists and international award winning senior choir have performed in the following locations:
- 2007 Prague: St Nicholas Church; St Anne’s Church, Karlovy Vary; and a Retirement home in Prague.
- 2008 Barcelona: Sagrada Familia; Church of the Immaculate Conception; Community Theatre, Barcelona.
- 2008 Warsaw: Warsaw Cathedral; Chopin Conservatoire
- 2009 Holland: Church at Noordwijk; Delft Cathedral; Retirement home in Amsterdam.
- 2010 New York: St Paul’s Chapel, Ground Zero; United Nations
- 2012 Normandy: Barberville, St Aubin-sur-Mer,
- 2013 Holland: Noordwijk and Delft
- 2015 Barcelona
- 2017 Holland
Lower School Choir rehearses after school on Tuesdays until 4pm. In addition to performing at Disneyland Paris, the choir also performs at the Christmas Carol Service, Christmas Extravaganza, summer concert and other occasional events.
Next year we will be offering a vocal course in belt quality and vocal anatomy. This is in addition to the opportunities to sit the LCM Music Theatre grades; a pursuit in which we have been very successful.
Orchestra rehearses after school on Wednesdays until 4pm. Membership consists of pupils having peripatetic instrumental tuition in school and anyone who enjoys making music with others. Orchestra rehearse a wide range of music and beginners are always welcome. Orchestra always perform at the summer concert.
Senior Choir rehearse every day in C15 during registration. Membership is drawn from pupils across the school who enjoy singing a diverse and often challenging programme of music.
The ‘Jam’ Group, which is a group for guitarists, drummers and anyone interested in performing pop music, meets on Fridays in C14.
A variety of instrumental groups sometimes perform at concerts and events throughout the year. A Welsh folk group sometimes rehearse to perform at concerts when required and always perform on the foreign tours.