Music

Your child will feel inspired, with opportunities to listen and participate in music throughout the week.

Music at Downside School

Downside is renowned for the quality of its music. Founded over a century ago, Downside’s Schola Cantorum is the oldest Roman Catholic school choir in the United Kingdom. Formed of boys and girls, it gives concerts of large-scale sacred works throughout the year. The Schola Cantorum provides the choral music in the Abbey Church and has topped the charts with its CDs The Abbey and Gregorian Moods.

There are three Chamber Choirs at Downside: a boys’ choir, a girls’ choir and a mixed choir. They specialise in a cappella performances, sacred and secular, and rehearse weekly. Membership is by invitation. The Chamber Choirs sing Mass on some Sundays and are much in demand for concerts.

Orchestral, band and chamber music also flourish at Downside, with frequent concerts and weekly recitals. The CCF and Pipe Bands are also in demand. The CCF band plays for the annual CCF inspection, and accompanies the Remembrance Day service. Both bands regularly perform at School concerts and parades, as well as at private functions. We also have Jazz, Rock and Concert Bands, a Saxophone Group and a Drum Line, amongst others. 

Music Results

Academic results, both at A Level and GCSE, have been excellent. Each year the School awards a number of music and choral exhibitions and scholarships at 11+, 13+ and 16+, details of which may be obtained by clicking here.

Lockdown Choir

The virtual choir features pupils and staff and is directed by Director of Music Mr McNamara and accompanied by him on the Downside Abbey Church Compton organ and Mr Bridges on the trumpet.

Downside School Music Staff

Mr J McNamara MA (Oxon), FRCO, PGDipPerf (RNCM) Director of Music
Mr J Bridges BMus Head of Academic Music
Mrs T Rees-Jones BMus (Hons), PGCE, MA Music Administrator
Mrs K Baker Music Administrator (Timetabling)
Mrs G Cleverley BA Teacher of Flute
Mr S Jones BMus (Hons)  Teacher of Trumpet and French Horn
Miss R Bevan Teacher of Singing / Girls’ Chamber Choir
Mr A Bevan MA (Cantab) Teacher of Violin, Viola & Piano
Mrs J Costley-White LRAM, DipRAM Teacher of Singing
Mr J Hughes BMus, PGDip Teacher of Violin & Viola
Mr S Jobbins Teacher of Orchestral Percussion and Drum Kit
Mr T Jones BA Teacher of Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar & Song-writing
Mr R Kerr MA (Oxon) Teacher of Bagpipes & Pipe Major
Mr S Crockatt BMus Teacher of Clarinet, Saxophone & Bandmaster  
Mrs C Mills Dip, RCHague Teacher of Classical Guitar 
Mrs E Mullins BMus (Hons) Teacher of Harp & Piano
Mr M Packman BMus (Hons), LTCL Teacher of Oboe & Saxophone
Miss K Robey BA Teacher of Cello
Mr C Sheldrake BMus, ARCM, DipRCM Teacher of Singing / Piano
Mr R Stubbings BA Music in Education (Hons) Teacher of Trombone and Bass
Mrs A Hawthorne PGCE, B Mus Hons Teacher of Double Bass