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.
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.
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 W Turner||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 (Hons), LGSM||Teacher of Trombone and Bass|
|Mrs A Hawthorne PGCE, B Mus Hons||Teacher of Double Bass|
“Music is strong with the marching band and choirs the main focus for performance, often outside the school.” (ISI Report 2013)