During their time at the school, approximately 75% of the boys learn a musical instrument with one of the peripatetic music teachers. Some study two or even three instruments. Lessons are offered on all woodwind, brass, string and percussion instruments, as well as piano, organ and singing.
Theory classes are held for boys wishing to take Associated Board Grade 5 Theory. Associated music exams are held for instrumentalists and singers in a one, two or three day session at school each term. Approximately 190 Associated Board music exams are taken by boys annually, with impressive results.
Boys having individual instrumental lessons may join one of the instrumental groups:
- Junior School: Year 4 Orchestra, Beginner Strings, Junior Strings, Clarinet Ensemble and Brass Group
- Middle School: Second Orchestra, Middle School Strings, Middle School Brass Group, Jazz Combo, and Concert Band
- Senior School: First Orchestra, Senior Strings, Big Band, Senior Brass Group, String Quartets, Woodwind Ensemble and Concert Band.
The highlights of a New Beacon boy’s musical experiences may be found by playing in the Big Band, a String Quartet or playing in the band for the Leavers’ Play.
Very talented young musicians are encouraged to consider applying for a music scholarship either at Year 6 or Year 8, as they progress on to their next school. There is a high level of success at The New Beacon.
In recent years, Music Scholarships and Exhibitions have been won to Eton College, Sevenoaks School, Tonbridge School and the King’s School, Rochester.
We have a strong tradition of singing at The New Beacon. All boys in Year 4 are encouraged to be members of the Year 4 Choir. All Years 5 and 6 boys are encouraged to audition to be members of the Middle School Chapel Choir. The Chapel Choir is for boys in Years 7 and 8 and we also run a Parent Choir, which regularly joins the boys at services.
The opportunity to sing in Venice, Rome or Dubrovnik is an experience to be enjoyed by a Chapel Choir member on one of the fantastic tours organised bi-annually.