St Edmund’s School has an outstanding reputation for Music and a well-equipped Music School was opened in October 2004 by Freddy Kempf, an internationally acclaimed concert pianist and former pupil. As well as classrooms and practice/teaching rooms, the facilities also include a Recital Hall with a Steinway grand piano, a Recording Studio, and a fully equipped Music Technology Suite.
Music Scholars receive instrumental tuition in school, the cost of all or part of which may be covered by the Scholarship at the discretion of the Head or Head of the Junior School on the recommendation of the Director of Music. Music Scholars are fully involved in the work of the school’s many ensembles, including Chapel and Chamber Choirs, Symphony Orchestra, String and Brass Ensembles and Big Band, and their instrumental progress is closely monitored throughout their time in the school. When a Music Scholar reaches a sufficiently high standard (equivalent to post Grade 8) the Director of Music may recommend occasional lessons with external specialist teachers, often at the Junior Conservatoires in London. Music Scholars participate in a rich programme of opportunity, including regular concert trips, both locally and to major concert venues in London, the cost of which is usually covered by their Scholarship.
Candidates will not necessarily be expected to have passed any specific grade examination of the recognised boards although it is anticipated that the vast majority will have done so. The audition panel is specifically looking for musicianship, the potential to develop and mature musically and a technique that will facilitate this. Candidates are expected to be able to play fluently at the following minimum standards on their main instrument:
11+ (for Year 7 entry) Grade 4
13+ (for Year 9 entry) Grade 5
16+ (for Year 12 entry) Grade 7
At audition, candidates will be required to play two pieces on their first instrument and one on their second instrument. If a third instrument is offered, then this will also be heard and assessed. Candidates are encouraged to offer singing at audition, but this is not a prerequisite. In addition, candidates will be asked to sight-read on their main instrument, complete aural tests appropriate to their highest level of performance and have an interview in which they will be encouraged to talk about their own music making, musical tastes and aspirations.
Choral Exhibitions at 13+ and 16+ are available to candidates with an exceptional voice and strong choral background. Such awards may be offered after a formal audition in which two contrasting pieces should be performed in addition to sight reading and aural tests. Choral Exhibitioners will be awarded, relative to their ability, a reduction in St Edmund’s academic tuition fees along with free vocal tuition.
No instrumental skills are required to apply for a Choral Exhibition. Candidates may apply for a Choral Exhibition at any point during the academic year by contacting the Director of Music. Choral Exhibitioners who are subsequently awarded a Music Scholarship will have their Exhibition subsumed within the Scholarship.
Canterbury Cathedral Choristers are eligible to compete for the prestigious Dean and Chapter Music Scholarship, tenable at St Edmund’s Senior School from Year 9, which is equivalent to the top Music Scholarship awarded to any other candidate.
Prospective candidates at 11+, 13+ and 16+ are strongly recommended to make an earlier appointment with the Director of Music for an informal discussion and a pre-audition prior to their application. For further information, please contact the Music Administrator, Mrs Katherine Walker firstname.lastname@example.org 01227 475600.