Music plays an important part in school life at St Edmund’s and we enjoy an excellent reputation for the range and quality of our music, both in performance and academic study. The Junior School is the home of the Canterbury Cathedral Choristers who have gained an international reputation, as well as the East Kent Children’s Orchestra, which benefits from the ongoing partnership with the Tippett Quartet.
The music department occupies the purpose-built Music School opened by Freddie Kempf (former pupil and international concert pianist) in 2004. The accommodation comprises a Recital Hall, recording studio, three classrooms, ten teaching/practice rooms, a music technology lab, and staff offices. The Music School is adjacent to the theatre, which allows for close co-operation between the Music and Drama departments.
There are many opportunities for music making at St Edmund’s, with two choirs in the Junior School and a large symphony orchestra. Smaller groups also rehearse weekly, including a Junior String Group, a Wind Ensemble and a Junior Jazz Band. A House singing competition is held every year and a whole-school choir performs at Speech Day.
A large number of children learn musical instruments and have an opportunity to play in regular formal concerts and informal recitals. The annual Junior School Music Festival offers instrumentalists and singers valuable performing and competitive experience in addition to an established routine of ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall examinations, whilst the Inter-House Singing Competition brings all pupils together in an annual programme of rehearsals and performance. The most able and advanced Junior School singers and instrumentalists are offered the opportunity of Music Scholarships and Exhibitions are offered each year at 11+ for entry to Year 7. There is a special programme of enrichment for scholars and exhibitioners.