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Highgate has a long and distinguished musical tradition: former pupils include John Rutter CBE, vid music new
Sir John Tavener, Howard Shelley OBE, Jan Latham-Koenig and Daniel Hope. The Senior School
Music Department has its base in Dyne House at the heart of the School.

The Music Department has three offices/teaching rooms for the full-time staff, twelve teaching/practice rooms, three classrooms (including an IT music suite and a keyboard room), and a recital/rehearsal room, as well as a 300-seater auditorium refitted with the latest technology in acoustic design. 

Individual music lessons are given in all the usual instruments and singing. Over 55% of the School’s pupils have music lessons, either inside or outside the School and approximately 45% have lessons in school.  About 560 lessons are given per week.  A number of pupils attend the junior departments of London music colleges and participate in the London Schools Symphony or Barbican Youth Orchestras



The following rehearse weekly: Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia, Chamber Orchestra, and String Sinfonietta; Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Serpent Brass and Jazz Orchestra;  several Wind, Brass, Guitar and Percussion Ensembles; Boys’ Chapel Choir, Girls’ Chapel Choir, Chorale and Contemporary Choir. Chamber music includes a large variety of string groups, piano trios, and wind groups.

Among the wide range of concerts the large groups of pupils perform at a major concert each year in major central London venue: Performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion at Southwark Cathedral; Tippett’s Child of Our Time and Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet Overture at the Royal Festival Hall for our 450 Anniversary Celebration. Bach’s St John Passion and Missa in F; Fauré’s Requiem; Handel’s Messiah and Zadok the Priest; Haydn’s “Nelson” Mass; Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2, “Lobgesang”; Mozart’s “Coronation” Mass; Rutter’s Requiem; and Vivaldi’s Gloria in Southwark Cathedral and St John's, Smith Square

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There is a regular programme of evening concerts and small-scale performance platforms. There is a house music competition and there are also solo instrumental competitions.  At the end of the summer term there is a programme of workshops and masterclasses taken by leading professional musicians. In previous years we have had a Summer Festival Show at The Roundhouse in Camden.  Musicals are usually put on every year – in 2009, Les Misérables was performed by pupils in years 7 to 9 and Sweeney Todd by pupils in years 10 to 13, with Y7-9 performing Fiddler On The Roof in 2011. In 2015 pupils performed West Side Story at RADA.


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