Music at Donhead

Music Curriculum and Class Lessons

Music is an integral part of Donhead life and all boys have the opportunity to participate in musical activities and at every level. In the Pre-Prep School, the curriculum includes the Kodály approach and gradually feeds into the broader Music curriculum as the boys move into the Prep School. Music specialists undertake all the teaching. Lessons take place in our dedicated music room and are highly interactive, with boys having access to a wide range of tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments.

The Reception and Pre-Prep boys have 45 minutes of Music lessons per week and boys in LP1 upwards have an hour. Mrs Cheung teaches PP1 to LP1, and Mrs Curtis teaches the Reception classes and LP2 to Elements.


There are three Choirs at Donhead. There are no fees for joining or membership of the Choirs.

The Donhead Choir
Directed by Mrs. Curtis
This is an auditioned choir, selected from boys in the Prep School (LP1 through to Elements). Each year, all boys in LP1 through to Elements are auditioned to see if they are ready to join the Donhead Choir. New members (Probationers) of the Donhead Choir join on a trial basis. Once every boy has been heard, a revised Choir list is published on the Music Board by the end of October.
The Donhead Choir performs at the Carol Service, Sacred Heart Masses, the Inter-House Music Competition, the Day of Celebration and out of school events. This Choir rehearses on Tuesday mornings from 8.00-8.45am in the Music Room.

The Senior Choir
Directed by Mrs. Curtis
This is open to all boys in the Prep School (LP1 through to Elements). Although places are not auditioned and any boy can join, membership requires a commitment to attend all rehearsals. Boys who are interested in joining this Choir should contact Mrs Curtis.
This Choir performs at School Concerts and School Assemblies through the year and it rehearses on Monday mornings from 8.00-8.45am in the Music Room.

The Pre-Prep Choir
Directed by Mrs Cheung
This Choir involves all boys in Pre-Prep 1 and Pre-Prep 2 and it performs at School Concerts during the Lent (Spring) and Trinity (Summer) Terms. The boys in this Choir perform a varied repertoire of songs and rhymes. The songs are rehearsed during the class lessons and they are brought together as a Choir for some rehearsals a few weeks before concerts.

Instrumental Music Groups

There are a number of instrumental groups. Boys who are interested in joining any of the following groups should contact Mrs Curtis or the respective teacher. There are no fees for joining or membership of the instrumental music groups.

Directed by Mrs. Curtis
This is open to boys from Pre-Prep 1 upwards, who are learning an orchestral instrument. Rehearsals are on Wednesday mornings at 8.00-8.45.

Brass Band
Directed by Mr Mankarious
This is open to boys who are learning a brass instrument. Rehearsals take place during Thursday lunchtimes.

Guitar Group
Mr Coghetto
This is open to boys who are learning the guitar. Rehearsals take place during Thursday lunchtimes from September 2016.

Clarinet Clan
Ms Balmain
Open to boys who are learning the clarinet. Rehearsals take place during first break on Fridays.

Instrumental, Singing and Music Theory Tuition

We have excellent and experienced peripatetic tutors who offer tuition during school hours to any boy in a wide range of instruments, singing and music theory.

Please visit the 'Music Tuition'webpage for details.

Opportunities for Performing

We encourage the boys to perform as much as possible. We have:

  • Nine instrumental and/or group concerts per year.
  • An annual Inter-House Music Competition in which every Prep School boy participates.
  • The Donhead Carol Service.
  • Nativities for the Pre-Prep boys.
  • An annual production for each year group, which sometimes involves singing.
  • Frequent performances from soloists, instrumental groups and the Choirs on occasions such as assemblies, Masses and class lessons.

The Music Department is very keen to nurture the boys' musical talents and give them as many opportunities as possible. Looking beyond Donhead, support is available to boys who are considering applying for Music or Choral Scholarships in their secondary schools. A Music Scholarship, a Music Award, a Performing Arts placement and two All-round Scholarships including Music have recently been awarded to Donhead leavers.

Parents are welcome to contact Mrs Belinda Curtis directly.

'400th Anniversary Mass for St John Ogilvie SJ'
by Donhead Choir members
with the combined Choirs of the Jesuit Preparatory and Junior Schools (7th March 2015)