Music is an integral part of Donhead life. The engaging curriculum provides a holistic basis for musical development, incorporating singing, composition, improvisation, playing, performing, listening and evaluation.
Boys have hour-long weekly lessons with access to a wide range of tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments in our dedicated music room. They also participate in Singing Practice Assemblies.
All Prep School boys fully engage with the Inter-House Music Competition and there are annual productions for each year group which sometimes involves singing. Boys also participate in choral workshops/Evensongs and Orchestral Play Days at Senior Schools.
Support is available to boys who are considering applying for Music or Choral Scholarships at their secondary schools - an area where Donhead boys have enjoyed much success.
Music Groups and Soloists
The Music Department is committed to nurturing the musical talents of every boy. Whatever his ability, he is encouraged to participate in musical activities. There are two choirs, four instrumental groups and many opportunities to perform in our splendid auditorium. There are informal, formal and ensembles concerts each term. 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.
The Senior Choir (directed by Mrs Curtis) is open to all boys in the Prep School. 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. The Senior Choir performs at Ensembles Concerts and School Assemblies throughout the year and it rehearses on Monday mornings from 8.00-8.45am in the Music Room.
The Donhead Choir (directed by Mrs Curtis) is an auditioned choir, selected from boys in the Prep School. Each year, all boys are auditioned to see if they are ready to join the Donhead Choir. New members (Probationers) join on a trial basis. Once every boy has been heard, a revised choir list is published on the music notice board by the end of October.
The Donhead Choir performs at the Carol Service, Masses, the Inter-House Music Competition, the Day of Celebration and occasional out of school events. Rehearsals are on Tuesday mornings from 8.00-8.45 in the music room.
The Orchestra (directed by Mrs Curtis) is open to boys who are learning an instrument. Boys of any grade are welcome, including those who are pre grade 1. Rehearsals are on Wednesday mornings at 8.00-8.45 in the music room.
The Brass Band (directed by Mr Mankarious) is open to boys who are learning a brass instrument. Rehearsals are on Thursday mornings at 8.30 in music practice room 2.
The Violin Group (directed by Miss Chesterman) is open to boys who are learning the violin. Rehearsals take place on Tuesday mornings at 8.15 in music practice room 2.
The Guitar Group (directed by Mr Coghetto) is open to boys who are learning the guitar. Rehearsals take place during Thursday lunchtimes at 12.30pm in the sacristy.
Individual Music Tuition
We have excellent and highly experienced peripatetic tutors who offer paid individual tuition during school hours to any Prep boy in music theory and the instruments below. In some classes, up to ninety per cent of boys learn a musical instrument:
Pupils have enjoyed much success in public music examinations.
Boys can start learning at any time, and do not need to wait for a new term to begin.
Please download the information sheet here: 'Individual Instrumental, Singing and Theory Tuition at Donhead' and complete the application form as instructed on the sheet. This will be passed to the respective instrumental tutor who will then get in touch.
The current termly fee arrangements are detailed on the school website's Fees and Finance page.
Peripatetic Music Tutors
Piano: Mrs T Cheung, Mr M Higgins, Mrs Cope, Mrs D Lammin, Miss S Vilmanyi
Singing: Ms H Ashby Violin Miss F Chesterman, Mrs C Wislocki
Cello: Mr M Calvo
Guitar: Mr F Coghetto
Clarinet, Flute, Recorder, Saxophone & Theory: Mr R Cope Brass Mr P Mankarious