Ensembles, Choirs and Orchestras

Music is the heartbeat and the lifeblood of Monmouth School for Girls. We aim to provide a personalised and positive learning environment for students, within which they are able to achieve their full musical potential whilst developing transferable skills and a lifelong enjoyment of music.

Music at Monmouth School for Girls is accessible and inclusive; all students are encouraged to pursue individual and ensemble musical interests and opportunities. The department aims to offer students cultural and aesthetic experiences through active participation in music, which will enhance their understanding and appreciation of the arts, through outstanding teaching practices and a broad range of co-curricular opportunities.

We aim to offer every student a rich educational experience through excellent classroom teaching and a full programme of co-curricular activities. There are many opportunities for performance; from high profile formal concerts to more relaxed ones aimed at less experienced musicians. Specifically, our aims are:

  1. To foster a love of singing within every student and to equip her with elementary singing techniques;
  2. To positively encourage every student to join a co-curricular music activity of their own choice to experience the rewards of collective music-making by offering her the experience of performing in public to increase personal confidence and teamwork skills;
  3. To provide opportunities for students to learn an orchestral instrument and to provide suitable opportunities for group instrumental playing;
  4. To stretch the more able and talented musicians; to ensure they are offered the necessary support classes (aural/theory) and to encourage them to join county and national orchestras so that they are working with players of a higher standard than themselves;
  5. To offer an academic curriculum which caters for different levels of musical interests and abilities and where the teaching & learning experience is sector-leading;
  6. To develop a deep understanding, appreciation and love of different musical genres and a life-long love of music;
  7. To develop critical and creative thinking, aesthetic sensitivity, emotional and cultural literacy;
  8. To provide opportunities to learn music technology;
  9. To ensure that every student leaves Monmouth School for Girls with the musical skills required to enjoy participation in choirs, orchestras, jazz, popular groups or musical theatre as a social occupation;
  10. To ensure that able, talented, committed musicians achieve places to study music at the best higher education providers.

Co-curricular groups are for the following pupil year groups or abilities:

  • Chamber Choir – Years 11-13, by audition only
  • Concert Choir – Years 9-11 all abilities
  • Guitar Group – all ages and abilities
  • Jazz Crusaders – all ages and abilities
  • Junior Singers – Years 7-8 all abilities
  • Senior Strings – all ages, Grade 5+, by invitation only (joint with Monmouth School for Boys)
  • St Catherine’s Strings – all ages and abilities
  • Symphonic Winds – all ages, Grade 4+, by invitation only (joint with Monmouth School for Boys)
  • Theory Club – all ages and abilities
  • Wind Band – all ages and abilities
  • Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools Symphony Orchestra – all ages, Grade 5+, by invitation only (joint with Monmouth School for Boys)

Each year, educational visits and external performances provide important enrichment opportunities. Symphonic Winds have travelled recently to Prague, Spain and Italy. At the end of the Lent term, Year 7s and many of the senior choral singers will perform with Monmouth School for Boys and Monmouth Choral Society in a large scale choral work; directed by the Director of Music at Monmouth School for Boys and usually performed at Wyastone Concert Hall. This year it is Kodaly’s Missa Brevis. Previously they have performed Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms; Orff’s Carmina Burana and Mozart’s Mass in C minor. Recent music trips included a Performing Arts trip to London in January 2018 to see Wicked and participate in a Musical Theatre workshop.

There is a Theory Club run on a voluntary basis by Mrs R. Friend.  This provides pupils with the opportunity to prepare for, and sit, any grade in ABRSM Theory; an essential requirement should you wish to proceed beyond grade 5 instrumental or vocal.  This is also a way of stretching and challenging our MAT students.  There are also ABRSM aural sessions run by Mrs A. Clouter which enable pupils to hone their listening skills.

In 2016, Monmouth School for Girls presented the musical Beauty and the Beast jointly with Monmouth School for Boys. Joint musicals take place every two years and are hosted by the two schools in alternation. Monmouth School for Boys have worked towards a production of Les Misérables in March 2018, which many girls are involved in. In 2017 as part of the HMSG 125th anniversary celebrations, the Haberdashers’ schools performed at a celebratory concert at St David’s Hall, Cardiff.

The department often visits concerts and musicals in Cardiff, Bristol and London, where they can witness and appreciate performances of the highest quality.

Music Scholarships are available at 11+, 13+ and 16+. Music scholars are expected to act as a role model in the Music department; helping to foster a positive and enthusiastic approach. They are expected to inspire and support younger students wherever possible. Many of our music scholars go above and beyond what is expected of them and help to coach, conduct or arrange music for some of our ensembles and chamber groups.

For any extra information regarding Music Scholarships, contact the Admissions Office on 01600 711104.

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