St Hugh's School has a widely respected Music Department, with very high levels of achievement and involvement. It has been classed as Outstanding on each of the last four inspections.
Class lessons with the Director of Music start in Reception with two each week from Year 3. The primary emphasis is on music as a practical subject. Children will have the opportunity to perform, create and experience. They will learn to make music with others and discover their own expressive potential. During their time at St. Hugh's all pupils will participate in public and classroom performances. Those who wish to pursue their talents to a higher level will be given every assistance and encouragement.
Children are encouraged to take up a musical instrument and over 80% of pupils in Years 3 to 8 currently learn at least one, with many playing more. Some 150 music lessons take place every week. Tuition is available in all orchestral instruments, singing and piano with our team of specialist peripatetic staff during the school day. These are arranged on a rota basis to minimize disruption to academic work. Much research points to their wider educational and social benefit. Instrumental work is loosely based around the Associated Board grade system, for which the school is an exam centre, but is flexibly tailored to individual needs and aspirations.
Extra-curricular Music Making
There are two orchestras, one regularly playing symphony movements and concerti (Schubert, Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart etc..). The other, numbering between 60-80 members, plays shorter but nevertheless challenging works. Class orchestras are held annually which involve all children in Years 3-6. Two choirs perform sacred and secular works. Concerts take place throughout the year, both at school and in the wider community. These include:
An Autumn concert which involves Years 3 to 8, featuring a cross section of musicians - recent events have been themed, and included Space, Around the World in 80 Minutes, The Last Night of the Proms, and a French Soirée. The orchestras, choirs, ensembles, soloists all participate;
A Junior Concert in the Spring term which all pupils from Years 3 to 6 and below perform in class orchestras etc., along with items from soloists, 2nd Choir and Pre-Prep department;
A full-length show in the Spring term (Dazzle, Wizard of Oz, Kiss Me Kate, Annie Get Your Gun, Anything Goes etc.);
A Summer Concert which has an emphasis on the more advanced players and more serious music. Symphonies, concerti and opera arias feature regularly (Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Vivaldi etc.);
Seasonal services and carol concerts, both at school and in the wider community;
Nativity play and Junior Show which involve "Transition" to Year 2, and Years 3-5 respectively.
We attend music days at senior schools for choristers and instrumentalists and perform in the wider community, giving concerts, singing at weddings and performing at charity events.
Music scholarships are obtained regularly to major independent senior schools including Oakham, Oundle, Repton, Uppingham and Worksop.