All of the students perform in the annual House Singing Competition, we stage a major musical biennially, and those who play an instrument are members of the College choir. Pupils can further develop their experience by participating in our Orchestra, Concert Band, Big Band, String Ensemble, Chamber Choir and Prince Consort Ensemble, all of which perform locally and nationally.
Our aim is to give every musician a variety of performance opportunities in College. The purpose-built music department has a large classroom and recital hall, a music technology suite, and an advanced recording studio with ‘live room’. The Chapel is home to our Steinway model B, making it ideal for chamber concerts and lunchtime recitals, and we have informal acoustic nights in the Paul’s Court café.
The music department adjoins the Headmaster Porter Theatre, which is suitable for larger concerts and productions. It has a PA system and digital mixing desk, as well as two full-time theatre technicians. Our Visiting Music Teachers provide quality tuition and support, enabling students to fulfil their potential.
Our most advanced students audition for Duet Philharmonic, with successful candidates performing in the organisation’s biennial orchestral concert in a major London venue.
We pride ourselves on our vibrant Music Scholars’ programme, which involves pupils from the prep and senior schools. Every scholar has a teacher mentor, who helps them to set both short and long term targets. Our music scholars perform frequently both in and out of the College, regularly listen to inspirational professional performers – including those we invite here – and take part in masterclasses.
Music at Prep School
We nurture musical skills from an early age, starting with singing and accompanied rhymes at Nursery. In Reception, the children sing, dance, clap and play percussion instruments and, as they get older, we encourage them to try recorders, ukuleles, violins, cellos and brass.
To inspire a life-long love of music, and help us teach a wide variety of instruments, the Prep School has visiting specialist tutors who offer lessons in piano (both traditional and jazz), singing, recorder, woodwind, brass, strings, drums, and guitar.
From Years 1 to 8, the children have plenty of opportunities to shine – a typical academic year includes 13 evening recitals and about 300 solos or small group performances. There are also numerous ensembles including vocal groups for the Juniors and Seniors, the orchestra, a string ensemble, the “Funky Monkeys” jazz band, and the “Wild Bunch” rock band.
We use the examination boards of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM), Trinity/Guildhall, as well as Rock School, for instrumental exams that typically rise to Grades 5 or 6 – and sometimes 7.
Framlingham College alumni who have evolved into professional musicians include:
- Lisa Cooper (Principal Horn of the Danish Aarhus Symphony Orchestra)
- Henry Jackman (pianist, conductor, songwriter and composer of major hit films)
- Christina Johnston-Myachin (coloratura soprano with the Prague State Opera)
- Ed Sheeran (award winning singer/songwriter, whose hits include Framlingham ‘Castle on the Hill’)
- Charlie Simpson (Busted and solo singer/songwriter)
- Laura Wright (BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year and award winning soprano singer of classical-popular crossover)