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Music AS and A Level *Fees Payable* at Cheltenham College

Course description

Music at Cheltenham is very busy and friendly, with a thriving department that caters for musical talent of all kinds. Many pupils are as involved with choir, jazz and orchestra. We value and encourage this musical breadth as an ideal way to develop musicianship. 

Over 250 music lessons are taught each week by a dedicated team of teachers who cover every orchestral instrument, piano, organ, singing, and even bagpipes. There are many instrumental groups and ensembles; Orchestra, Wind Band, Chamber Orchestra, Big Band, two Jazz Bands, plus numerous smaller ensembles and chamber music. The Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra give our pupils the opportunity to perform some wonderful music, recently including Bach’s A minor Violin Concerto and Brandenburg Concerto No.4, Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony, Grieg’s Piano Concerto and much more. Jazz is exceptionally strong in College with three jazz bands, the top one (JIG) being in demand for balls and charity events outside the College. Recent pupils have been members of the National Youth Orchestra, and the National Schools’ Symphony Orchestra.

We are also renowned for our choirs. With our glorious Chapel, our Chapel Choir (of 50) is inevitably central to musical life here, and in addition to singing at weekly Sunday services the Choir sings several well-attended services of Choral Evensong for the general public on Wednesdays each term. Recent tours have seen the Choir singing in St.Mark’s Venice, Siena Cathedral, Assisi, Padua and Prague, Barcelona - Cathedral and the church of Santa Maria del Mar, and with the most recent tour to Tuscany in July 2014. Every summer term the Choir sings Choral Evensong at a major location such as Westminster Abbey, St George’s, Windsor, or Salisbury Cathedral, and we are proud of the steady stream of our pupils who go on to achieve Cathedral Choral Scholarships or Oxbridge and other university Choral Awards. Every Christmas the Choir join with many former members for the Christmas Eve Carol Service sung to over 700 people in Chapel, which has become a feature of Christmas here for many.

The Chamber Choir consists of 20 singers from the Chapel Choir specialising in early music, and in addition to recording a CD of Renaissance music, has also been on tour to New York, singing in St.Thomas’s Fifth Avenue and the Cathedral of St.John the Divine. Almost one pupil in ten of the whole College takes singing lessons, and our team of singing teachers are kept very busy.

Finally, generous Music Scholarships are awarded every year, and also Choral awards are available for promising singers. Pupils regularly continue with music at university or conservatoire, with regular Choral Awards at Oxford, Cambridge and other universities.

Course content

At A Level we follow the Edexcel syllabus, which gives pupils the chance to study music in detail from the academic angle and therefore develop an understanding of the different styles of music in the History & Analysis section. Performing is integral to both AS and A2 Level and Listening skills are developed and challenged throughout the course in preparation for the Listening Paper, part of which is based upon the set works. 

One Composition is compulsory at AS, together with a little Harmony work. At A2, two pieces of Composition or Harmony are offered as a choice, and this is ideal for allowing pupils to make the most of where their particular skills lie. Our small classes of typically 3-5 enable detailed attention for every pupil and allow much more than just the syllabus material to be covered.

Financial information


Please ensure that you understand that course fees will be payable before submitting your application.

Further information

We are incredibly proud of our academic results which average out as the following: 

  • At A level, 72% of pupils achieve Grade A and 90% achieve grade A or B

All of our academic musicians agree that they have a terrific time in their lessons and their super results crown it all! 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Cheltenham College directly.

Last updated date: 13 December 2016
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