Hampton School Music Department is committed to providing boys with a full range of opportunities at all levels. Practical music-making holds a unique place in the cultural heart of the School and excellence in performance comes from both the motivation and commitment of the Music Staff, and the skills and abilities of the pupils themselves.
The range of music covered at Hampton is extensive and gives extraordinary scope for raising pupils’ awareness and appreciation of music from around the world, past and present.
Music is taught in the ‘Garrick’, a purpose built and recently refurbished music facility. It accommodates:
- The Music Hall, a large rehearsal and teaching space which is equipped with 13 iMacs and a Steinway grand piano
- The Keyboard Room with 26 Yamaha keyboards set up for individual use
- Two further rooms for teaching with 26 further iMacs
- 10 practice rooms for individual instrumental lessons, including a drum room and orchestral percussion suite
Music is compulsory in the First and Second Years. From the Third Year onwards pupils can opt for the subject and Music is a very popular option amongst boys at Hampton both at GCSE and A Level. From 2016 IGCSE and both AS level and Cambridge Pre-U Music will be offered.
Co-curricular classes are offered in Music Theory and Aural in preparation for ABRSM exams.
Hampton School offers an outstanding range of opportunities for musical performance in a wide range of genres. Each term culminates in a showcase concert (with two at Christmas!) and there are other concerts throughout the year, including rock concerts, chamber music concerts and occasional concerts devoted to individual instrumental families (keyboard, strings, woodwind and brass). The School Choir sings a Christmas Carol Service at St Mary’s Church, Hampton, and the Jazz and Swing Bands have annual external concerts in the summer at Garrick’s Temple (by the Thames) and Jazz in the Park (with the Richmond Schools Jazz Band).
School concerts take place in The Hammond Theatre which is a performing facility to rival any School in the country. This remarkable building doubles as a theatre and concert hall and is equipped with acoustic panels that can change the sound from the clear, dry conditions required for the spoken word, to the warmer, reverberant atmosphere suited to music. The Hammond also has an orchestra pit, making it ideal for musical theatre.
Hampton School runs a wide range of Ensembles and Choirs suited to all levels and all styles of music making.
The provision of Chamber Music is fundamental to the life of the Department, and is strongly supported.
In addition, there are a number of rock bands, and the Department is committed to providing them with time and facilities to rehearse.
A full list of Choirs and Music Ensembles can be found below:
- School Choir
- Boys’ Choir
- Chamber Choir
- Consort of Voices
- Voices of Lions
- Symphony Orchestra
- Hampton Sinfonia
- Concert Orchestra
- Chamber Orchestra
- Chamber Group
- Brass Band
- Brass Quintet
- Clarinet Ensemble
- Flute Group
- Woodwind Quintet
- The Reeder’s Woodwind Ensemble
- Guitar Ensemble
- Jazz Improvisation Group
- Rock School (Junior, Intermediate and Advanced)
- Swing Band
- Jazz Band
- Junior Brass Group
- Percussion Group
- Electronic Music Club
- Composers’ Forum
The Department runs regular trips both in the UK and abroad.
- A triennial orchestral exchange with the Heinrich-Suso Gymnasium School from Konstanz, Germany
- A triennial choir tour to Europe. Recent tours have been to Paris and Venice
- Every year the Chamber Choir sings evensong at a major venue, most recently at St Albans Cathedral, Winchester Cathedral and Keble College, Oxford
- Voices of Lions annually perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and participate in national festivals and competitions
- The Jazz and Swing Bands tour to Malta in the Summer of 2016
In addition to these trips, boys in all years will have the opportunity to attend professional concerts relating to their musical curriculum at venues including the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.
Hampton has a thriving Music Society run by parents to support the Music Department by helping at concerts, and providing financial help for special projects. The most recent of these projects is the ‘Rare Beasts’ scheme, which supports new boys at Hampton who wish to take up an instrument which is less common at the school (for example, the Bassoon or the French Horn).