Music is part of the fabric of School life, and our Music Department is extremely well resourced with numerous teaching rooms and a large rehearsal studio. Our wide range of orchestras, bands, choirs and instrumental ensembles offers pupils of all ages and abilities the chance to be involved.
Every pupil from Nursery to Year 8 has a weekly class music lesson and a weekly singing practice; 70% of pupils also choose to have individual tuition with over 250 lessons in progress each week.
While there are often pupils that achieve Grade 7 or 8 on their instruments and go on to win Music Scholarships to their chosen senior schools, we give equal support and encouragement to the most tentative beginners, so that every child is valued, regardless of his or her ability. We take great care to perform music appropriate to the children’s age and vocal development – so for the most part that is classical music and light music theatre.
Since 2010, we have provided the children for operas at the Grange, Alresford. Over 100 Twyford pupils have performed in operas including Tosca, La Boheme, Albert Herring and Oliver! We regularly commission Christmas carols from leading British composers including Lin Marsh, Alexander L’Estrange and Howard Goodall. We have recorded the Twyford Carols which are available on CD and to stream. In 2018, we performed at the Royal College of Music, with the orchestra of the RCM and the choir of Eton College, to commemorate the anniversary of Old Twyfordian Hubert Parry. The Senior Choir have recently visited Winchester’s twin town in France, Laon, for a concert tour.
Alongside these special projects, we have a busy schedule of performances. Each term, we have four sung chapel services, five or six lunchtime concerts and a session of ABRSM exams. Every pupil takes part in the annual House Music competition and the annual House Singing competition.
At Twyford we strive to produce a creative, exciting and wide-ranging programme of Drama to include everything from puppetry to Shakespeare, from improvisation to formal Public Speaking. Each year group performs on stage throughout the academic year, whether that is within our Christmas Year 3 Nativity or our Twyford’s Got Talent Competition.
A highlight of the year is the annual Year 6 and 7 musical: a fully staged production with an accompanying pit band! Produced in the Spring term, this musical is open to all children in Years 6 and 7 (often there are over 100 cast members involved) and we frequently discover previously unknown talent among the less confident pupils. Every pupil participates, whether onstage or backstage as a valuable member of the team.
Similarly, the Year 8s experience a five day workshop, ‘Scenes from Shakespeare’, where the leavers work closely with a team of professional actors to study and prepare a series of short extracts from some of Shakespeare’s most well-known plays. Culminating in a fully costumed performance to parents, this post-exam ‘Shakespeare Week’ involves every member of the year group and it has become a highlight of the Leavers’ Programme, something that lives long in the memories of past pupils, many of whom volunteer to come back and help with the rehearsals.
We also offer children the opportunity to take English Speaking Board exams for our younger pupils and LAMDA exams for pupils in Years 3 – 8. Every child has a dedicated timetabled Drama lesson each week, taught by our specialist Drama teacher.