Staff and Instrumental Tuition
John Bowley, M.A., (Cantab) A.R.C.M
Director of Music
Anne Reece, M.A., (Cantab) L.R.A.M, P.G.C.E
Assistant Director of Music (Instrumental)
Ed Coleman, B Mus, M Mus, A.R.C.O, A.L.C.M
Head of Academic Music, Organist
Head of Music Technology
Nicki Kennedy, B.A., R.S.A.M.D, A.R.C.M
Head of Singing
|Chris Cooper||Jazz piano|
|Simon Limbrick||Tuned percussion|
|Justin Myers||Bass Guitar, Music Technology|
Music lessons take place throughout the school day. Year 11 and Sixth Form pupils do not miss academic lessons, and pupils in Years 9 and 10 are rotated, to avoid impacting on particular subjects. Click on the Terms and Conditions link below for further details. Please contact the Administrator Mrs Ross to arrange lessons. Individual lessons may be arranged to learn the following instruments:
|Double Bass||French Horn|
Aural, sight reading, theory and accompaniment
To support our musicians, we offer free aural, sight reading, theory and accompaniment sessions, so that our young musicians develop as all-round, capable instrumentalists and singers. These take place throughout the week. The Britten Building is open and rooms are available for pupils to practice at times convenient for them throughout the week.
Performance opportunities and concerts
Pupils at Gresham’s are very fortunate to be able to perform frequently as individuals and in their various ensembles, both at school and in the surrounding area.
A regular slot in the music timetable is the weekly Music & Munch, which takes place every Thursday in the Britten building café, Tig’s. Members of the public are invited to come along and enjoy a sandwich lunch and listen to the pupils perform. This relatively informal venue provides invaluable performing experience for Gresham’s musicians and a chance for them to showcase their talents.
Our Ensembles regularly perform in the local area, and further afield. Performances in the last year include concerts at Binham Priory, Holt Community Centre, St Margaret’s Church – Cley, St Nicholas’ Church – Blakeney, St Edmundsbury Cathedral and Bury St Edmunds.
Ensembles and Choirs
There are a large number of orchestras, choirs and ensembles of all kinds to suit all our musicians, including:
|Brass Ensemble||Concert Band|
|Percussion Ensemble||Jazz Ensemble|
|Girls’ Choir||Boys’ Choir|
|Concert Band||Brass Ensemble|
|Chapel Choir||Schola Cantorum (Chamber Choir)|
|Crickets (Close Harmony)||Choral Society|
In addition to this, pop bands form and perform throughout the year. Every Michaelmas term the music and drama departments combine to put on a musical. In 2016 we performed Guys and Dolls, and in 2017 we performed How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. In 2018 we put on Grease!
The Choral Society made up of parents, staff and pupils perform once a year, in the Lent term. Rehearsals are on Thursday evenings. In 2016 we performed Brahms’ Requiem, and last year performed Handel’s Coronation Anthems and Haydn’s Paukenmesse.
Gresham’s House Music Competition is a huge event in the school year. It comprises several sections; House Unison Song (in which every member of the school takes part), House Part Song, House Instrumental Ensemble, and Individual Instrumental and Voice rounds. Held in the Sports Hall, this is definitely an occasion to get into your diary! Read about this year’s competition here.
All performances are all listed on the School’s online calendar.
In addition to the busy schedule of concerts, Gresham’s hosts a Subscription Concert Series at the Auden Theatre which brings internationally acclaimed musicians to the school. In this, the 21st year of the series, we have a terrific series of concerts: please visit the Auden Theatre website for further details.
Following the Subscription Series concerts, many of our visiting artists stay and present a masterclass to Gresham’s pupils, and talented pupils from across Norfolk. In the autumn term we welcomed distinguished Music Theatre performer, and Old Greshamian Emma Lucia who gave a masterclass to our talented singers.
Britten Music Course Page
Since 2010, the Britten Music Course (BMC) has given opportunities to talented young musicians to develop their skills, learn new repertoire and perform at the highest standards while experiencing boarding life at Gresham’s with like-minded children. Named after Gresham’s most famous musical Old Boy Benjamin Britten, the BMC is a residential music course for passionate, young musicians between the ages of 8-13.
Amid much music-making, quizzes, pizza nights, trips to the beach, games time and a trip to the Red House in Aldeburgh, former home of Benjamin Britten, we ensure the children have an action-packed week. BMC participants enjoy a mix of orchestral and choral workshops, with opportunities to perform in both solo and ensemble concerts, making full use of our new state of the art Music School, The Britten Building. The course culminates in a concert on the Saturday afternoon which showcases the results of the week’s workshops. Watch this space for the date for Summer 2019, which will be out soon!