Ardingly College proudly celebrates its flourishing tradition of musical excellence, catering for the most talented musicians in every conceivable discipline. For the music scholars and students in our numerous choirs, orchestras and ensembles, Ardingly College offers the chance to perform with great professional musicians, while all have the opportunity to perform in an array of regular recitals. For a student with limited musical knowledge, our aim is to encourage and inspire.
Under the directorship of Richard Stafford, our dynamic Music Department ignites musical passion as widely as possible, offering opportunities in music classes, lessons and ensembles to enjoy music in all its forms. Opportunities abound for all students to hear many forms of classical and popular music. Students are actively encouraged to pursue their active interest in music and contribute to the many group and solo activities which are available in our thriving Department.
The Music Department is based in the purpose-built Music School which includes a Recital Room, in which all major ensembles rehearse, percussion and ensemble room, music classrooms, music library, ICT suite and recording studio and 11 practice teaching rooms. Within this space, the Department provides over 430 individual instrumental lessons a week, taught by the 28-strong visiting team of professional teachers. Instrumental tuition is available on all orchestral instruments alongside piano, organ, guitar, drum and voice.
Enhancing the Department’s tuition is a particularly wide range of ensemble activities which are open to all students of any age, from wind trios and saxophone quartets to Jazz bands and chamber choirs. All of the many groups support a concert series of approximately between 50 and 60 events per year which cater for the first time performer as much as they do the experienced music scholar. Eagerly supported and thoroughly appreciated by students, parents and staff alike, this is the centre of a busy department that emphasises enjoyment and exploration.
Richard Stafford – Director of Music
Stephen Smith – Head of Prep School Music
Jack Thompson – Teacher of Music and College Organist
Susan Gilmour Bailey – Head of Singing
Maggie Wainwright – Music Department Administrator
Students can opt to study Music in Shell (Year 9) with a focus on appreciation of music with the study of new styles; topics include practical, theoretical, historical and creative work. Students can go on to study Music at GCSE, A Level and IB whilst every year, students continue their musical journey with study of Music at university.
Music@Ardingly And Masterclasses
Throughout the school year, professional musicians are invited to the College to give masterclasses, workshops and concerts. This is aimed at all genres of the musical spectrum from local rock bands, professional opera singers to national ensembles such as the Haffner Ensemble and NYJO. Students are able to engage in specialist masterclasses with dynamic musicians at the height of their professional careers. Forthcoming and past musicians include the Tredegar Brass Band, Haffner Ensemble, NYJO, Ensemble Reza, Harry the Piano, The Last Carnival, The Apollo Saxophone Quartet and Mark Stone.