"Music is the social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is" - Malcolm Arnold CBE, 1921 - 2006.
From scientists and philosophers to poets and playwrights, some of the greatest minds in history have been touched and inspired by music and at Bromley High School, the very joy of making music is at the heart of what we do.
We work very hard to ensure we offer an outstanding music choice to our girls, not only through the diverse opportunities they have to explore and develop their own unique musical talent and passion (in one of our three orchestras, over ten small-scale and larger chamber ensembles and 8 choirs) but also demonstrated through the continued investment we make across our entire music department from the exceptional musicians we employ to teach (most of whom are professional performers and alumni of the Royal College, Royal Academy or Royal Northern Colleges of Music), to our specialist music wing with a purpose built recital room, a keyboard teaching suite, ten dedicated practice rooms in addition to audio recording and amplification equipment. There are also two specialist iMac suites where girls are taught music technology on industry standard software and equipment.
As well as an annual concert in a prestigious London venue (this coming March at Cadogan Hall), we also offer at least one Music Tour to pupils. This year’s tours see trips to Los Angeles and Bruges.
But perhaps our most outstanding developments come in the form of introducing a Musician in Residence, to support our exceptional musicians and to develop partnerships with local schools and becoming the very first all girls’ All-Steinway School in the world! A year in the planning, we took delivery of ten pianos in September 2017, including the Concert Model D and Model B. This has already opened up unique and ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experiences for the girls, including a Steinway Masterclass and Recital, given by world-class performer Joanna MacGregor.
Music and the Arts occupy a very hallowed place at Bromley High School and we look for opportunities to encounter and collaborate across departments, specifically Drama and Dance, presenting bi-annual productions. Our most recent show Grease, was not only a huge production but a huge hit too, with all the girls performing with excellence at the Churchill Theatre. We are therefore not surprised that they also regularly star in lead roles in the West End and on the BBC.
Music Scholarships and Harvey Awards at Bromley High School
Music Scholarships and Harvey Awards are offered annually at the age of 11+ and 16+ to external and internal candidates. Very occasionally, we also offer 13+ Scholarships and Harvey Awards to internal candidates who show exceptional musicianship. Music Scholarships offer a reduction in fees; Harvey Award holders receive free instrumental/singing tuition on one instrument.
At 11+, we are looking, above all, for an enthusiasm and a desire to make music, together with clear musical ability and potential. At 11+, approximately Grade 4-5 standard and at 16+, approximately Grade 8 standard is required. Scholarship and Award Holders should participate fully in the Music Department, taking part in the many choirs, orchestras and chamber ensembles that are on offer. They will be expected to take part in the Scholars Choir (an elite chamber choir), to take GCSE Music and they should also aspire to study Music at A Level. It is important that award holders understand that this commitment will be expected for the entire duration of their time at Bromley High School.
Music Scholars will have the opportunity to take part in a range of musical experiences tailored to their needs. There are masterclasses with leading figures from the classical music world (last year Joanna MacGregor gave a masterclass to celebrate the school becoming the first all-girls Steinway school in the world); coaching sessions with our Musician-in Residence; opportunities to give solo / chamber performances over the year; the chance to direct and lead ensembles / workshops with local schools and the Junior School; the opportunity to go on annual Music Tours abroad (recent tours include Los Angeles, Bruges, New York and Barcelona); and trips to see concerts and performances in the main London venues, thereby extending musical knowledge.
And finally, we are very proud of some of the other successes our girls and the Music Department have achieved:-
- Sophie Oliver (our just departed) Deputy Head Girl and Music Scholar, has won a prestigious scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, where she is about to commence studying with internationally acclaimed cellist Josephine Knight.
- Amy Yule is Principal flute with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, having completed her MA at the Royal Academy of Music.
- Emma Burgess was a Music scholar at the Royal College of Music - clarinet. Emma plays with the English National Opera, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martins in the Field and many more.
We have also been awarded the ISM / ISM Trust’s Bronze Certificate which recognises our achievement in music and celebrates our commitment to music education shown by the school in our high uptake and high achievements.