Music at Challoner’s is a vibrant part of the school community, enabling students to explore the subject both academically and beyond the curriculum. In Years 7 to 9, boys all take Music in their form groups and in the older years, many students choose to take Music as one of their subjects at GCSE and A Level.
Mr Tansley, Subject Leader for Music, is determined to create a legacy that follows on from that of Ian Hooker (the long-serving previous head of department). In this pursuit Mr Tansley, Mrs Anstey and the rest of the visiting music teachers have worked hard to open up the department to any student who wants to get involved.
Students are able to learn a variety of instruments at DCGS with our dedicated team of peripatetic teachers. All orchestral instruments and jazz instruments are available together with drums, tuned percussion and singing. Our specialist teachers lead many ensembles and groups - in a typical week there are over twenty different groups providing opportunities for students of all abilities; from jazz groups to choirs, composing to performing, rock bands to orchestras, there’s something for everyone.
Regular performance opportunities include lunchtime concerts at Amersham Free Church and tea time concerts to give those preparing for exams the opportunity to perform their pieces in front of a live audience. Cabaret Night provides an informal opportunity for Swing Band and jazz musicians to showcase their achievements and there are also regular joint performances with Dr Challoner’s High School.
The Department was refurbished a couple of years ago to provide high quality performance and practice spaces which are well-used by students. Over the last few years students have been able to take their music exams in school with many gaining distinction at the highest grades.
The ethos of the department is best summed up by the words of one of our students: 'Being able to enhance musical skills and play with others is invaluable to so many students.'