Welcome to Music at Coloma
Music is an integral part of life at Coloma. We aim to encourage as many girls as possible to join in with musical life at the school , be that through singing in one of our many excellent Choirs, learning to play an instrument or getting stuck in with the technical and staging support teams – There is room for everyone!
We believe music is a powerful, unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. It brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of culture, past and present, it helps pupils understand themselves and relate to others, forging important links between the home, school and the wider world, all the time developing a sense of group identity, togetherness, self-discipline and creativity.
With over 500 girls alone singing in the Main School Choir at our larger concerts it soon becomes obvious to our new Year 7 Girls that this is a busy department with a hectic schedule, performing over 40 musical events, concerts and shows each year. The quality and strength of our musical provision at Coloma has been recognised at the highest level, with regular invites to perform at the Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall, and being awarded Specialist Music College.
We continually strive to broaden and develop our Music curriculum and have an exciting extracurricular programme which sees our students regularly travelling through Europe to fulfil invitations to sing at such prestigious venues as St Marks in Venice. More recently we have been delighted to be able to use the new Winton House Performing Arts Centre, a fully equipped theatre venue opened at Coloma in 2011.
Choral Music is at the heart of musical life at Coloma. Our main school choir numbers over 500 girls and from this strength we are able to explore many other styles of singing in numerous choirs which the girls seek to join and develop. The St Cecilia Singers have now covered virtually every musical genre from 16th century polyphony to the blues and the St Anthony’s Choir has sung in Welsh, Bulgarian and Swahili! Our Gospel Choir continues to be a very popular choice for the girls and is always invited to sing at a range of venues during the year including the Croydon Performing Arts’ Festival.
Coloma’s choirs cover every age range in the school and it delights us to see all of them at some point during the year being invited to sing in the local and wider community. We continue to seek new opportunities for them and as part of our 140th Anniversary Celebrations commissioned our very own work from Howard Goodall entitled “The Pearl” which received its acclaimed debut at the Festival Hall on the South Bank. This year, we have been invited to perform this work with a massed choir of 750 singers, at the Schools Prom in the Royal Albert Hall this November.
Instrumental Tuition and Orchestras
A team of over 25 peripatetic music staff undertake instrumental tuition for more than 200 students. Girls may elect to learn the piano, flute, saxophone, percussion, trumpet, trombone, oboe, clarinet, violin, cello, double bass, viola, French horn, bassoon, harp or guitar. Associated Board Examinations are conducted regularly at school.
The instrumental extra-curricular activities on offer include: two school orchestras, a variety of Chamber Ensembles including highly regarded string and wind groups, Jazz Band, Brass Ensemble, Senior Strings, the ‘King Drummers’ percussion ensemble and Breakfast Orchestra for our beginners.
Music technology plays a key role in music across the world. Students at Coloma, including those who do not play a traditional instrument, are encouraged to explore their musicality and create original materials using technology. The teaching of Music Technology at Coloma focuses on practical work and encourages the cultivation of a wide range of skills such as sequencing, multi-track recording, and composing using music technology. Students have opportunities to build understanding of the technical processes and principles which underpin the effective use of music technology, as well as written work.
No special equipment is required for Music Technology. The school is fully equipped with the necessary hardware and software, including an iMac suite, a state-of-the-art music studio and the latest sequencing software Logic Pro X.
Competitions, Tours and Concerts
We firmly believe that taking our music outside of school is a key requirement for developing not only the girl’s interest and enthusiasm but also in sharing our gifts and talents with the wider community. During the year girls sing and play at approximately 40 concerts and events, and during November 2016 Coloma students will be performing twice at the Royal Albert Hall. Below are just a few recent highlights.
- Christmas Concert – Fairfield Halls
- St Marks – Venice
- St Anthony’s – Padua
- Music of Youth Schools Prom
- Royal Festival Hall – South Bank
- Barnardos Choir of the Year – Royal Festival Hall
- H.C.P.T – Westminster Cathedral
- Annie – Winton House Performing Arts Centre
- Wicked – Winton House Performing Arts Centre
- Chamber Evening, St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden