Music has been central to life at Winchester ever since its foundation in 1382 when William of Wykeham made provision for 16 choirboys, Quiristers , who still provide the treble line for the Chapel Choir. Past organists and Masters of Music include such esteemed figures as Thomas Weelkes, Samuel Sebastian Wesley , and Sir George Dyson. The School currently has over sixty Music Scholars, and Music is an important activity in the lives of most Wykehamists. Two thirds of the boys learn an instrument, while many learn two or three. There are over seven hundred individual instrumental lessons given each week by a visiting staff of over fifty specialist teachers as well as seven highly experienced full-time staff.
There are three orchestras, a symphonic wind band, a double reed ensemble, clarinet ensemble, jazz group, rock groups, a flute ensemble, four choirs, numerous smaller ensembles, and a regular programme of chamber music, as well as informal concerts that enable every boy to perform. The School is also active in commissioning new music for their choirs and instrumental ensembles.
With the extension to the Music School completed in 2004, we now offer excellent facilities for music-making, with fifty teaching and practice rooms, a fully-equipped music technology classroom, recording studio, editing suite, percussion studio and rock room.
Another important aspect of music at Winchester is our work with the local community. This includes regular performances and workshops in local authority schools by the Elastic Band under the direction of Kevin Hathway, Principal Percussion of the Philharmonia Orchestra, joint concerts with local choirs, chamber music workshops with sixth form colleges, and public access to all our concerts, the vast majority of which are free.
Our aim is to enable every boy to experience the highest quality and the widest range of music-making, whether as a performer or listener. These web pages are designed to indicate this range and quality of music-making. If you have further enquiries, please contact the Master of Music, Nicholas Wilks
Music Diary Short Half 2014.
In 2004 the Friends of Winchester College produced a leaflet on the
new Music School