Music plays a prominent part in the life of Wellington School. Over half of the pupils have instrumental tuition and are taught individually by a staff of three full-time and over twenty visiting teachers.
Class music is part of the normal curriculum for all pupils up to the end of Year 9 and music is an option for GCSE and A Level examinations. The department’s examination results are exceptionally strong, and many past pupils have continued their musical studies at university level.
Music Scholarships and Exhibitions are awarded annually in early February, following auditions held at the school. Candidates are assessed for musical potential and not solely for actual achievement. Awards are made at the ages of 11, 13 and 16. The winning of a music award does not in itself secure a pupil’s entry to the school; they must also meet the academic requirements.
Instrumental tuition is offered in all the orchestral woodwind, brass, percussion and strings, together with piano, organ, voice, saxophone, guitar (acoustic, electric and bass) and drum kit. Instruments are available for hire. Strong emphasis is placed on participation in the many musical activities of the school, which includes the Symphony Orchestra, First String Orchestra, Lower School Strings, Senior Concert Band, Lower School Concert Band, Brass Group, Big Band, Senior School Choir, Chapel Choir, Lower School Choir, Lower School Chamber Choir, Clarinet Choir, Senior String Quartet, Girlforce 9, Lower School String Quartet, Percussion Ensemble, Notus Flute Group, Classicelle, Senior Clarinet Group, Senior Flute Quartet and Intermediate Flute Group. These are timetabled during lunchtimes and after school so as not to interfere with academic or sporting commitments. These ensembles perform termly within school and further afield. The Chapel Choir toured Italy, singing in notable churches such as St. Mark's Basilica, Venice, and the Lower School Choir joined Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Band for a concert in Colston Hall, Bristol.
The school presents over thirty musical events each year, ranging from informal concerts, at which pupils perform solo and small group items, to termly full-scale concerts. A musical is staged at least once a year with Sweeney Todd, Oliver! Madness – Our House, The Dreaming, Evita, Return to the Forbidden Planet, Les Miserables, and Into the Woods being amongst our productions.
The Chapel Choir comprises some thirty-five of the most experienced singers in the school. The choir has earned a considerable reputation outside the school as a result of its numerous visits to sing services at churches and cathedrals from Truro to London in addition to fulfilling its primary role as a focus for worship within the school at chapel services. The Chapel is equipped with a recently installed three manual Rogers electronic pipe organ, incorporated into the original organ casework.