One of the great strengths of music in Charterhouse is the quality of teaching. There are six full-time members of staff, all of whom bring a considerable breadth of professional experience to their teaching, providing pupils with a huge variety of musical opportunities at the highest level.
Music Scholarships are generous and competitive and the Director of Music, Mark Shepherd, usually meets prospective Music Scholars and their parents at the outset of their process of choosing a school. (Details of all bursaries and scholarships are available in the Admissions section). Whatever the musical interest of pupils, Charterhouse offers them a stimulating musical environment to help them reach their potential.
To learn more about Music at Charterhouse please view our video below:
Music for Everyone
Music has a long and fine tradition at Charterhouse, and Ralph Vaughan Williams was a pupil in the early days in Godalming. About half the pupils have music lessons, and many participate in other musical activities, like the House Music Festival or the Oratorio Choir.
Pupils regularly perform in ten minute recitals during quarter (the morning break), and there is a host of choirs and ensembles: Chapel Choir, Chamber Choir, Symphony Orchestra, String Orchestra, Jazz Band and Brass Ensemble and Concert Band. Whatever the musical interest of pupils, Charterhouse offers a stimulating environment to help them reach their potential.
During an academic year, our regularly scheduled musical events include:
|Annual Musical Events|
Oration Quarter (Autumn)
House Music Festival
The Band Show
Every year the Jazz band puts on a variety show in the Ben Travers Theatre, featuring music of the Glenn Miller era and comedy sketches.
The Band also plays at functions outside School and its foreign tours include the USA, Disneyworld, Malta, Sicily, Paris, Spain and other destinations.
Chamber Music has always been an important part of the Charterhouse musical scene, and many Carthusians pursue it later on in life, as amateurs or professionals.
Over the last few years many Charterhouse ensembles have taken part in the National Chamber Music Competition for Schools, and a good number have reached the final concert, which is the platform for the winners of the competition. These samples are taken from a CD comprising recordings of some great chamber works, and represents some recent highlights of Carthusian chamber music-making.
The Chamber Orchestra
Candlelit Carols From Charterhouse
The Charterhouse Chamber Choir was one of nine school choirs chosen by Eagle Radio to be heard by an audience of 149,000 listeners across Surrey and Hampshire over the 2015 Christmas period. On Christmas Eve, Eagle Radio played 'Stille nacht' from Charterhouse’s Candlelit Carols. A selection of carols, including 'Stille nacht' are available below:
Candlelit Carols from Charterhouse CD
Candlelit Carols, sung in the cavernous space of Charterhouse Chapel, has become one of the most celebrated events of the School calendar. The ceremony begins with a procession from the West End of the Chapel to which is sung the advent hymn, Come thou Redeemer of the Earth. A dialogue of readings and carols follows, finishing with the easterly procession to the Truth from Above. Many people attend some from a considerable distance, others from Godalming and from the School community itself. It is an occasion for the School to welcome visitors and to be enriched by the experience, whilst all who are there welcome in the spirit of Christmas.
Four movements from Wenlock Edge - Vaughan WilliamsPupils performed in a concert of chamber music at St Martin in the Fields, London in 2014. Some audio excerpts from the performances are below:
Brahms & John Ireland
Five pupils from Charterhouse U14 Violin Quartet were awarded '
The Chamber Orchestra CD
The Chamber Orchestra has released a new CD of popular string music. It was recorded in Chapel over the last two years by a professional recording company. The programme includes Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony, Holst’s St Paul’s Suite, a movement from Dvorák’s Serenade for Strings, Barber’s Adagio, and John Ireland’s Concertino Pastorale.
String Music from Charterhouse
The String Orchestra has been for many years at the centre of a long tradition of string playing at Charterhouse. Concerts include regular appearances at both the School and at St Martin-In-The-Fields in London.
To make an appointment to meet Mark Shepherd, Director of Music, please contact the Music Department:
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 291696
Email: [email protected]