The School encourages all pupils to participate in music-making and aims to foster musical ability at the highest levels. A solid grounding in the traditions of Western classical music, together with experience of modern, popular and World Music styles, offers pupils a well-rounded musical education.
The Music Department comprises eight practice rooms, two music classrooms, a large concert space, an Apple Mac computer suite and Recording Studio. With computer work stations featuring Sibelius, GarageBand and Logic software, the School of Music is able to offer every pupil essential training and experience in the technology associated with music.
Explore this page
Please click on this link for the current Music Calendar for the Senior School
There are numerous ensembles at School, including: IPS Singers, IPS Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Band, Big Band and various Rock Groups and Chamber Ensembles.
Several hundred pupils take instrumental lessons on a large selection of instruments, including: Violin, viola, cello, double-bass, flute, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, oboe, recorder, trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium, guitar, bass guitar, piano, jazz piano, percussion and voice.
Ensemble players have regular opportunities to perform, such as at termly concerts, Performers Platforms, School competitions, Assemblies and PTA events, including the popular Jazz Café and May Fair. Please click on this link for a full list of current ensembles and meeting times please click here.
Music Technology is an extensive part of the School of Music’s Co-curricular programme. Composing Club offers pupils the opportunity to develop their skills, whether for film, television, popular or classical music and, in essence, the School aims to provide teaching and resources for any technological project or idea.
The IPS Singers have made successful tours to Belgium (2017), Venice (2016), Washington DC (2015), Paris (2014), New York (2013), Reims (2012), Rome (2011) (where they sang in St Peter’s Basilica, see below), and Barcelona (2010). They also regularly sing services at Southwark Cathedral, Winchester Cathedral, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.
The Big Band has an annual gig at the Bull’s Head in Barnes, one of the country’s iconic jazz venues.
The IPS Symphony Orchestra makes regular trips to London’s top orchestral venues to hear some of the world’s leading orchestras rehearse and perform.
Classical Musician of the Year
The IPS Classical Musician of the Year competition is a wonderful celebration of the strength and depth of music making which takes place annually in the Spring Term. Entrants compete in one of five categories – Piano, Strings, Woodwind, Brass and Voice – and pupils may enter more than one. A distinguished external music professional is invited to the Theatre for a day’s adjudication, selecting section finalists to present their pieces later in the evening, summarising the pupils’ performances and presenting awards to the eventual winners.
Please click on this link for a variety of recordings in a range of musical genres and styles representing the diversity of music making in the School is available
Please note that recordings are hosted on SoundCloud, a third party site which contains extensive content posted by users across its many pages for which Ibstock Place School is unable to accept responsibility.
Mr Nicholas Cleobury, IPS Musician in Residence
Mr Cleobury is Artistic Director of Mid Wales Opera, Principal Conductor of the John Armitage Memorial, Principal Conductor and Founder Director of Sounds New and Principal Conductor of the Oxford Bach Choir. He is Founder Laureate of the Britten Sinfonia.
A regular broadcaster with the BBC, Classic fM and on European radio, Mr Cleobury’s discography includes highly regarded recordings of Mozart Concertos with the Britten Sinfonia and RPO, an award-winning CD of the music of Richard Strauss for EMI, Bridge, Headington, Maw and English Music with the Britten Sinfonia, and many others including the Chopin Piano Concertos.
Mr Cleobury leads regular workshops with School’s orchestra and choir and also gives lectures to our (I)GCSE and Pre-U Music pupils. The Music Department at Ibstock Place School is delighted to be able to draw on his wealth of experience and expertise.
The Berkeley Ensemble, IPS Ensemble in Residence
Hailed as ‘an instinctive collective’ (The Strad), the Berkeley Ensemble takes its name from two British composers of the last hundred years, father and son Sir Lennox and Michael Berkeley. It was formed in 2008 by members of Southbank Sinfonia, Britain’s young professional orchestra, with the aim of exploring the wealth of little-known twentieth- and twenty-first century British chamber music alongside more established repertoire. It now enjoys a busy concert schedule performing throughout the UK and abroad, and is also much in demand for its inspiring work in education.
We are delighted that the Berkeley Ensemble’s association with Ibstock Place School includes:
- (I)GCSE and Pre-U composition workshops and recordings
- Side-by-side rehearsals and performances in an orchestral and chamber music setting
- Chamber music and performance coaching
- Listening workshops
- Instrumental master classes
- Study sessions on key aspects of the (I)GCSE/Pre-U specifications
- Opportunity for pupils to perform solos with the ensemble
Visiting Director of Choral Music
Ralph Allwood MBE was for 26 years Director of Music at Eton College and is now a freelance choral director. He is the Director of the Eton Choral Courses, which he founded in 1980. Seven thousand 16 to 20 year olds have been students on courses over the last thirty-five years. He co-founded the Junior Choral Courses in 2012, and has organised courses in Shanghai, Melbourne and Greenwich, Connecticut. The Rodolfus choir, made up of the best singers from the courses, has been described as ‘unspeakably beautiful’ by Gramophone. It has produced over 20 CDs. In 2012 Ralph was awarded a Doctorate of Music by Aberdeen University. He was made MBE in the 2012 New Year’s Honours list.
Rock and Pop
Ibstock Place School has a flourishing Rock and Pop scene. There are several bands in the Senior School whose members benefit from a weekly lesson with one of our specialist peripatetic teachers in addition to regular masterclasses from external professionals. Our Rock and Pop concerts are very much highlights of the yearly calendar, with bands and soloists performing to a capacity audience, sometimes accompanied by a phantasmagoria of lights and smoke. Many of the groups have benefitted from recording sessions in our Theatre and these are available on the School’s SoundCloud account. See: Music Recordings