Clifton College has a strong musical tradition, and the study of music is an integral part of the curriculum.

In addition, there are many bands, orchestras and other ensembles which pupils may join, covering a wide range of styles and instruments.


Pupils are introduced to a wide range of different musical subjects, including samba drumming, film music, dance music, singing, drama and dance. Those pupils who are able musicians are also given the opportunity to compose and perform.

GCSE pupils follow the Edexcel syllabus, and are taught listening and appreciation, performing, and composing. Recordings of pupils’ performances are made throughout the year and, at the end of the course, one solo and one ensemble performance are formally assessed.

At A Level, which also follows the Edexcel syllabus, the course is split into three sections: musical understanding, performing and composing. To support this last component, the Music Department stages an annual Composition Concert, in which A Level compositions are performed before a small audience, with work ranging from solo songs and choral pieces, to chamber music, orchestral and film scores – always a rewarding experience.

Why Study at Clifton College?

The academic study of music is enhanced by many co-curricular groups, which offer a complete range of musical styles, from the more traditional Chapel Choir and Orchestra, to Soul Band, Swing Band and other popular types of music. Further support is provided through the free classes in music theory, Grades 1–5. Tuition in Grade 8 Theory is also given, especially for those for whom music at university or conservatoire is a serious consideration: this option has increased in demand significantly in recent years!

All practical examination candidates are eligible for free aural lessons, Grades 1–8 (Trinity and Associated Board). Extended support is given for diploma candidates, including paperwork and aural training for the RCO organ qualifications (CertRCO to FRCO) which support the College’s Willcocks Organ Scholarship.Willcocks Organ ScholarshipVisiting Music Teacher biographies

 Music calendar

Participation in music is extremely high and there are many performance opportunities, ranging from the annual musical and large-scale concerts to informal performance platforms. Events such as the Choral Congers Concert and House Singing competition involve the entire school.

The specification of the four-manual Harrison and Harrison chapel organ can be found here. The Chapel is also home to the College’s Model C Steinway, used for our largest concerts, including the annual Summer Serenade Concerto Concert.