Dear Parents

I have really enjoyed my first few weeks at St James and have now settled in. Thank you for your warm welcome and a special thanks to the parents who have joined the choir on Thursday mornings; it is lovely to have you.

We are excited to be introducing ensembles and these will be rolled out over the following term.

The first ensemble that will be introduced straight after half term will be our ‘everyone-welcome, unauditioned’ choir for Year 3-6. This will happen after school on a Tuesday, from 3.45pm-4.30pm in the Prep Music room.

Sign Up Here

We will be looking to launch a ‘rock band’ for pupils in Years 5-6 who play rock band instruments, and an auditioned Year 5-6 chamber choir. These will take place during the school day.

There will also be our ‘Classical Instruments’ ensemble for Year 5-6 and will be for those who play Strings, Woodwinds and Brass. We hope for this to build into our school orchestra. . It will be led by the Senior Girls’ School Director of Music, Ms. Chorley. This will be happening on Friday afternoons. All pupils in Year 5-6 who play an orchestral instrument will need to bring them in on Fridays so they can take part. Those in Year 5 who do not play a classical instrument will then be learning to play hand chimes and building an ensemble to perform with them.

To give information about what your child plays and which of these three ensembles they might be interested in, there is a sign-up sheet below.

Sign-up Sheet

We will be looking to build further ensembles as the year progresses, particularly in partnership with our terrific peripatetic staff.

One of the things I have been most impressed with is the teaching skills of our peripatetic staff. I think we have the skills to teach almost anything but harp and pipe organ—those primarily because we do not have the instruments at the school! We are particularly looking for students who might be interested in learning flute, clarinet and trumpet/trombone, and we will be booking some free 10-minute taster lessons for them after half term.

We have a small number of instruments that we can lend at no cost (except for paying for any required maintenance such as valve oil/new pads when needed) if that would make the commitment easier.

Please email Mrs. Clark in the office on if you would like your child to learn an instrument.

Many thanks,

Mr. Fairhead

Prep School Director of Music