Bishop Challoner

Catholic Secondary School


Music plays an active part in the life of the school.  All students receive class music lessons and follow a curriculum which emphasises singing, performing, composing and listening.  A large number of students also take instrumental lessons in school.  We have visiting teachers from the Hampshire Music Service who offer lessons in woodwind, strings, piano/keyboard, brass and voice.  These lessons currently cost £70 per term and offer good value for money.  We also offer lessons in drum kit and guitar; this is via private teachers who come into school and the financial arrangements are slightly different. It is a requirement that any student who receives instrumental lessons via the school contributes in some way to an extra-curricular lunchtime activity or concert. Further information about instrumental lessons and costs is available from Mrs Smith, Head of Music. 

There is a variety of lunchtime activities that students can join.  Choir is a popular activity open to all students, regardless of whether they play a musical instrument and takes place every Wednesday. For more experienced singers, Chamber Choir on a Monday lunch is a good choice. We also offer a Junior Woodwind Ensemble and an Advanced Ensemble; these are organised by Mrs Johnson and take place on Wednesday and Thursday lunchtimes respectively.  Additionally there is a small String Orchestra (Fridays) and a Grade 5 Theory Class (Thursday).  Formal performing opportunities include our Carol Service and Spring Chamber Concert and participation in local events such as the Basingstoke Music Festival and concerts at the Anvil.  Many students take part in our end of year production in conjunction with the Drama department; our most recent sold-out shows have included Hairspray and Back to the 80s.  Music also plays an important part in our liturgies and students are encouraged to become involved in either playing or singing. 

Theatre visits to London are also well-established and are very popular with the students.  Recent trips have included Wicked and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis and are offered firstly to students who have participated actively in the life of the Music Department.