The Music Department seeks to provide education and enjoyment through music, to all year groups in the school through class teaching, individual music lessons on instruments and voice, co-curricular activities, the Concert Series, Productions and Choir Tours.
Teaching takes place in a purpose-built Music Centre which includes two large classrooms/rehearsal rooms, 33 electronic keyboards, 31 music computers, Sibelius Software, interactive whiteboards, six practice rooms, instrument store and recording studio.
The AQA Advanced level examination in Music is offered to students in Years 12 and 13. There are usually between 2 and 6 students who choose to take A Level Music each year and this small group size means that we have achieved a pass rate of 100% for the last 25 years! Currently pupils take the AQA exam board and staff are presently deciding on which boards will be best for GCSE and A Level music in coming years
About a third of the pupils in the school take individual music lessons in school with many others having private lessons outside school. Standards range from Beginners to Grade 8 and Diploma successes. Many pupils also take the examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music during termly visits to school.
Co-curricular musical activities include Senior Choir, Junior Choir, Chamber Choirs, Senior Orchestra, Junior Orchestra, String Orchestra, Brass Band and Swing Band plus Aural and Music Theory classes. Groups normally meet for half an hour at lunch time with extra rehearsals before particular performances.
School music groups also contribute to our annual Concert Series, usually performing a prelude to concerts by visiting artists. Pupils of different standards have the opportunity to perform in our annual Soloists Recital with every Wilmar Lodge group contributing to the School Concert at the end of the Spring Term. The Saturday following the May Day Bank Holiday always sees our Summer Concert. This concert features performances from the school orchestra and choral works by the Westholme Choral Society, which includes parents and friends of Westholme.
The Music Department contributes fully to school productions which have included Beauty & the Beast, Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera, Annie, Carmen, Les Misérables, Oliver, The Magic Flute, West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph. For each of the past twelve years, between 45 and 110 members of school choirs have undertaken a performing tour during the summer holidays, singing in such places as Salzburg, New York, Copenhagen, Monte Carlo and Florence. Televised reports on two previous Choir Tour Concerts can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0eEjroe5tU and http://tvslo.si/predvajaj/poletna-scena/ava2.142707318 the latter starts 19 minutes into the programme.