Music has been a key element of education at Dulwich since the foundation of the College in the early 17th Century. All three Foundation Schools (Dulwich College, JAGS, Alleyn’s) provide exceptional opportunities for hundreds of pupils to make music, both within the individual schools and increasingly together.
At Dulwich College, for example, some 60 performances take place during the academic year, including concerts at leading London venues such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall and St John’s Smith Square. The Music Department even organises regular tours: the Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Symphonic Wind and Big Band all recently spent two weeks in Salzburg, and the Chapel Choir has been invited to lead services in such prestigious locations as St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.
At JAGS, a proud history of musicianship (Gustav Holst was a teacher here for 18 years) extends nowadays beyond the school into the wider world: the James Allen Community Orchestra and the South London Youth Orchestra are already based here, and JAGS has ambitious plans to create a local centre for musical excellence with its proposed James Allen Community Music Centre.
The latest venture for the Foundation Schools is the Wednesday Lunchtime Concert Series “From Blues to Bach,” promoted by Dulwich Picture Gallery and performed in Christ’s Chapel, which allows boys and girls from the three schools to perform their music to an audience from the wider Dulwich community. The pupils value the opportunity such concerts provide: Eleanor Makower, who sang in the first concert of the series with the Alleynian Blues ensemble, enthuses “I love to sing, and Alleyian Blues is the perfect opportunity for me as the experience is more lively and intimate than a normal choir; we are a small group, so we all know each other which makes for fun rehearsals, and the music we sing is always exciting and often very challenging!”
Many pupils go on to study music at leading universities and conservatoires; in 2010, Douglas Tang from Dulwich College, won the Organ Scholarship to Hereford Cathedral and to King’s College, Cambridge, where he went to read Music in September 2012
The Wednesday concerts offer a diversity of styles and ensemble types which will have broad appeal, with music for strings, brass, woodwind and choral groups all represented. Each concert lasts around 30 minutes and you are warmly invited to attend whilst on a visit to Dulwich Picture Gallery or simply to come and enjoy the high quality music from the Foundation Schools’ pupils.
The concert series starts on Wed 3 October and there will be a concert each Wednesday after that at 1.30pm until 2pm. The series ends with a final concert on 5 Dec 2012.
There is no charge and the concerts take place in Christ’s Chapel with entrance from Duwich Picture Gallery.
A lunchtime treat, enjoy an oasis of calm – and absolutely free. No booking necessary.