Hebron has run a very successful music programme for many years. Class music lessons are taught from Reception through to Standard 8 and also IGCSE and ‘A’ level.
Every year students are entered for the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM) grade exams and an examiner from the U.K. visits to carry out these tests. Results over the years have been outstanding. In November 2014, 118 students entered, 36 received distinctions and 31 received merits. Then in 2015, out of 121 entrants, 21 received distinctions and 43 merits. An increasingly larger number of students are now entering every year at the higher grades, from grades 6 to 8, and every year we often have one or two students entering for their diploma in music performance.
Theory grade exams are also taken and once again results are outstanding. Musicians gaining a grade 8 (the highest award) in an instrument or in voice receive the equivalent of an AS level in UCAS points and this can be looked on very favourably by U.K. universities especially.
As an extra-curricular activity, music takes place informally (perhaps with students forming their own groups or bands) but also formally. Hebron has a Senior Concert Band, a Junior Concert Band, a Jazz Band, Brass ensembles, three string orchestras, string quartets and two choirs. Music is often a major part of our Drama Festival, Parents’ Week and, of course, the Carol Service and all other school services. Recent choir performances for example include excerpts from Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria and The Witness by Carol and Jimmy Owens.
From time to time public music performances are given or hosted. In 2016 the school hosted concerts by the Shalom Choir from Korea and Christ University Choir from Bangalore. Every year the Bangalore Conservatory of Music put on a concert for us, as well as working with our department to improve and develop skills for both us and the Conservatory. In 2014 our Chamber Choir performed at the international Annual Choir festival, Magnificat, in Bangalore. Every year the Jazz Band perform at the Ooty Flower Show. We have also produced a number of fantastic whole-school musicals. In 2014, this was The Sound of Music.
Tuition is given in most western musical instruments and in voice. The school tries to accommodate all students who wish to learn an instrument but inevitably, as demand is high, there is a wait list. There is a separate, but very reasonable, music fee for all tuition. The school is able to loan some musical instruments (and has 14 pianos and several practice rooms across both campuses) but we would encourage serious musicians to bring their own, insured, instruments whenever possible. Music plays a huge, vital role in the daily life at Hebron School, and the Music Department is a thriving, busy department with exciting things happening all the time. It’s a great place to be!