Davenant has remarkable support for the Performing Arts programme. Over 50% of students play a musical instrument, 350 receiving an instrumental lesson at school. The Music Department is open from 8.00am to 9.00pm each day and tuition takes place in Brass, Woodwind, Strings, Piano, Percussion, Singing, Guitar and Keyboard. There are 18 visiting teachers and three members of the Music Department.
Several concerts take place throughout the year including the Christmas and Summer Concerts, each normally having two contrasting programmes over four evenings, Chamber Concerts, Piano Concerts, etc.
There are five main bands, including the School “Concert” Band, “Swing” Band and “Big” Band. String players perform in the School Orchestra and String Orchestra, Choral music is also strong at Davenant – nine choirs (including the School Choir, Junior Choirs and Community Choir) rehearse on a weekly basis throughout the year.
Music is studied at GCSE and Advanced Level and many pupils go on to study music at University and Music Colleges. The School is also a centre for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Examinations; over 100 pupils take these practical examinations each year.
A music tour of Europe takes place every three years. 150 musicians usually take part. Previous tours have been to the Black Forest area of Germany, the Italian Lakes, Barcelona, Tuscany and the Czech Republic. In July 2007, a party of almost 200 returned to the Italian Lakes, and in July 2010 a further 180 students will make their way to Assisi for a series of concerts.
The Music Department is a part of the Performing Arts Faculty. Drama and Dance productions also occur each year. An Upper School Musical is held every three years and attracts large audiences over several performances. The most recent was held in December 2010.
Music staff at the School are very involved in training music graduates to become teachers. They also mentor and advise music teachers working in schools within Essex and Inner London. Davenant gained the Artsmark Gold Award in 2004.
Head of Performing Arts