At Key Stage 3, students are encouraged to explore a wide range of musical genres, ranging from the symphony orchestra to traditional Indonesian music, experimental and club dance styles. In Year 7, all boys and girls sing in a choir as part of their curriculum and perform as a group at school events and concerts.

Students choosing to study Music at GCSE follow the Edexcel syllabus. There is the opportunity to perform on their chosen instrument, create compositions in a style of their choosing and study music from Handel through to Moby.

Students follow the OCR specification for A Level. The particular benefit of this course is that it provides a visiting examiner for the recitals which form 40% of the qualification. This, unlike any other specification, gives students the opportunity to perform live to an examiner rather than relying on a recording. Students will develop their harmonic skills during the course, presenting a portfolio of exercises, and will go on to compose an extended piece in the style of their choosing. The listening paper enables students to study a range of representative repertoire.


There are performing groups which cater for a wide range of interests, including senior and junior choirs, chamber choirs, a chapel choir, a substantial senior school orchestra, a strings academy, wind bands, guitar, oboe & flute ensembles and chamber groups. Students are also encouraged to form jazz and pop bands, with specialist support and facilities available to them.

New Hall School Choir, directed by Mr Fardell, has performed at St. Peter’s, Rome; St. Mark’s, Venice; Westminster Cathedral, London; as well as on BBC Television. The choir sings a wide range of music from sacred to secular. Members of the choir have the opportunity to tour to major venues in Europe to sing in some of the world’s most historically important churches. In 2013, the choir recorded "A Chapter in the Story", a CD of music associated with New Hall, released as part of the celebrations of 370 years of the school’s foundation.

The Orchestra is the largest music ensemble at New Hall. It performs a mix of classical and popular classical repertoire. The Orchestra performs at major school concerts and events such as Exhibition Day. We welcome orchestral instrumentalists of Grade 5 and above. Students who have not yet attained this standard are invited to join one of the smaller academy groups.

The Chapel Choir prepares a range of sacred music for Sunday Mass during term time and joins with the Senior Choir for school liturgies. Since the arrival of the boys in the Senior School, some of whom have come to us from choir schools, we have been vigorous in maintaining singing activity for changing voices. This has resulted in a vibrant, energetic and accomplished male group known as Voces.

The Chamber Choir is an auditioned, small singing group for girls. The repertoire is hugely varied and has included music from Langlais to The Beatles. The Chamber Choir performs regularly inside and outside of school and has won many awards in music competitions.

Academic Achievements

In 2015, 100% of students achieved A*-B grades at GCSE and 100% of students achieved A*-B grades at A Level.

Musicians in Association working with our students

Tim Carey, who lives in Chelmsford, enjoys a career full of variety as a solo performer, chamber-music player, orchestral keyboard player and teacher. He has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia and the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Jeffery Wilson is perhaps best known as a composer. He studied at the Royal College of Music and spent 11 years on the music faculty at Cambridge University. He performs regularly with his own jazz band and continues to teach at Junior Guildhall, the Royal Military School and Trinity College, London.

Head of Department

Mr A Fardell BA(Kent) LRAM