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Haileybury’s Music department is at the centre of the school’s life, providing an unparalleled education that celebrates and promotes the fullest diversity of musical expression.

From chapel choir to symphony orchestra, chamber music ensembles to pop, rock and jazz groups, this is a place of unique opportunity where all talent finds both a home and a stage.

At Haileybury, we believe that music should be a whole-school endeavour; indeed, it forms the pivotal expression of our cultural life. Our programme provides a holistic vision of music-making where pupils are both nurtured and inspired to be the best of themselves.

No one musician is the same as another, so the deepening of creativity, musical awareness and technical prowess is never taken to be separate from an individual’s simple love of, and engagement with, what they do.

Musicians at Haileybury are far from passive: they talk convincingly about the music they make, they understand the significance of the discipline in the widest cultural and world contexts, and they are ambassadors for music as the very structure that binds society together.

Challenge, with the appropriate support, is a key aspect in building confident musicians. Our approach provides every pupil musician with varied performance opportunities throughout their time at Haileybury – whether as a soloist or as part of an extraordinarily wide range of ensembles.

Our concerts are always well-attended, ensuring every pupil has the opportunity to learn as part of a motivated and inspired team.

The flourishing musical activities at the College include the Chapel Choir; Chamber Choir; Choral Society; Lower School Choir; Symphony Orchestra; Chamber Orchestra; Volinisiti; Wind Orchestra; Jazz Band; Wind Sinfonia; Lower School training orchestras and sinfonias; Lower School rock and jazz ensembles; and multiple chamber groups.

In addition to these, Haileybury also offers individual instrumental/singing tuition; concert and opera trips; biennial music tours (recent destinations have included Salzburg, Munich and Paris) and biennial musicals co-produced with the Drama Department (recent productions have included Oliver and Fiddler on the Roof).

The recently extended music school with its intimate performance spaces, individual practice and teaching rooms, recording facilities, technology suite and larger performance spaces provide a truly exceptional music facility at Haileybury.

Heads of Department

Andrew O’Brien is the Director of Music and joined Haileybury in September 2016. He is Director of Music Emeritus, Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Square and was previously Director of Music at Heath Mount School, where he helped the choir to win the BBC Junior School Choir of the Year in 2012. Andrew has performed throughout the UK, Europe and USA. He has also worked extensively as a singing teacher and one of his pupils went on to win BBC Young Chorister of the Year 2013.

James Deveson is Head of the Academic Music Department, and has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Music and Musicology from the University of Edinburgh. He came to Haileybury from The Leys in Cambridge where he taught for 12 years, was Director of Music, and oversaw the building of a new £1.6m award-winning Music School. As a performing musician he plays the organ, piano, clarinet, tuba and sings.

Teaching staff

In addition to Andrew and James, the music team at Haileybury also includes:

Kyle Shiels BA; Sue Woodrow Music Assistant.

In 2016, we welcomed Thomas Hewitt Jones as our Associate Composer. Thomas is an award winning composer of contemporary classical and commercial music. He is the winner of the BBC Young Composer Competition 2003. His music has been published by Boosey & Hawkes, Oxford University Press, Banks Music, the RSCM, Encore Publications and Universal Music. He is frequently heard on radio, TV and the cinema in the UK and abroad. Over this year Thomas will be involved in composing music for two school events. He will also be involved in leading class composition projects.