Pages In This Section

Music is an integral part of life at Eastbourne College. A high proportion of pupils study an instrument and there are numerous opportunities for all to get involved in a wide range of activities including Chapel Choir, Symphony Orchestra, vocal ensembles and the Swing Band.

The College music department is accommodated in the Birley Centre, a purpose-built music facility which opened in September 2011. The building contains an auditorium with Steinway concert grand piano, a foyer and exhibition area, fully equipped recording studios, a rock room, and two music technology suites with Apple Mac computers, as well as specialised teaching, rehearsal and practice rooms.

The College’s Promusic series of professional concerts provides pupils and members of the local community with the opportunity to experience world-renowned artists in a more intimate and informal atmosphere than is usually found in the concert hall. Performers are encouraged to talk about their repertoire, and concerts are often linked to master classes and workshops. Further details of the current schedule may be found in the Arts Programme.

Live Lounge

The Live Lounge concert was a fantastic success again this year. Members of the weekly songwriting workshop Tilly Crane, Mimi Helyar, Liv Jayaraj, Adam Howard, Charlie Milner, Elo Quitmann and Max Walker had the chance to front a staff band playing original songs and classic covers. Music on the evening ranged from Arctic Monkeys and Sampha to Fleetwood Mac and Simon & Garfunkel. If you haven’t been to one of these concerts before, they are not to be missed. Very special indeed.







The College Choir took to the road and headed up to London to sing Evensong at St Bride’s Church on Fleet Street, in the heart of the City.

This was part of a series of Celebration 150 events and was a change from singing at Chichester Cathedral which has been a well-established tradition over many years. 

                                                                                                                                            The music was as follows:

Introit: God be in My Head – John Rutter
Radcliffe Responses
Psalm 61 – to a chant by Dan Jordan
Canticles: Stanford in C
Anthem: Jubilate – Peter Melville Smith
Hymn: Christ the Dawn of our Salvation

The anthem was written while Peter Melville Smith (1943-2016) taught at the College before moving to Eton as Head of Piano. It was being sung by the College Choir for the first time, only having been performed once at Eton after he died. The Hymn, with a text by Paul Wigmore and tune by John Barnard, was commissioned by the College to celebrate the Millennium. It will also be sung at this year’s Advent Carol service on the 3rd December in St Saviour’s.

The OE society kindly hosted drinks in the Church after the service for the congregation and it was lovely to see a mix of Choir parents and supporters of the College socialising together. 


The music department welcomed 67 pupils from Ashdown House, Homewood House, Saint Ronan's, Skippers Hill, St Andrew's and Vinehall for the College's annual Sing Day.

After a morning of warm-ups, physical and vocal, and some note-bashing, pupils enjoyed a good lunch which was possibly a highlight for many of them! Afternoon activities then included CCF tasks, a ukulele orchestra, zumba in the Jennifer Wynn Auditorium, work in the art department and MFL. Our visitors were joined by the Chapel Choir in the afternoon to rehearse for the grand finale, a performance of Shadowlands from the Lion King, complete with djembes.

Everyone, audience included, joined in the singing of a three part round – Dona Nobis Pacem, before the children sang arrangements of Danny Boy (arr L’Estrange), Hallelujah (Cohen) and a particularly challenging piece from the film, Les Choristes, Vois Sur ton Chemin. The performance of Shadowlands was a fantastic and powerful end to the concert and certainly left the children and audience humming away as they left the building. The pupils worked extremely hard, learnt some challenging repertoire in a number of different languages and sang magnificently. The College would like to thank the schools for nobly getting stuck in and showing how important music can be in creating a fun, sociable, cohesive and community based experience. The College looks forward to seeing more visiting pupils at String and Jazz Days later this academic year. 

Live Lounge

The Year 9 Band made their College debut at the Live Lounge event in the Birley Centre on Tuesday 15 November. This young band included Edward Gent, Spike Gleave, Ethan Hackett, Louise Mariani-McIntyre, Poppy Moore and Scott Williams.

The following pupils sang and performed as solo artists: Lawrence Adamson, Lilly Bannon, Tilly Crane, Mimi Helyar, Adam Howard, Thivya Kularajan, Charlie Milner, Tom Sangster and Max Walker. Some of these performers were accompanied by the Staff Band.

Pupils sang original songs and some brilliant covers backed by a superb band. It was an event not to be missed.

Singer Songwriter

Members of the Eastbourne College Singer Songwriter group recently donated £325 to St Wilfrid’s Hospice from sales of their latest album.

Mimi Helyar, Adam Howard, Thivya Kularajan and Max Walker presented the cheque before performing the songs they had written for the album.

Congratulations to all those who featured on the album. We look forward to the next one.

Jazz Day

Almost sixty pupils from seven prep schools visited the College on Thursday 28 May for the 2016 Jazz Day. The young musicians spent the day rehearsing with College music staff and members of the College Swing Band before staging a concert for parents in the afternoon. Varying in style from swing to ska, the pupils achieved an extraordinary amount during the day to produce an outstanding performance for the audience, who also enjoyed performances from the College’s peripatetic teachers and vocal group “The Decibelles”. During the lunch-time break the visiting pupils took part in a range of activity sessions including DT, drama, orienteering and paintball. It was a tremendously positive and successful day for all involved.

Evensong at Arundel Cathedral

The start of summer saw the Chapel Choir make the trip over to Arundel Cathedral to sing Evensong. Breaking new ground by singing an Anglican service in a Catholic Cathedral, the College was grateful for the Cathedral for being so flexible. Father Ben Eadon, Vicar of St Symphorian’s, Worthing, led the service and the choir, singing up in the organ gallery, certainly rose to the occasion and made the most of  the wonderful accoustics. The service was attended by the Headmaster and his wife and a number of parents and appreciative followers. Their support was greatly appreciated. The music was as follows – Responses - Ayleward (edited Alex Eadon), Psalm 85, Walmisley in D minor and ‘Go Down, Moses’ arranged by Michael Tippett. The lessons were read by Megan Good and David Meijer.

Young Musician of the Year

The Birley Centre was the venue for the final of the Young Musician of the Year competition. Over 60 pupils had entered the preliminary rounds and 13 pupils reached the final. The College was delighted to welcome Elizabeth Stratford, Director of Music at Arundel Cathedral, to adjudicate for the evening. Following a very successful Prep Schools' String Day earlier in the week, it was a fantastic evening of the very highest quality musical performances. The standard was superb and it was obvious to all present that the pupils had invested an enormous amount of time and effort in their preparation for the competition. The winners were as follows:

Junior Category – Harry Hodierne (Year 10)

Intermediate Category – Thomas Goodenough (Year 9)

Senior Category – Dasha Konovavlova (Year 11)

The overall prize was awarded to Thomas Goodenough who impressed the judge with his commitment, passion and confident playing. Congratulations to all finalists and especially to the three category winners.


SING 2015 took place on November 17th and featured 80 Prep School Pupils from Vinehall, Skippers Hill, Marlborough House, Dulwich College Prep, St Andrew’s, Great Walstead, Holmewood House and Charters Ancaster.

The children worked tirelessly throughout the morning on a selection of songs ready for an afternoon performance at 5pm. After a well-earned lunch they were given the opportunity to tackle various activities led by members of the Dance, Drama, DT, Art, Maths, Geography and Music departments. More rehearsals then followed as zero hour drew ever closer. At 4.30pm after tea and cake, the doors opened and parents and supporters flooded in to pack the auditorium.

The concert opened with the children singing in three parts with some djembe and piano accompaniment, performing Adiemus by Karl Jenkins, taken from his Songs of Sanctuary. They then followed up with a touching little anthem suitable for chapel services by John Dankworth called Light of the World. A significantly more challenging piece in two parts by Bob Chilcott, The Lily and the Rose, told the story of Mary’s sorrow at the death of her son. Two rather more joyful and upbeat numbers concluded the programme. Rather impressively the children managed to perform Sansa Kroma taken from Zimbe by Alexander Le Strange, from memory! Handclapping and more djembe and piano accompaniment added to the African flavour. The College Choir and a small band then joined in to perform Coldplay’s Fix You in the final number, which proved a rousing and powerful end to the concert.

Thanks to all the children who sang so brilliantly, to the staff who gave up their time and to all who came and supported. We look forward to seeing you again next year!

Eastbourne Music & Arts Festival Winners

Eastbourne College and St Andrew’s Prep singers ran away with the silverware in the 2015 Eastbourne Music and Arts Festival, an event affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals. From a total of 118 entries in the singing section, 21 were Eastbourne College and St Andrew’s Prep pupils of Mrs Goss-Turner, peripatetic singing tutor. This group of young singers gained one honours award and 20 Distinctions - a tremendous achievement. Eastbourne College’s pianists, piano teachers and accompanists - Jackie Lakin, Richard Lakin and Jane Mansergh - expertly accompanied all College and St Andrew's entries.

Of particular note were the achievements of Eastbourne College pupils Sian Sulke (Year 9) who received a very rare Honours award for her performance of “Can’t help lovin’ dat man” in the Musical Theatre 13-14 Class and Bethany Stephens (Year 13) who was awarded the Premier Eastbourne Music Club Challenge Trophy and prize. Students from Eastbourne College who achieved distinctions, medals, plates, cups and shields were Lia Dunn (Year 11), Molly Goss-Turner (Year 13)and Cerys Herbert Stott (Year 9). From St Andrews Prep there were awards for Year 8 pupils Sophie Nicholles  and Ashraf Owasil.

Pages In This Section