Music binds the school community together in myriad ways from the daily live assembly performances to the regular concerts and the all-encompassing House Festival.


Music is an important part of life at Camp Hill, boys are encouraged to make the most of their musical talents.


Simon Palmer              Head of Department

Lorne Pearcey             Music Teacher

They are supported by a team of seventeen well qualified and experienced specialist instrumental teachers.

Excellent facilities for music and an attractive purpose built Music Block houses the following

  • A large very well equipped Music Room
  • Music Studio
  • Large Ensemble Room
  • Four Practice Rooms
  • Secure Instrument Store
  • Music Office
  • A wide variety of instruments in excellent condition
  • New Yamaha keyboards
  • Computers running Sibelius and other music programs

Music is taught at every level

Key Stage 3

  • In Year 7 boys have three one hour lessons over two weeks
  • In Years 8 & 9 boys have a one hour lesson each week.

There is a strong emphasis on practical work, with much use of instruments and the voice.  Topics studied include:

Year 7

The Dimensions of music, Instruments of the Orchestra, Programme Music, A Good Tune, Staff Notation and Gamelan (music of Indonesia)

Year 8

The Blues, Variations, Dance Music from around the world and Film Music

Year 9

Rock’n’roll, Music and Media, The Concerto, Musicals and Pop Ballads.


Music is a popular option, and we use the OCR specification.  Pupils are required to perform two pieces and compose two pieces, as well as write about their work.  They complete a Listening Test under examination conditions.

2009 10 5 5 1
2010 10 7 5
2011 8 5 4 3 1
2012 9 7 3 1
2013 3 10 6 3
2014 5 9 6 5
2015 8 9 4 4
2016 1 6 3 1
2017 5 8 4  

A level

Music is taught jointly with Camp Hill Girls’ School.  Boys and girls study for the OCR examinations, which include Performance, Composition and a Listening/History paper.  Results are very good.


AS   A B C D   A2   A* A B C D
2009 8 1 0 1 5 1 1 1
2010 6 0 1 3 5 1
2011 4 6 1 1 2 1
2012 9 1 3 1 2
2013 2 1 2 2 2
2014 3 1 1 1 1 1
2015 2 1 1 1 1 1
2016 5 1 1 1
2017 2 1 2 2 1



We are proud of our talented musicians, many of whom go on to achieve further success after they have left us.

Most years we have talented pupils that go on to study music at Conservatoire or University:


Ross Garrod         Royal Northern College of Music (Percussion)

Daniel Jackman     Durham University


Joe Snape             Cambridge University


Jamie Phillips         Scholarship Royal Northern College of Music/ Manchester University (Trumpet)


David Todd          Organ Scholarship, University College, Oxford

Joss Brookes                  Royal Northern College of Music (Cello)


Rupert Cole          Bristol University

Robert Smith         Organ Scholarship, Somerville College, Oxford


David Warren       Sheffield University

Jacob Werrin                  Choral Scholarship, St David’s Cathedral, Wales


Ben Palmer           Leeds University

Oliver Palmer        Choral Scholarship, St John’s College, Oxford


Edward Lawrence  Choral Scholarship,  St Mary’s Church, Nottingham


Richard English     St Anne’s College, Oxford


Harry Atkinson      Royal Academy of Music, London

Ludo De Ventura   Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester

Thomas Keast       Royal Holloway College, London University

We are proud of our talented musicians, many of whom go on to achieve further success after they have left us.

Of special note is Jamie Phillips who was appointed Assistant Conductor of the famous Hallé Orchestra in Manchester in 2012 at the age of just 23.  Jamie studied music A level at King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys in King’s Heath, and was a leading member of all music ensembles.  His conducting debut was with the school Concert Orchestra in Birmingham Town Hall in December 2008, and he went on to form a chamber orchestra drawn from players in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

Instrumental Music Tuition

Instrumental lessons are available in school, and parents pay £90 per term.  Boys who take GCSE or A level or who are Pupil Premium receive free lessons.  Our team of well-qualified and experienced instrumental teachers give one lesson each week during school time on a rota basis.  Lessons are usually individual and last either 20 or 30 minutes.  We have some school instruments which are available to loan to pupils.  Boys may buy a new instrument through the school and not have to pay VAT using the Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme.  The following instruments are offered.


Flute                                              Mr S Hay

Oboe                                              Mrs A Hagyard

Clarinet                                         Mrs S Wall

Saxophone                                    Mr J Meadows

Saxophone                                    Mr E Drew

Bassoon                                         Mr P Brookes

French Horn/Tenor Horn         Mrs C Butler

Trumpet/Cornet                            Mrs C Butler

Trombone/Euphonium/Tuba       Mr C Hickman

Percussion                                     Miss L Pearcey

Tabla                                               Mr H Matharu

Guitars                                          Mr A Rose

Guitars                                          Miss D Palmer

Bass Guitar                                    Mr J Griffiths

Violin & Viola                               Miss E Goble

Cello                                              Ms E Newton

Double Bass                                  New appointment

Voice                                              Miss L Markgren


Piano and keyboard lessons are not available in school, but we have many excellent pianists in the school who take lessons privately, at home.


Many boys take ‘grade’ examinations of the Associated Board or Trinity, and excellent results are obtained.  Over 100 boys took ‘grade’ music exams in school last academic year, and many obtained a ‘merit’ or ‘distinction’.


Of special note is the achievement of Harry Atkinson.  In his grade 8 Double Bass he not only achieved a Distinction, but gained 146 out of a possible 150 marks.  He then went on to gain a ‘distinction’ in his Diploma.

A wide variety of Enrichment Activities

We work closely with Camp Hill Girls’ School next door, and most of the Orchestras, Bands and Ensembles are organised jointly with them.  The main Orchestras and Bands are directed by the Heads of Music and Training Groups are conducted by Instrumental Teachers.  Our Instrumental Teachers are expert in directing a wide variety of smaller ensembles.


Three orchestras and three bands rehearse each week, as well as many choirs and other chamber ensembles.  The repertoire performed ranges from music by great composers to arrangements of popular tunes.  These are some of the groups meeting this academic year:



Ensemble Standard Entry
Orchestras Concert Orchestra Grade 6 + Open to all
Intermediate Orchestra Grades 4 – 6 Open to all
String Orchestra Grades 1 – 3 Open to all
Bands Concert Band Grade 6 + Open to all
Wind Band Grades 4 – 6 Open to all
Training Wind Band Grades 1 – 3 Open to all
Ensembles Swing Band Invitation
Junior Jazz Group Invitation
Clarinet Ensemble Invitation
Flute Choir Invitation
Percussion Ensemble Invitation
Cello/Bass Ensemble Invitation
Horn Ensemble Invitation
Saxophone Ensemble Invitation
Tabla Ensemble Invitation
Guitar Ensembles Invitation
Double Reed Ensemble Invitation
Brass Ensemble Invitation
Chamber Music String Quartets Invitation
Choirs School Choir Audition
Barbershop Group Invitation
Aural Training


Camp Hill Ensembles


Monday 8.30 – 9.15 Brass Ensemble CHB Music Rm Mrs Butler
  8.45 – 9.15 Cello Ensemble CHG Music Rm Ms Newton
  1.00 – 1.30 Theory Lessons CHB Music Rm Ms Pearcey
  12.35 –  1.15 Guitar Ensemble CHB PR 2 Mr Rose
  3.45 – 4.30 Concert Orchestra CHB Hall SFP
  3.45 – 4.30 Intermediate Orchestra CHG Hall PH
  4.30 – 5.45 Flute Choir CHG Music Rm Mr Hay
Tuesday 8.45 – 9.15 Clarinet Ensemble CHB Music Rm Mrs Wall
  1.00 – 1.30 Concert Band CHG Hall PH
  1.00 – 1.30 Wind Band CHB Hall SFP
  1.00 – 1.30 Training String Orch. CHG Music Rm Mr Jones
Wednesday 8.30 – 9.00 Junior Jazz Ensemble CHB Ensemble Mr Drew
  8.30 – 9.00 String Quartet CHB PR2 Miss Goble
  1.00 – 1.30 Music Technology CHB Music Rm SFP
  1.00 – 1.30 Percussion Ensemble CHB Ensemble Ms Pearcey
  1.00 – 1.30 Guitar Ensemble CHB Music Rm Miss Palmer
Thursday 8.30 – 9.15 School Choir CHB Music Rm SFP
  8.45 – 9.15 Saxophone Ensemble CHG Music Bl. Mr Meadows
  10.15 – 10.35 Double Reed Ensemble CHB Music Rm Mrs Hagyard
  1.00 – 1.30 Training Wind Band CHG Hall Mrs Butler
Friday 8.45 – 9.15 Aural Training CHB Music Rm SFP
  1.00 – 1.30 Swing Band CHB Music Rm Sixth Form




Enrichment activities outside school

Many boys also take part in music at a high level outside school, and this is encouraged and celebrated.  We have pupils in the following groups:

The National Youth Orchestra

Birmingham Music Service Orchestras, Bands and Choir

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Youth Orchestra

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Choirs

City of Birmingham Choir

Birmingham Cathedral Choir

Solihull Music Service: Orchestras, Bands and Choir

Redditch Music Service: Orchestras & Bands.

Sandwell Music Service: Orchestras & Bands


Camp Hill has a busy concert schedule

Concerts and musical events are held both in and out of school.  Examples of concerts and musical performances that have taken place in recent years are:

  • Christmas Concert in Birmingham Town Hall
  • School Carol Service in All Saint’s Parish Church, King’s Heath
  • Carol Service for local Old Folks’ Party at Hazelwood Hub
  • The whole of Year 7 attend a concert by the CBSO in Symphony Hall
  • Concert Orchestra performs in Birmingham Cathedral
  • Chamber Concert in the School Hall
  • Senior Concert (featuring our Year 13 leavers)
  • Teatime Concert (Junior Ensembles and soloists)
  • Junior Poetry and Music performances for local Junior Schools
  • Musical Oh what a lovely war (4 nights) with Band made up of pupils
  • Summer Soiree (Junior and Intermediate Ensembles)
  • Solo and Chamber performances in assemblies


Camp Hill also has an excellent reputation for the quality of its drama, and every two years presents a musical for an afternoon matinée and four nights.  Recent productions include West Side Story, Grease, Oliver, Oklahoma, Les Miserables, Sweeney Todd, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Me and My Girl, Bugsy Malone, The Hollow Crown and Oh, what a lovely war!


Music Department Highlights 2016-17

Harry Atkinson (Double Bass) and Lucas Houldcroft (Trumpet) again gain places in the National Youth Orchestra.

Harry Atkinson (Year 13) gains a Double Bass Diploma with distinction

Lucas Houldcroft (Year 13) gains a Trumpet Diploma

Qiyuan Chen (Year 9) gains a Piano Diploma

Over 50 boys are members of the Birmingham Music Service Ensembles

Jonty Hart & Ludo De Ventura won the AB Fanfare Composition Prize

ISM Gold Certificate (Excellent Music Department – top 87 nationally)

Good Schools Guide: best performance by boys in music GCSE


If you would like further details of Music at Camp Hill, please contact the Head of Music:


Simon Palmer

Need More information Call Us: 0121 444 3188

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