Music is widely recognised as a subject which has the potential for hugely positive impact on learning in all academic areas. In addition to teaching important subject specific skills, and a wide appreciation and understanding of musical styles, we firmly believe that musicians have big brains. Music is taught to all pupils in the shell year group who receive two class music lessons each week, and their curriculum covers listening and the practical activities of composition and performance. All shells will attend a Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra concert during the year, as well as having the opportunity to come to the professional concerts put on at Canford by the Concert Society.
At GCSE and A level, music is one of the optional subjects. Numbers taking the course are healthy, and results excellent: most pupils gain an A or A* grade in these exams. Both courses continue to further the pupils’ knowledge and understanding of music through listening, performing and composing.
There are four full-time and twenty-two part-time staff, some of whom are members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Extra curricular music
Many pupils at Canford who choose not to take Music as an academic subject still want to develop their interest and the Music department welcomes musicians of all abilities who have enthusiasm to learn. Pupils can take part in a whole range of extra curricular musical activities and get as involved as they wish in this lively department. For more information on what is available to musicians throughout the school, please click here
Christopher Sparkhall – Director of Music
Christopher was a music scholar at the King's School, Gloucester, and 6th form organ scholar at Gloucester Cathedral from 1994 to 1995, studying under David Briggs. In 1995 he won the organ scholarship at Worcester College Oxford, where, in addition to reading for an MA in Music, he conducted the highly regarded men and boys' choir for nearly three years. In his final year he also gained the ARCO diploma. Christopher then studied for his PGCE at Cambridge. He was appointed Assistant Director of Music at Canford School in 1999 and subsequently Director of Music in September 2005. In addition to his work at Canford, Christopher is an examiner for the ABRSM and sings with a semi-professional chamber choir, ‘Sarum Voices’. He also co-directs the Avon Valley Youth Choir. At Canford, Christopher conducts the Chapel Choir and the Choral Society, as well as teaching the academic music curriculum at Shell (yr 9), GCSE and A level. He teaches both piano and organ and accompanies many pupils for their exams and concerts. Christopher has also been both director and musical director for musical shows in the theatre. As Head of Department, Christopher is responsible for the 400 individual lessons each week in the department.
James Aiken - Assistant Director of Music (Instrumental)
James’ first experience of Canford was as a Music Scholar, with the French Horn as his principal instrument. During his time at Canford he achieved Grade 8 on both this instrument and Organ, the latter with distinction. In 2006, James was awarded the Organ Scholarship to Oriel College, Oxford. Whilst reading for a BA in music, as Organ Scholar, he was responsible for running, accompanying and directing the Chapel Choir for the twice-weekly services held in the college chapel. He also acted as assistant organist at Exeter College, during his second year. Upon graduating in 2010, James worked for Fowey Parish Church as their Ministry Trainee where he spent much of his time working with the Children and Youth Programme as well as volunteering at Fowey Community College as a part-time Teaching Assistant for Music. At Canford James conducts the symphonic wind orchestra, concert band, and teaches Piano and the Shell, GCSE and A-Level curriculum. As Assistant Director of Music, he has responsibility for the instrumental music in the school, particularly the wind and brass music.
Fiona McKinley - Head of Strings
Fiona McKinley gained her B.Mus and BA (in Psychology) from the Queensland and Western Australian universities. Formerly a 1st violinist in the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, she joined Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra from 1999 to 2003, at which point she joined the staff at Canford School as Head of Strings. She now uses her performing skills as a recitalist, soloist with Stromenti, and freelance orchestral player. She is also a tutor with the National Children's Orchestra. At Canford, Fiona is responsible for bowed string playing within the School, and runs most of the string ensembles and string-based chamber music. She teaches violin and viola, and beginner cello and bass. Out of the music department, Fiona coaches cross country, athletics, and is a member of Groundforce, the Canford environmental team. She is also the Shell tutor for Lancaster House.
David Warwick began his musical education in the choir at Westminster Abbey, moving on to Uppingham School as a music scholar, during which time he passed the ARCO and ARCM diplomas. He won the organ scholarship to Merton College, Oxford: whilst there he took the Limpus prize and the Frederick Shinn prize in the FRCO examinations. Following a year's postgraduate study at the Royal College of Music in organ playing and conducting, he started teaching, coming to Canford in 1988. He is currently principal examiner for music performance for Edexcel at A' Level. At Canford David conducts the Orchestra and the Big Band, as well as directing the Brass Group. He teaches the academic music curriculum from Shells (yr 9) to 6th Form as well as piano and organ. He shares the accompanying of pupils for exams and concerts.
Nicola Smedley BMus (Hons), LRAM, PGDIP - Flute
Nicola freelances with the orchestras of the BBC, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, St Martin in the Fields and the English Chamber Orchestra.
Lindsay Robinson FTCL, LWCMD, ARCM, PGCE - Flute and Piano
Lindsay studied flute and piano at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she was awarded an HTV scholarship on the piano. Subsequently she taught full-time in schools including Cheltenham College and St. Swithuns School in Winchester, the latter as Head of Wind.
Helen Paskins MA (Cantab) - Clarinet and Saxophone
Helen read music at Newnham College and then studied for a post-graduate diploma at the Royal College of Music. She regularly performs with many of the country’s top orchestras, including the BBC symphony orchestra, the Philharmonia, and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Sarah Shore BA (Hons) MMus - Oboe
Sarah read music at the University of Southampton, staying on to complete a Masters degree in performance. She performs regularly with a number of local orchestras and is also Canford’s Music Department Administrator.
Tess Maybury GGSM, LGSM - Bassoon
Tess studied bassoon at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Graham Sheen and Robin O'Neil. She is a freelance bassoonist and teaches bassoon, flute and piano at a number of Dorset schools.
Robert Harris MA, PGCE - French Horn
'Bomber' has been a member of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for 28 years. He is involved with the BSO's education department, a mentor for the South West Music School and also teaches horn at Southampton University and Sherborne School.
Timothy Warren ARCM - Trumpet, Head of Brass Section
Tim trained at the Royal Military School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. He was a member of the Royal Artillery Band and Orchestra before pursuing a freelance career which has seen him perform with the Welsh National Opera and a wide variety of other groups.
Philip Humphries LTCL - Trombone, Euphonium and Tuba
Phil studied trombone at Trinity College of Music, London and after four years with BBC television’s ‘Come Dancing’ Orchestra developed an interest in early brass instruments. He has performed worldwide with The New London Consort, The Gabrieli Players and The Mellstock Band.
Keith Bartlett GGSM - Percussion
Keith graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1984 winning the Lord Mayor's Prize, and pursued a highly successful performing career appearing with most of the country's leading orchestras and ensembles.
Philippa Stevens MA, LRAM - Violoncello
Philippa studied the cello with Derek Simpson at the Royal Academy of Music. She has performed with various professional British orchestras during her career, and is currently Sub- Principal cellist with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Mark Thistlewood BMus (hons), Dip. Orchestral Studies - Double Bass
Mark is a member of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and has played with many of the UK's leading orchestras.
Bela Hartmann FTCL - Piano
Béla was a semifinalist at the Leeds International Piano Competition and has performed widely in venues such as Wigmore Hall, London, and Carnegie Hall, New York. As well as at Canford, he has held teaching posts at Trinity College London and the Royal College of Music Junior Department.
Katie Salmon ARCO,PGCE - Piano
Katie was organ scholar at Christ's College, Cambridge and Wells Cathedral. She taught music at Cheltenham College, then became Director of Music at Dulwich International College in Phuket, Thailand and now teaches Music, Maths and RS at Canford. She lives in Court House where her husband is Housemaster.
Jane Macchi ARCM, Cert Ed - Piano
After 3 positions teaching music in secondary schools, two of which were as Head of Department, Jane took up teaching the piano. She has taught at Canford School since 1988. She has enjoyed singing with the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus for many years.
Michael Hulmes MMus, BMus, LGSM, LWCMD- Classical and Electric Guitar
Michael studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and is a past BBC Young Musician of the Year Semi-Finalist and member of Yehudi Menuhin's "Live Music Now". He has given concerts throughout the UK, Europe and America, performed on British television and radio, recorded three CDs to date and is a specialist in South American guitar music.
Simon Wood - Electric Guitar
Simon is an experienced guitarist who enjoys a performing career in many different types of groups. He is also much in demand for local recording sessions for albums, demos and jingles for radio and television.
Lidia Cascarino Close - Bass Guitar
Lidia has played bass professionally for 27 years incorporating touring, session work and radio/tv appearances.Touring and recording internationally she has supported Bon Jovi, Toto, Muse, Van Morrisson, Nigel Kennedy,Status Quo and has played at the O2 Arena, Wembly Arena, Birmingham and Glasgow N.E.C., Sheffield Arena and Ronnie Scott's.
Sarah Poole ARCM Dip RCM Perfs, Ad.Cert. Vocal Studies RCM - Singing
Over the past 5 years Sarah has given solo recitals and concerts in 12 countries, performing with many leading orchestras and ensembles. She is the Director of 'Song-Fest' and the founder of the RM International Song Writing Competition and more than 20 composers have dedicated and written works for her.
Hugh Hetherington MA Cantab - Singing
Hugh was a prize-winning singer at Glyndebourne, and has been a principal at the Royal Opera, English National Opera, Scottish Opera and Opera North, as well as singing concerts at home and abroad. He is now the Decani Tenor at Salisbury Cathedral and teaches singing full time.
Sarah Pottinger MA Oxon - Singing
Sarah was the Jacqueline du Pré music scholar of St. Hilda’s college, Oxford, before going on to study Opera and Vocal Studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She performs widely as a Mezzo Soprano, and has a particular interest in German Song.
Associated Board Music Results - Spring 2013
Jonathan Cooper - Singing 08, Distinction
Rupert Dugdale - Singing 08, Distinction
Sally Chapple - Singing 08, Distinction
Olivia Parham - Piano 08, Distinction
Olivia Parham - Singing 08, Distinction
Hermione Jemmett - Violin 08, Merit
Emma Cooper - Flute 08, Merit
Olivia Howes - Flute 08, Merit
Emma Cooper - Singing 08, Merit
Victoria Ng - Piano 08, Merit
Patrick Shepherd - Cello 07, Distinction
William Mckenna - Alto Saxophone 07, Merit
Natasha Howes - Alto Saxophone 07, Merit
Tiffer Hutchings - Singing 07, Merit
Aminta Culley - Alto Saxophone 07, Merit
Miriam Hornsby - Singing 07, Merit
Charlotte Daubeney - Singing 07, Pass
Honor Hornsby - Singing 07, Pass
Justin Lee - Piano 07, Pass
Grace Gammell - Singing 07, Pass
Freya Wilding - Oboe 07, Pass
Lucy Molyneux - Singing 07, Pass
William Downey - Bass Trombone 06, Merit
Jessica Jafry - Violin 06, Pass
Ella Scott - Alto Saxophone 05, Merit
Tom Horner - Trombone 05, Merit
Georgina Hopkins - Singing 05, Merit
Julian Yiu - Clarinet 05, Merit
Henry Cooper - Alto Saxophone 04, Pass
Thomas Gibbs - Piano 03, Merit
Ruby Featherstone - Singing 03, Merit
James Hendy - Violin 03, Merit
Hui Ka Nam - Piano 02, Merit
Georgina Dean - Piano 02, Merit
Georgina Lane - Guitar 02, Pass
Gemma Armstrong - Theory 05, Distinction
Annabelle Massy-Collier - Theory 05, Merit
Celeste Leverton - Theory 05, Merit
Gemma Daubeney - Theory 05, Merit
Eleanor Mansell - Theory 05, Merit
Stephanie Ewin - Theory 05, Pass
Associated Board Music Results - Winter 2012
Arabella Watkiss - Violin 08, Distinction
Jonathan Cooper - Piano 08, Distinction
Louise Bracken - Singing 08, Distinction
Iona Wotton - Piano 08, Distinction
Olivia Parham - Piano 08, Merit
Megan Brown - Singing 08, Pass
Miriam Hornsby - Piano 07, Distinction
William McKenna - Piano 07, Distinction
George Acworth - Violin 07, Merit
Jonathan Cooper - Double Bass 06, Distinction
Georgina Dean - Trombone 06, Distinction
James Hendy - Piano 06, Distinction
Thomas Minall - Piano 06, Merit
Amelia Bailey - Trombone 06, Merit
Bethany Holmes - Singing 05, Distinction
Montague Hancock - Double Bass 05, Distinction
Timothy Radvan - Jazz Piano 05, Distinction
James Hendy - Singing 05, Merit
Amelia Bailey - Piano 04, Distinction
Alice Wroth - Piano 04, Merit
Justin Lee - Viola 04, Merit
Emma Khoury - Singing 04, Merit
Daisy Calvert - Flute 03, Merit
Jacky Hui - Flute 02, Merit
Georgina Lane - Guitar 01, Merit
Academic Music Results – 2012
Mary Davenport - A*
Charlotte Michelmore - A*
Louise Bracken - A
Bethan Dean - A
Jonathan Cooper - A
Olivia Parham - A*
Tim Butterfield - A*
Rupert Dugdale - A*
Tiffer Hutchings - A*
Matt Jarmolkiewicz - A*
Adam Moss - A*
Anicka Sufraz - A*
Ellen Thomas - A*
Georgie Burrows - A*
Alex Wilkins - A*
Alex Burke - A
Charlotte Daubeney - A
Hannah Lees - A
James Watt - A
Freya Wilding - A
Minty Culley - A
Steph Ewin - A
Rosie Brown - B
Ellie Drysdale - B
Associated Board Music Exam Results - Summer 2012
Congratulations to all of the successful musicians who passed music exams this summer. Particular recognition goes to Sophie Taylor who gained a Merit in her Cello diploma, the first stage in professional performing qualifications.
Sophie Taylor - Cello Diploma, Merit
Beth Dean - Singing 08, Distinction
Rory Hudson - Singing 08, Distinction
Giselle Yonace - Singing 08, Distinction
Louise Bracken - Violin 08, Merit
Rupert Dugdale - Horn 08, Merit
Iona Wotton - Clarinet 08, Merit
Henrietta Lane - Clarinet 08, Pass
Jonathan Cooper - Singing 07, Distinction
Henry Imms - Horn 07, Pass
Fern Toynton - Singing 07, Pass
Georgina Hopkins - Violin 06, Merit
Bertram Gregory - Piano 06, Pass
Klayton Nutley - Piano 06, Pass
Susannah Meader - Flute 06, Pass
James Andrews - Piano 06, Pass
Nicholas Turner - Singing 05, Pass
Madeleine Fairbairn - Singing 05, Pass
Weishan Zhang - Singing 05, Pass
Patrick Shepherd - Piano 04, Merit
Celeste Leverton - Flute 04, Pass
Alice Wroth - Bassoon 04, Pass
Hannah Donne - Flute 04, Pass
Emily Von Gemmingen - Piano 04, Pass
Weishan Zhang - Piano 03, Pass
Robert Cook - Alto Saxophone 03, Pass
Joshua Moss - Piano 02, Merit
Ava Simmons - Clarinet 02, Pass
Jason Wong - Violin 01, Merit