Music at Queen Anne’s School is very much alive and kicking! We have a thriving and busy Music programme which has plenty to offer aspiring musicians. Music is a compulsory curricular subject until Year 10 when it becomes an option at GCSE and A Level.

The aim of the music department is to give girls a working knowledge of the skills of music – Performing, Listening and Composing. We seek to improve their skills in each of these areas as well as to introduce and develop those who may not have been exposed to this previously.

The sound emanating from the music department drifts across the Quad throughout the day and is a constant reminder that music is thriving at the school, and with the new Scott Music Centre, at the heart of the school.

The academic results for music are consistently high with 98% of girls achieving A*- A at GCSE over the past seven years and A Level 98% A* – B. There are many Grade VIII and Diploma standard musicians in the school and many who attend the Royal Academy of Music, Guildhall School of Music, Birmingham Conservatoire and are members of the National Youth Choir and Reading Symphony Orchestra. Each year at least one girl goes on to study music at university or conservatoire including gaining choral and music scholarships at Oxford, Durham, Birmingham and Trinity College of Music. The composition work of our girls has been awarded prizes and recently, Gabrielle Woodward was commissioned to write a ten minute orchestral piece for the commemoration of the Battle of Jutland which was then performed by the Docklands Sinfonietta in London.

Regular contact and work with professional musicians and composers nurtures and enthuses our girls to strive for excellence and creativity as well as giving them the skills of performance and confidence which are so valuable for their future lives and careers. They never to cease to amaze us by the quality and high standard of their performance.

Music at Queen Anne’s is a central part of the life of the school with over forty performances annually. They range from large-scale orchestras such as ‘The Academy of St Martin in the Fields’ and The Fine Arts Ensemble visiting the school, to the girls performing at London concert halls such as St John Smith’s Square and Westminster Abbey to informal workshops by visiting professionals such as VOCES8. Our ethos in the department is that it is good to perform, open to all to have a go as well as presenting a consistently high standard.

The Music Department has three full-time staff and twenty-one visiting music teachers who cover the full range of orchestral instruments, keyboard and guitar. Approximately two-thirds of the school learn a musical instrument and many take part in choirs and orchestras.

Throughout the week, a variety of groups meet from the Chamber Choir and Consort Choir to Clarinetix and Saxaholics to the Junior Ensemble and weekly Music Theory classes. To view the full timetable of activities, click on the link below.

There are regular concert opportunities throughout the year and groups perform outside school in places like Douai Abbey and Oxford. The Choir and Chamber Orchestra have toured Venice, Rome, Seville, Paris, New York and Washington DC. Students also have the chance to attend concerts in London and the surrounding area.

The Professional Concerts series has seen the Kairos Ensemble, O Duo, the OXUS Quartet and the Bright Stars of Jazz giving concerts and workshops with the students. VOCES8, the professional vocal octet, have been working with our students on vocal technique and performance. Reading Symphony orchestra also rehearses at the school and it is possible for the more advanced player to join them. As a school, we also have strong musical links with The Oratory, Shiplake College and Reading Boy’s School.

Please click on the links below view the co-curricular activities booklet.

The music department is well-equipped with 20 practice rooms, two rehearsal spaces, a recording studio and a classroom including an Apple Mac suite.


Director of Music: Mr John Padley
Assistant Director of Music: Mr Roberts
Head of Instrumental Music: Mr Ian Haysted
Head of Keyboard: Mrs Maja Bilic
Music: Mr Mark Richards (Deputy Head – Academic)
Music Administrator: 
Mrs Claire Richards

Find out about the latest news and events from the numerous concerts, students working with professional musicians, our Live@QA Concert Series and the outstanding achievements of our musicians throughout the packed musical year.

This all demonstrates the exceptional musical talent amongst our girls and the dedication of the music department.

LIVE@QA Concert Series

Live@QA is the Queen Anne’s music department’s professional concert series which promotes live performances by top professional musicians. The concerts have an educational focus by providing workshop opportunities but also introduce our audiences to contemporary music of the highest calibre.

To find out more about our next event, please keep an eye on this page for upcoming dates to book your tickets. If you have any urgent enquiries then please contact Claire Richards, Music Administrator.

Upcoming Events

On Tuesday 14 May, Queen Anne’s School will be hosting an exciting performance from the talented improvisational pianist Harry the Piano.


There are a wide variety of scholarships available at Queen Anne’s, including music. Our scholars are incredibly talented, with a passion for music which resonates with the staff here.