The timetable at Aysgarth provides for all boys to have the chance to have weekly musical instrument lessons. The staff who teach these lessons are visiting musicians and are exceptionally talented, committed and enthusiastic. The music department is led by Director of Music, Mr. Matthew Atherton.
The music department places great importance on instrumental learning and ensemble performance. Playing an instrument is an ideal way to experience the enjoyment of music-making; it helps to develop many personal skills and disciplines, and through playing alongside other pupils it contributes to the development of social skills such as self-awareness, self-confidence and self-discipline.
The music at Aysgarth is outstanding with boys often winning awards to major Public Schools. The facilities include 8 practice rooms, 2 rehearsal rooms, a performing arts hall, a purpose built music classroom and chapel. A very high proportion of the boys at school play a musical instrument and are successful in external examinations. There are a number of instrumental and vocal ensembles, all of which attract high proportions of boys and ensembles and repertoire are tailored to suit the needs of current players.
The senior choir, in particular ,has become well known locally and further afield for its high standard of singing. Over the last few years the choir has performed in the English cathedrals of Lincoln, Ripon and Durham and further afield in St. Sulpice Paris and Bayeux cathedral. The choir also performs at a number of secular concerts and we have been privileged to perform at Chatsworth House, Raby Castle and Lowther Castle.
At Aysgarth School the senior choir sing an anthem at every Sunday service. There are 26 boys in the choir and entry to the choir is by audition only. The boys rehearse twice weekly, as a whole choir on Thursday afternoons and in parts on Monday and Tuesday evenings.