The Guildhall School of Music & Dramais one of the world’s leading conservatoires and drama schools and the UK’s leading provider of specialist music training for under-18s.
Junior Guildhall is the School’s provider of specialist pre-conservatoire training. It currently has over 400 students aged between 4 and 19 and employs over 100 professors drawn from London’s professional orchestras and freelance musicians. Its Music Course offers a comprehensive programme covering instrumental lessons, aural training, musicianship and ensemble skills. Living throughout the UK, the young musicians are able to combine their specialist musical training at Junior Guildhall with their general education in local schools. Most of the students ultimately move on to study music full‑time in conservatories and universities, eventually making careers in the music profession.
Performance is a central theme in Junior Guildhall’s work and students take part in concerts at all levels. There are over 100 concerts a year managed by the School as well as several television and radio recordings.
The Junior Guildhall brass departmentenjoys an enviable reputation as one of the most successful training grounds for young brass players in the world. Students travel from across the UK to learn from its impressive team of eminent brass tutors in a supportive and encouraging environment.
Junior Guildhall brass ensembles have performed at the country’s major concert halls including the Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Symphony Hall Birmingham and at the Barbican. Our young players have even performed for the Queen.
Well known past alumni include Alison Balsom OBE (2013 Gramophone Artist of the Year and three-time-winner at the Classical BRITS), Matthew Gee (Principal Trombone, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) and Nick Betts (Principal Trumpet, Royal Opera House).
In 2014, Junior Guildhall students made up three of the five finalists in the brass final of the BBC Young Musician of the Year. Our very own Matilda Lloyd went on to win the brass section and, in 2016, she made her BBC Proms soloist debut with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
Students in the brass department are given every opportunity to develop their potential and showcase their talents in ensembles such as the brass band, brass ensemble, quintets, big band, symphony orchestra and wind orchestra. They also benefit from masterclasses with the best brass players in the world such as Philip Cobb, Matthew Gee, Dave Stewart, Philippe Schartz, Jeff Nelsen, Jens Lindemann, Rex Richardson, Tine Thing Helseth and Bobby Shew.
The Junior Guildhall Brass Band is the centrepiece of Junior Guildhall’s brass provision and was formed in 1981 by conductor David Evans. The band was subsequently conducted by John Clark, under whom it achieved considerable success in the National Festival of Music for Youth, and then by John Miller, now Head of Wind, Brass & Percussion at the Royal Northern College of Music. Since 1999, the band has been conducted by Spencer Down, founder and musical director of Docklands Sinfonia.
Our students are regularly awarded principal positions in the National Youth Orchestra, National Youth Wind Orchestra and National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.