Orchestra and choir in octagonal concert hall
Cadogan Hall Concert, 2022
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Radley College choir singing Evensong in Oxford


Our boys are fiercely proud of Radley’s singing tradition and visitors are regularly left speechless at the quality of, and passion for, singing at the College.

In Chapel, singing is led by our 120-strong Chapel Choir which comprises our boys and 25 choristers from local primary and prep schools. In recent years, they have sung Evensong at Westminster Abbey, Queen’s College Oxford and Portsmouth Cathedral, and toured France, Spain and Czech Republic. The annual Inter-Social Partsong competition is by far the most popular event in the College calendar. Directed entirely by boys, their close harmony singing is – without fail – excellent.


boy playing a cello as part of an orchestra


The Symphony Orchestra is our flagship instrumental ensemble. There is also a String Orchestra, Brass Ensemble, Concert Band, Big Band and Percussion Ensemble. Membership of these is by recommendation by instrumental teachers.

We have a thriving programme of smaller Chamber Ensembles at all levels, usually led by specialist Visiting Instrumental Teachers. The piano trio were finalists in this year’s Pro Corda National Chamber Music Festival. Boys can also form their own ensembles, and there are opportunities to conduct and rehearse the larger ensembles. Ensembles perform at concerts in our own concert hall, Silk Hall, as well as at prestigious venues such as the Sheldonian Theatre and Cadogan Hall.

The Music Department is home to boys of all musical persuasions. Those with classical interests can explore solo, chamber and orchestral repertoire to a very high standard, supported by some of the South East's leading teachers. Boys who DJ or have formed a band can record and release music on our new label, Radley Records, and give live performances at our regular bands nights. And those who are just finding their feet musically are supported and encouraged. Increasingly, I feel the department is like another Social, where boys of all year groups mix freely and explore their passions and interests together.

Sam Gladstone, Director of Music
Boy has bagpipes lesson with male teacher in a small room with piano

Music Lessons

Almost half our boys have singing or instrumental lessons.

We are proud to offer lessons in all of the orchestral instruments as well as bagpipes, drum kit, euphonium, guitar, harp, harpsichord, jazz piano, music technology, organ, percussion, saxophone, and even DJing. Our team of visiting music teachers comprises some of the finest musicians in the South East, many of whom regularly play with top orchestras or in the pit of West End shows.

Boy plays the flute in a concert with grand piano in the background

Solo Performance

Boys at all levels of experience have opportunities to perform as soloists, whether in weekly informal coffee concerts or high profile concerto performances alongside the College Orchestra.

The Visiting Recital Series brings some of the finest professional musicians to Radley College to lead masterclasses and workshops, with evening concerts open to all.

Boy plays electric guitar whilst sat down in a modern building

Bands and Recording

Our popular weekly bands night is the most-loved aspect of a popular music programme which includes band mentoring, performance opportunities, jam sessions and recordings.

This is supported by the team of guitar, singing and drum teachers, and the DJ teacher who also specialises in music production. The annual Battle of the Bands showcases many of these groups, alongside regular Live Lounge evenings and recordings for Radley Records.

Where next?

Whether it's the excitement of sport, the buzz of lively academic debate, or the exhilaration of music and drama – there's always something happening at Radley College. Find out for yourself.