Whether your goal is to learn to play an instrument, to sing for the first time, or to advance to new heights of achievement, Saint James offers a wide range of music classes and opportunities. Our students are engaged in a variety of musical disciplines, from singing in the Chapel Choir and a cappella groups to instrumental chamber ensembles and student-organized bands. Private music lessons are taught by twelve adjunct music faculty during the academic day so that students do not have to choose between a musical interest and athletics, clubs, or theater.

Vocal and Choral Music

Where better to find your voice than at Saint James? Students enjoy numerous opportunities to sing and perform. The 40-student Saint James Chapel Choir leads the School in daily chapel and twice-weekly services of Holy Eucharist. Affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music in England, a training program is used to provide goals and markers of achievement. Vocal coaches and sectional rehearsals conducted by levels of experience provide new singers with additional training and give more advanced singers the opportunity to work on additional repertoire.

Choristers serve as School ambassadors, performing in concerts and services at local and regional churches and cathedrals. In March of 2015, the Choir toured the United Kingdom where they sang services of Choral Evensong and concerts at the cathedrals of Winchester, Guildford, Christ Church Oxford, Bristol and Wells, and Tewkesbury Abbey.

Private voice lessons stress the development of healthy vocal technique while allowing students to explore a wide variety of repertoire and styles. In addition to Chapel Choir, the boys’ and girls’ a cappella groups and the spring musical offer opportunities for a variety of performance experiences.

Instrumental Music

At Saint James, classically trained cellists, drummers, rock guitarists, trombone players, and bluegrass banjo players all find a home in which to study, explore, and perform. Saint James faculty members enjoy playing side by side with students.

Chamber ensembles are formed according to enrollment and ability. Students who would like to play in a larger ensemble may audition for the Shepherd University Preparatory Orchestra.

Musical Opportunities

  • Chapel Choir (curricular)
  • Music Theory and AP Music Theory (curricular)
  • Boys' and girls' a cappella groups
  • Private Music Instruction in voice, piano, guitar, strings, brass, winds, percussion
  • Chamber ensembles in winds, brass and strings
  • Student-organized acoustic (folk and bluegrass) and garage bands
  • On-Campus performance opportunities include Chapel services, Parents' Weekend showcase, recitals, coffee houses, Lessons and Carols, and our annual spring musical production
  • School trips to concerts and shows, locally, and in Washington, DC