Piano playing at Oakham has never been stronger, and the School is fortunate to have a vibrant piano faculty, with 7 dedicated teachers delivering over 100 individual lessons each week. Opportunities abound, with highlights including concerto performances (which have recently included Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2 and Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue) and challenging lunchtime recital programmes given in All Saints’ Church. Our pianists benefit from excellent performance, teaching and practice instruments, including a Steinway grand piano in Chapel and a range of high-quality Yamaha grand and upright pianos in the Music School.
Every year we welcome a distinguished visiting adjudicator at our annual Piano Duet Competition, which involves all of our pianists collaborating with their peers. Pianists regularly have the opportunity to take part in masterclasses and workshops with eminent visiting musicians, such as Charles Owen and Harry the Piano, and have attended masterclasses at Steinway Hall in London, where they also learned more about how pianos are made. The faculty is dedicated to encouraging collaborative work with other instrumentalists in the department, both as accompanists and in chamber music. Our pupils have the opportunity to explore harpsichord playing, making use of the School’s Bizzi continuo harpsichord and Roland digital harpsichord.
Some of our keyboard players study the organ with our School Organist, and benefit from the use of a 3 manual, tracker action Peter Collins organ in Chapel and a 2 manual digital Hauptwerk practice organ in the Music School. In addition, pupils are able to use the 2 manual, tracker action Kenneth Tickell organ in Oakham’s Parish Church.