St Louis Grammar School
Promoting Excellence, Endeavour and Empowerment


Head of Department: Mrs Louise Donnelly: BMus(Hons), PGCE, Grade 8 Piano, Grade 8 Clarinet, Grade 8 Voice

Music Teacher:  Mr David Guiney B. A Hons Popular and Contemporary Music, PGCE. Grade 8 Guitar. Other instruments include Piano, Bass, Drums and Voice

In St Louis we aim to nurture an appreciation and a love of Music in every child. Music gives the pupils an opportunity to learn in a creative, stimulating environment, developing skills necessary for later life.


At Key Stage 3 all pupils take Music as a subject once each week. Years 8, 9 and 10 concentrate on the development of listening, performing and composing skills.



Students study the CCEA GCSE Music Curriculum.  Over the past 5 years, we have maintained a 100% pass rate A*-C


GCSE Music is broken into 3 sections

Performing and Appraising (35%)

Students are assessed at the end of Year 12 and must perform 1 piece on their own and 1 piece within a group of 3 or more.  The maximum level that they need to perform at is Grade 4


Composing and Appraising (30%)

Students compose throughout Year 11 and 12 and submit their folio of compositions at the end of Year 12.  They must compose 2 pieces which last together, between 3-5 minutes.  Most students opt to compose using Sibelius software; however some also compose using Garageband on the IMac


Listening and Appraising (35%)

Students student a number of pieces throughout years 11 and 12 and are assessed in May of Year 12.  This involves two forty-five minute listening papers covering their three areas of study.

a) Repeated Patterns

b) Vocal Music

c) Incidental Music

AS and A2 students follow the CCEA Music course at their respective levels.  We have also maintained a 100% pass rate in the past 3 years.


Instrumental Tuition

We currently have nine instrumental tutors teaching on a weekly basis. 15% of pupils attend music lessons in school. 



Mrs  Henry - Singing (Private)



Mrs Mullan - Strings (NEELB)

Mrs Brookman - Piano (Private)

Miss Hall – Woodwind (NEELB



Mrs Rogers - Woodwind (NEELB)



Mrs Mullan - Strings (NEELB)

Mr Heron – Lower Stings (NEELB)



Mr Hunter - Brass (NEELB)

Mr McFadden - Guitar (Private)


Students attend these lessons during class time with the exception of 6th form, which are scheduled during one of their study periods.


Students are entered for examination whenever the instrumental teacher feels that this is appropriate.  The majority of students are entered for Associated Board Graded Examinations although singers are also entered for Trinity College London examinations and London College of Music Examinations.  Guitarists are entered for Rock School Graded Examinations.


Extra-Curricular Activities



The St Louis Music Department organises a number of large ensembles on a weekly basis. The school Orchestra meets each Tuesday after school in the Assembly hall from 3:30:4:20 and is open to student in all years who have achieved Grade or above in their instrument. The Orchestra participate each year in the Annual School Carol Service, Easter Concert and Junior Concert. They are past winners of their section in the Ballymena Music Festival. It is conducted by Mr Guiney and Mrs Donnelly. In the past they have played pieces such as 'Phantom of the Opera', 'We are the Champions', and 'Insomnia'.



There are currently two choirs who practice on a weekly basis in the school.  
The Junior Choir rehearse twice a week at break times and prepare for many events throughout the year including the school Carol Service, Easter Concert, Junior Concert and Ballymena Festival. They are previous winners of Ballymena Festival and have come 2nd on a number of other occasions. 
The Senior Choir meet every Tuesday and Thursday at breaktime. They have performed on BBC and RTE and have featured for the past four years at ‘The Music Box Christmas Extravangza’ alongside local singer, Peter Corry. The choir have reached the regional final of RTE Choir of the Year on two occasions. 

Extra-Curricular Activities 

The Music Department is a hive of activity during break-time, lunch-time and after school as many group activities rehearse for various events throughout the academic year.  We are also grateful to Mr Convery and Miss Mulligan for helping students who have a passion for Irish Traditional Music

On a weekly basis, the following groups meet:

Junior Choir, Orchestra, Senior Choir, and rock group.  Many other smaller ensembles such as brass group, string quartets, 6th form ensembles also rehearse during the week. 

The Senior Choir is open to all boys and girls in the Senior school. They meet every Monday and Wednesday over break in the music department, to rehearse popular songs such as ‘Stand By Me.’ In addition to performing a wonderful version of ‘Carol of the Bells’ in the Christmas Carol Service, they will be singing in the Easter School concert. 

The Junior choir meet twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday break times. All students who enjoy singing are welcome to attend. The junior choir perform annually at both the school carol service and the Easter concert. In the past they have performed 'Titanium', and 'Walking in the Air'.

Orchestra rehearsal takes place on a Tuesday from 3.30 – 4.30.  Any pupil who receives instrumental tuition on violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet and trumpet must attend.  The orchestra will be performing at the Christmas Carol Service and the Easter Concert. 



Further Information in this section

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