Wind, Brass and Percussion
Flute | Oboe | Clarinet | Bassoon | Horn |Trumpet | Trombone | Tuba | Timpani & Percussion | Saxophones | Recorders
The Wind, Brass and Percussion Department provides exciting opportunities for learning and performing, with a world-class team of instrumental professors who are leaders in solo, chamber and orchestral performance.
Led by Richard Benjafield (Head of Department) and Jo Hensel (Deputy Head), the Department's programmes will enable you to achieve the very highest levels of musical performance. You will also be supported to develop your musicianship, technique and professional skills, and nurture the creativity and enterprise required of today’s musicians.
Each student’s journey through Guildhall School is an individual one. The Wind, Brass and Percussion Department offers a rich and diverse programme of opportunities that will enable you to become the very best musician that you can be. As you progress, you will have lessons with a range of Principal Study professors as well as with your main professor. You will also study doubling instruments to help improve your flexibility as a player.
Chamber music and several orchestral repertoire classes are timetabled every week, and all students take part in these. Wind, Brass and Percussion runs ensembles and classes for all instruments, with regular performances both in the School itself and externally. There are frequent masterclasses given by visiting artists on solo, chamber and orchestral repertoire, including a regular series of masterclasses given by players from the Barbican’s International Associate Orchestras – another benefit of our partnership with the Barbican Centre. There are also annual instrumental competitions, a weekly WBP choir, and performance projects open to all students.
Progressing through the programme, you will be able to develop your own individualised study pathway in consultation with the Head of Department and your professors. The shaping of this pathway will depend on your skills, needs and ambitions. There are opportunities to pursue further study in contemporary, jazz or early music through Second Study, specialist classes and performances. Collaboration is a key element, and you can work with both the Drama Department and Creative Learning during the programme.
Throughout your time at Guildhall School, you will receive mentoring support and classes in professional and practical skills to prepare you for professional life. Many Guildhall alumni enjoy successful careers in music, both in the UK and internationally; see our alumni page for recent examples.
Read more about the BMus course structure.
The Guildhall School is pleased to announce two new major scholarships for bassoon students beginning their studies at the School from September 2017. The School is offering two full-fees scholarships for the duration of study (equivalent to the UK/EU fees for BMus and Masters students currently set for 2017-18, £9,250 per annum. This will be the maximum sum awarded each and every year). The scholarships will be offered after entrance auditions and at the discretion of the Head of WBP, based on candidates’ performance and potential.
Focusing on the versatility and musical diversity of the contemporary saxophonist, saxophone students study classical and contemporary music, jazz, improvisation and musical theatre, clarinet and flute.
John Harle has been appointed as Visiting Professor of Saxophone in the Wind, Brass and Percussion department from the start of this academic year.
Due to this exciting new appointment, the Guildhall School is offering an extended period for applicants to apply to study saxophone at Guildhall Artist Masters level. Applications will remain open until Tuesday 7 March 2017. Please email Head of WBP Richard Benjafield if you are interested in making an application.
Recorder students study medieval to contemporary music, perform with the School's consort Woodwork and collaborate with the Historical Performance Department.
Above: Woodwork, a recorder ensemble of Guildhall School students and graduates performs Automata by Toby Young, directed by recorder professor Ian Wilson.
MMus/MPerf in Performance
Read more about our Masters in Performance, or choose from the specialisms listed below.
Orchestral Artistry in association with the London Symphony Orchestra
Find out details of this exciting specialism.
Advanced Instrumental Studies
Advanced Instrumental Studies (AIS) is for talented students who want to develop their individual artistic voice with a particular focus on selected repertoire. Applicants for the AIS specialism are expected to have a high level of instrumental ability and musical understanding, and a broad knowledge of repertoire for their instrument. AIS students take part in weekly departmental classes, chamber music coaching sessions and masterclasses, and there are many ensemble and chamber music performance projects throughout the year. The intended focus of study will be discussed at audition and interview, whether it be solo playing, chamber music, historical performance or contemporary music.
This specialism is for groups with considerable chamber music experience, with the aim of developing students’ skills to a professional level. Regular coaching is provided by departmental staff and visiting artists. There are many opportunities to perform in Chamber Platforms, as well as in the School and externally.
Find out more about studying the Artist Diploma
Find out more about our doctoral programmes.
Activities and Ensembles
- 45 individual Principal Study lessons each year
- Weekly instrumental classes for all students
- Masterclasses with visiting UK and international musicians
- Weekly orchestral repertoire sessions
- Scheduled chamber music coaching and rehearsals every week
- Platform performances
- Audition classes
- Symphony, Opera and Chamber orchestras
- Wind, Brass, Percussion and Saxophone ensembles
- Recorder Consort
- New Music ensembles
- Historical Performance ensembles
- Cross-school collaborative projects
- Professional Studies (including teaching skills and business advice)
- Individual mentoring support