Performing Arts

Winchester Senior Girls Performance Arts

At Withington we believe strongly in the power of the performing arts to help our students to develop their skills in so many different ways.

Winchester Senior Girls Performance Arts Music Violin

They learn to express themselves, work as a team, connect with others and to develop confidence.

There’s a whole host of ways for students to get involved through clubs, ensembles, individual lessons and school shows, recitals and performances.

Withington’s school productions are legendary – our most recent, highly successful production, Sister Act, involved over 100 pupils and went down a storm with our audiences.


Music is at the heart of everyday life at Withington. All pupils in Years 7 to 9 participate in music lessons and there is the option to study Music to GCSE and A Level.

Winchester Senior Girls Performance Arts Music Violin

There is a vast array of extra-curricular ensembles and groups for all students. This includes a harp ensemble, the largest of any school across the UK. Our students were thrilled to take part in the first Manchester Harp Festival at the Stoller Hall alongside harpists from around the world.

“Music is so many things… It is mathematics, it is science, it is a universal language for those who are open for it. Music is a wonderful, high speed dual carriageway to a human mind and innermost emotions.”
– Sakari Oramo, Last Night of the Proms 2014

Throughout the academic year there are numerous recitals, music showcases and concerts, as well as our Founder’s Day celebration at the Bridgewater Hall. Our Senior Choir also takes part in Manchester Sings, our community singing project for primary schools that we organise and host each year at Manchester Cathedral.

Our ensembles and groups include:

  • Guitar Ensemble
  • Brass Ensemble
  • Stage Band
  • Clarinet and Saxophone Ensemble
  • Musical Theatre Ensemble
  • Folk Ensemble
  • Theory Class
  • Aural Class
  • GarageBand
  • Middle School Choir
  • Middle School Orchestra
  • Oboe Ensemble
  • Percussion Ensemble
  • Senior Choir
  • Senior Strings
  • Senior Harp Ensemble
  • Harp-E Ensemble
  • Senior Orchestra

Instrumental Tuition

Nearly a third of our pupils take instrumental lessons, which lead to ABRSM examinations. We have a fantastic team of visiting staff, who are all highly qualified and experienced with some also combining teaching with a performing career. We encourage all pupils who have instrumental lessons to attend extra-curricular ensembles to help to develop their skills and to promote the more social side of music. Please note there is a charge for instrumental lessons.

Instrumental lessons are currently available for:

  • Cello
  • Clarinet
  • Flute
  • French Horn
  • Guitar
  • Harp
  • Oboe
  • Percussion
  • Piano
  • Saxophone
  • Trombone
  • Trumpet
  • Viola
  • Violin
  • Voice

Wider participation

Our students are also active in musical life outside of school, with students being part of Junior RNCM, Hallé Youth Choir, Hallé Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Choir.


Getting involved in drama gives students the opportunity to learn how to express themselves, connect with others and how to think creatively and imaginatively. At the same time, they learn the importance of teamwork and the sharing of ideas, as well as gaining self-confidence.

All students in Years 7-9 have timetabled lessons in Drama.

Students also have the option to study Drama for GCSE and A Level. Students perform their pieces not only for their examination but also showcase them to an audience, allowing them to be seen by the wider school community.

As well as extra-curricular drama clubs, students can learn technical skills such as lighting, sound and stage management at Tech Club. We are keen that students get involved in the theatrical life of the school, whether that be on stage or behind the scenes. There are a number of drama showcases and performances across the academic year, as well as the opportunity for all Year 7 students to take part in House plays, under the direction of Year 12 students.


Our students are offered the opportunity to take up lessons through the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA) programme. These classes are taught by members of the LAMDA team, all of whom are professional actors or drama practitioners, and give pupils the opportunity to develop performance and public speaking skills. Students perform their pieces in front of an audience at the annual LAMDA showcase. There is a charge for LAMDA lessons.

Winchester Senior Girls Performance Arts LAMDA Performance

Trips and Workshops

Students benefit from different practitioners coming into school to run workshops. Most recently, this has included The Paper Birds Theatre Company.

Trips to performances and the theatre give students an important opportunity to have a range of theatrical experiences and develop critical skills. Recent trips have included Hamilton, The Glass Menagerie, Frantic Assembly’s production of Metamorphosis and The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Manchester Sings 2023 Manchester Sings 2023 Manchester Harp Festival Manchester Harp Festival Sister Act Sister Act
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