• Work Hard
  • 17th Feb 2024
  • 0
  • 4 minutes

How Durham High School is inspiring lifelong devotion to music and performing arts

  • Advertisement Feature

Nestled in the heart of County Durham lies Durham High School, where academics aren’t the only stars of the show.

Here, the spotlight shines brightly on the arts, particularly music and performing arts.

In a world where schools often prioritise core subjects, Durham High School dares to be different. Its dedication to fostering creativity is showcased in its vibrant music culture and thriving performing arts department.

This all-girls school isn’t just about achieving academic excellence; it’s about nurturing well-rounded individuals. Recognised as one of the top five private schools in the North East, Durham High School understands the power of music and performing arts. It opens doors to countless opportunities and helps students grow in confidence and self-worth.

In County Durham’s leading all-girls school, education isn’t just about textbooks and exams; it’s about nurturing passions and inspiring dreams. By integrating music and performing arts into daily life, the school ensures that its students not only excel academically but also carry a lifelong appreciation for the arts, enriching their lives and the world around them.


Headmistress Michelle Hill’s vision is the school’s philosophy – to emphasise a holistic approach to education.

‘We invest time and resources into the arts to ensure every girl here has the opportunity to participate in ensembles, productions and performances,’ Michelle says. ‘Led by specialist teachers with extensive knowledge and experience, Durham High’s music and drama departments are the creative heartbeat of our school.’


Durham High School’s music department offers 120 instrumental lessons weekly across various instruments. The school’s commitment to music education is inspirational, especially when faced with a 45% decline in A Level music entries nationally.

‘Our musicians have earned coveted choral scholarships at prestigious institutions such as Oxford, pursued music studies at renowned universities like Royal Holloway and Northumbria,’ says Director of Music, Clare Lawrence-Wills.

At Durham High School pupils can expect a diversity of musical offerings, spanning classical to contemporary, jazz to folk, ensuring a well-rounded musical education.

How Durham High School for Girls is inspiring lifelong devotion to music and performing arts


The performing arts department at Durham High School is a vibrant hub for creativity and talent. All pupils are encouraged to partake in productions, whether on stage, dancing or contributing behind the scenes.

The recent production of Evita at the Gala Theatre showcases the dedication of both students and staff through their captivating performances on stage to the meticulous attention to detail in set design, costumes and choreography.

Head of Drama, Judith Lonsdale, believes that studying performing arts provides a unique platform for self-expression and creativity, extending beyond the boundaries of the theatre.


Durham High School doesn’t stop at recognising talent within its walls; it actively invests in the potential of its students. The scholarship program offers financial assistance and specialised teaching to students displaying exceptional promise and passion for music, drama and performing arts aswell as for those who excel in sports.

Among its current cohort of talented music scholars are Year 10 pupils, flautist Isabel and French horn player Rosalind who are both enrolled at the prestigious Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) at the Glasshouse International Centre for Music.

Isabel is taking three Grade 8 examinations in piano, flute and singing at the school this year, through the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, while Rosalind is a member of the Young Sinfonia, a high-quality youth orchestra linked to Gateshead’s Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Headmistress Mrs Hill is proud of the scholarship program, highlighting its role in identifying and supporting students with exceptional promise. The commitment to providing an enriching education through programs, scholarships and achievements showcases the dedication to nurturing the next generation of musicians and performing artists.


Durham High School, Farewell Hall, South Road, Durham DH1 3TB

User Avatar
Rachael Nichol
Creative Solutions Manager

After gaining a first in her BA Media and Journalism degree at Northumbria University, Rachael worked at Newcastle’s leading regional newspaper with her stories being picked up in national and global newspapers She spent two very successful years giving a voice to those communities across the North East who otherwise…


Have your say