Music in Performance
All pupils who learn a musical instrument and/or who can sing are encouraged to take part in some of the forty or so musical ensembles that meet weekly, comprising vocal and instrumental groups including:
- six choirs;
- two orchestras;
- three string ensembles;
- three wind bands;
- a big band;
- two flute groups;
- three saxophone groups;
- three clarinet groups;
- three brass ensembles;
- three guitar ensembles;
- a jazz improvisation workshop;
- a growing number of string, piano and wind chamber music ensembles;
- provision to support pupils’ aural and theory development.
Joining an ensemble will help pupils to become better musicians and develop an important social skill. They should regard membership of a group as a fundamental part of their music education rather than an optional extra; it will improve their sight reading and aural skills as well as experience a greater range of repertoire than they would just in your individual lesson. We strongly encourage all pupils to take part in ensembles appropriate to their instrument/voice and level.
An ensemble is also a commitment. All pupils who join ensembles are expected to attend all rehearsals and performances for the ensemble they are involved with. Just as with a team sport, if they don’t turn up they will be letting others down as well as inhibiting their own progress. Absences must only be for good reason and should be fully explained to the ensemble director, in advance of the rehearsal if the absence is planned (as opposed to illness).
All pupils are welcome to join ensembles whether or not they have individual tuition here in school. Priority is not given to those who do. The majority of our ensembles are non-auditioned and open to all; a few are by audition or invitation only. Of these some have simply a minimum standard, but in some cases entry is competitive and places are limited.