The School Orchestra, directed by the Head of Strings Martin Pring, contains the full range of symphonic instruments and performs exciting orchestral repertoire at College concerts. Thanks to their flexibility and excellent sight-reading skills, the orchestra works with other groups or accompany soloists, often on relatively little rehearsal; this can range from band numbers with the Jazz workshop, to church repertoire with the Chamber choir, as well as accompanying the whole school at the Christmas or Choral Congers Concerts.
This strings only group performs works written for Violin, viola, cello and Bass under the direction of Martin Pring; a recent performance of Barber’s Adagio for Strings showed the high standards this group is capable of.
The Chapel choir is an unauditioned group which sings at all the Chapel Services throughout the year, including Remembrance Service, the Advent and Christmas Carol services and the annual Commemoration Service. The choir performs Church music staples by Parry, Stanford, Vaughan Williams and many others, but also new commissions; they recently performed a setting of ‘This is the Chapel’ (Newbolt) by Director of Music Dan Robson, as part of the 150th Commemoration Service.
The Chamber Choir is an auditioned group of around 16-20 members, directed by James Hills. The Choir sings both secular and sacred music at College Concerts and at outside venues, including Merton College, Oxford and Bristol Cathedral.
A Cappella Group
This is a small group of top singers who mainly perform unaccompanied barbershop repertoire but also sacred work for carol concerts and other events.
Chamber groups are organised to reflect the strengths of pupils at the school, and so vary at any one time. Currently there is a senior string quartet, piano quintet, wind trio and other groups on an ad hoc basis, coached by James Drinkwater, Steph Gilbert and Martin Pring.
This is a mixed brass group playing both classical (e.g. Gabrieli) and modern repertoire at concerts and at special services.
Flute Group and Clarinet group
These are smaller ensembles which give flute and clarinet students and opportunity to play together. They play at different concerts during the year, either by themselves or with the orchestra.
Junior and Senior Wind groups
These are made up of mixed wind instruments: saxophones, clarinets, flutes etc, often with some brass thrown in.
Soul Band I and II
These are ensembles run after school for students of a higher playing and singing level. Pupils learn classic and modern soul repertoire. The ensemble performs at a number of events during the year including the Blues and Soul night, Commemoration Concert and various private functions associated with the College.
This is primarily a teaching group, where pupils learn the skill of improvisation within an ensemble playing Jazz Standards. The ensemble has performed in many school concerts throughout the year, and small groups of players from the workshop often play at outside gigs.
This activity gives an opportunity for pupil-organised bands to come and gain help with arranging and performance of their chosen repertoire. It serves as a useful space for contemporary ensembles to develop their skills and work towards events such as the regular Acoustic Nights held in the Junior Common Room and the annual ‘Band Night’ held in the Redgrave Theatre.
GCSE Pop Group
This is a teaching group which serves to help those students who play contemporary instruments and are studying music at GCSE level. The group aims to help improve practical skills within a group setting.
An exciting new group which has been formed to produce and perform Electronic music. With the help of sound engineer Matt Thomas and drum teacher Andy Davis, pupils will perform Drum and Bass cover versions using Laptops, Synthesizers, DJ Decks, Live Guitars and Drums.