Our Ensembles and Clubs
Our Ensembles and Clubs
We expect every child learning an instrument in or out of school to take part in at least one ensemble – please read about each of our groups below for more information.
- Chamber Choir– our Chamber Choir rehearses every week in the Music Room. Singing in a choir is a great way to develop your musicianship and singing. Our choir have had some wonderful experiences, such as performing with choirs from across the country at the Royal Albert Hall.
Details: Rehearsals for Sopranos and Altos are every Monday Lunchtime and Tenors and Basses every Friday Lunchtime, both in the Music Room
- Orchestra – our orchestra involves lots of our brilliant instrumentalists and we play a variety of pieces in different styles. Playing in orchestra gives all instrumentalists vital practice playing in a large group and interpreting a piece together. In March 2019, the orchestra had a wonderful weekend away, at Cold Ash Retreat centre, with much rehearsing, eating, and parlour games. The Sisters taught us some excellent dances, too!
Details: Every Thursday at 8.15am, meeting to setup at 8.00am, in the Music Room
- Gospel Choir – we have a fantastic Gospel Choir that meet every week on Wednesdays after school. They’re a really special group with a string, punchy sound. As well as singing at College concerts and liturgies, the choir has sung at John Lewis Kingston and is due to be singing at Miss Williams’ wedding in the near future.
Details: Fridays, 8.15-8.50am, all welcome.
- Schola Cantorum– our vocal consort for advanced singers, this group is led by Miss Moss and Mr Booth. The choir sings regularly at College Masses and concerts. Current repertoire includes ‘God So Loved the World’, Allegri’s ‘Miserere’ and Rachmaninov’s ‘Bogoroditse Dyevo’. Pupils wishing to join this ensemble should contact Miss Moss for an audition.
- ‘Ultra Music Club’ – Advanced Musicianship – a class to challenge and encourage our more advanced students, developing a deeper understanding of music history, analysis and theory.
Details: Every Wednesday at 8.15, led by Mr Booth in the music room.
Our musician in residence, Jon Booth runs an advanced music class (nicknamed by our students as the ‘Ultra Club’) before school on Wednesday mornings. It is designed for students who enjoy listening to and talking about music of all genres, while having some fun at the same time. Students are encouraged to suggest works to feature in the seminar style discussion – and challenge Mr Booth’s sight reading! It is part of our plans to develop a cohort of secondary students who have the potential to do well at A level music and beyond. Some of the topics and music covered recently include:– composing melody: Schenkerian analysis and Chopin’s nocturnes.– order and complexity in music: Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Charles Ives’ Central Park in the Dark.– creativity through variation: Beethoven’s Diabelli variations for piano.– the cycle of fifths and its use through the ages from Bach to jazz.– the aesthetics of simplicity: what makes Bach’s C major prelude and Satie’s Gymnopedie iconic works?– and what makes PDQ Bach’s cantata, “Iphigenia in Brooklyn” a good joke?– the features of jazz and musical conversations: with a lunchtime live performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.– how important can one interval be? The perfect fourth and Debussy’s “Cathedrale Engloutie”.– cohérence in composition versus predictability. When does repetition become boring or mesmeric? Steve Reich and the “minimalists”.– and how does Beethoven manage to keep his music from falling apart? Monster contrasts in the late string quartets.
- Contemporary Vocal Group – a group of singers specialising in pop music and group arrangements of pop songs. Singers take part in this group by invitation.
- Theory Classes – the school offers two theory classes to suit all abilities to help develop theory, aural and score-reading abilities. These classes focus on different standards. Grade 5 Theory Bootcamp is for advanced theory students and focuses on ABRSM Grade 5 syllabus and beyond. Grade 1-4 focuses on the earlier stages of theory, which will aid greatly with musical literacy and understanding.
Details: Grades 1-4 Theory is on Mondays at 8.15 and Grade 5 Theory Bootcamp is on Fridays at 8.15 in the Music Room, both taught by Miss Moss.
- Exam Coaching– exam coaching sessions are scheduled for and available to any pupil taking an ABRSM (or equivalent) practical exam who would like some additional feedback and support ahead of their exam. These sessions are led by Miss Moss and instrumental teachers may also be in attendance.