Music Gifted & Talented

Chamber orchestraIn the Music Department we make every effort to give the more able extended opportunities for performance and general musical development.

Pupils are put into instrumental and choral groups as ability allows, which then challenges further. These include junior orchestra, senior orchestra, junior strings, senior strings, string quartets, junior swing Band, wind band, big band, junior flute group, senior flute group, clarinet quartet, sax quartet, jazz improvisation, soul band, junior choir, junior choral group, senior choir, chamber choir. Pupils are given opportunities to lead sections, and to conduct. Theory sessions are run for all ages to develop at the appropriate rate.

A chamber orchestra is intended for those for those with grade 6 an above.

We host an orchestral day each year where pupils from many schools are involved up to year 8 (last year 170+ children were involved).

Senior choirAll who would like to are invited to sing in the choir for the choral concert (recently, Messiah, and also a range of music from Handel to Tavener) – and often approaching 25% of the senior school can be involved. A considerable musical challenge, and in concert, an outstanding experience.

The choral concert also brings together OB’s who will perform the solo roles, giving a clear insight for present pupils of the professional life, and an opportunity to learn from them.

There are visits each year from professionals to give masterclasses to our musicians. Recently these have included Alexander technique, Piano duet, and Michael Omer who led a day in composition. Lisa Tregale, OB, and William Pool, OB, both gave masterclasses.

Visits to operas and concerts are arranged and pupils of varying age ranges are encouraged to go, including at times lectures on the music.

ViolinIn class (years 7-9) the more able musical pupils are given leadership roles in group activities.

All pupils are entered for practical exams (including diplomas) where appropriate.

A level pupils are encouraged to perform in recital.

HarpMusic Awards are offered at 11+, 13+ and 16+. Music Scholars given extra lessons in first study when in 6th form if appropriate.  Music Scholars meet to form a Scholars’ Choir on occasions.

Music Scholars, and other talented musicians achieve the highest grades by the time they leave (UCAS tariff points used by some), often in more than one study (some as many as three).

The very able in the 6th form are being given the opportunity to perform with an orchestra in a concerto (or equivalent). Some have been able to play in professional or semi professional orchestras. Pupils are encouraged to conduct the choir and orchestra.

The very gifted and talented are supported in their quest to study music (academic or practical) at university or conservatoire, and move into the world of professional music. Several OB’s are happy to provide invaluable advice for present pupils.