Musical Groups and Events
For almost twenty years the school has been offering a week’s music residential during the last week of the Summer Term to those who are regular members of the Training Orchestra or the Symphony Orchestra. Starting with forty seven students in 1997, this has now grown to just under a hundred. The residential is based in Colwyn Bay, North Wales and students from Years 7 – 13 attend along with ten members of staff, who themselves play instruments.
The week offers a unique experience because, rather than taking students abroad to perform for others, it focuses on giving the students themselves the opportunity to tackle new and unknown pieces, away from the distractions of normal life and in an intense and concentrated way.
Students get to know each other across the age range and there is the opportunity to combine players in interesting and unfamiliar groups. Playing takes place from 9.00am to 9.00pm with time off through the day for sports and recreation. During the week all the students come together to create a mass choir with separate harmonies. The grand finale is the performance of new material to friends, family, students and staff at the Gala Evening and barbeque back in Burford on the last day of term.
Orchestras, Bands and Ensembles
Students participate in the following events:
- ‘A’ Level Performance Evening
- Year 7 Choir Competition Evening
- Star for a Night – a house competition for singers to perform solos and duets.
- An Evening of ‘All That Jazz’
- A Christmas Miscellany – several evening performances of Christmas music and readings.
- The Spring Concert – showcasing GCSE and ‘A ‘Level composition work and solo performances. In 2016 this will include a performance of new composition work by Key Stage 3 students created under the directorship of Dr John Traill, Director of Music at St Anne’s College Oxford.
- A Broadway Musical – Sunshine on Leith, Grease, Hairspray etc
(NB: The Spring Concert and Broadway Musical take place on alternate years.)
- Summer Gala – wide ranging performances from the school’s musical groups following the Music Residential Week.
Students also perform at in-school events such as the Charter Day Service, Prize-giving Evenings and Open Evenings.
External Performances and Recordings
Our Jazz Band and Rock School regularly perform locally to help raise funds within the community. This can be at summer fetes, for local churches and at the Carterton Band Stand. This year the students have also been out to Christ Church Cathedral and the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, invited to play at private functions and will be playing in the Water Festival at the Tower of London in June.
From time-to-time Rock School students gain experience of the skills and processes of performing within the confines of a recording studio. We use a local studio, attending in small groups and this gives the students an understanding of the reality of studio work both as a performer and a technician.