Musical Groups and Events
There are numerous performance opportunities for students at Burford School. Those students receiving instrumental tuition at school are expected to participate in one or more ensembles. Events throughout the year include the following:
- Year 7 Choral Competition
- Star for a Night – Burford School’s answer to the X-Factor, this House competition is a chance for students for students to perform with a live band in front of a packed house of friends and family.
- An Evening with ‘All That Jazz’ – featuring our Jazz Band. An evening of great music with supper in a cafe atmosphere.
- A Christmas Miscellany – two evening performances of Christmas music and readings.
- The Spring Concert – this more formal evening showcases our ensembles and soloists. In 2018 this will include a performance of new composition work by students created under the directorship of Dr John Traill, Director and Lecturer of Music at St Anne’s College Oxford.
- A Broadway Musical – in the past we have performed Grease, Oliver! and Beauty & The Beast.
(NB: The Spring Concert and Broadway Musical take place on alternate years.)
- A -level Performance Evening
- Summer Gala – wide ranging performances from the school’s musical groups following the Music Residential Week.
- Burford Institute of Music Choral Society – Students, parents, staff members, alumni and local residents come together for a few short weeks during the winter to to form a choral society. They learn a variety of music which they perform at the Christmas Miscellany concerts. Biennially, in the Spring, the choral society members rehearse a short piece of choral music and the event culminates in an evening performance in Burford Church. Past pieces have included Zadok the Priest – Handel; Gloria in D – Vivaldi; Faure’s Requiem (Op.48)
- 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. The students have also been invited to play at private functions and have performed at the Water City Music Festival at the Tower of London and the Tall Ships Festival in Gloucester Docks.
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.
For the past 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. 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.
Rehearsals take place between 9.00am to 9.00pm with time off through the day for sports and recreation. During the Residential all the students come together to create a massed choir with separate harmonies. The grand finale is a performance of to friends, family, students and staff at the Summer Gala back in Burford on the last day of the academic year.
Starting with forty seven students in 1997, the residential has now become a highlight of our musicians year and numbers are regularly at, or around, a hundred. Until recently the residential was based in Colwyn Bay, North Wales and students from Years 7 – 13 attended along with ten members of staff, who themselves play instruments.
In 2019 we moved venues to Repton School in the north of England. This proved to be a very successful week enjoyed by all those who attended.