Half-Term News from the Music Department

On the dark mornings of this winter term so far, there is one thing that I have found to be reliably uplifting.

Listening to the boys of the middle and upper schools singing hymns at the tops of their voices every Wednesday at our weekly singing practice has been one of my musical highlights of the term so far. There is something special about singing together – especially in such a large group – and it has been wonderful to see and hear the boys really embracing this at SJB. I also love catching the boys singing to themselves throughout the day as they move from lesson to lesson. Make me a channel of your peace seems to be a particularly popular tune at the moment!

The practice rooms in the music department continue to be a popular destination at break times, and the reward for everyone’s hard work was plain to see in the concerts of the past two weeks. There were some truly brilliant performances and I would like to congratulate in particular those that were courageous enough to perform for the first time this term. A big thank you to Dr Mollison and all the peripatetic music staff for everything they do to prepare the pupils for these events.

Ensemble music making is going from strength to strength thanks to the impressive commitment and dedication of all group members. The newly established Chamber Music Ensemble gave their first performance yesterday evening with a wonderful rendition of Smetena’s Vltava. The Percussion Ensemble gave a particularly tight performance of Hip Buckets last week which has already inspired new members to join the group. The orchestra is currently working on Radetzky March by Johann Strauss Sr., and the Chapel Choir is learning John Rutter’s For the Beauty of the Earth, while also preparing psalms and other items for weekly services. All ensembles are looking forward to performing in a concert in the summer term.

Well done to all the pupils who participated in the recent Pre-Prep, Middle School and Upper School concerts. It is incredibly to see the range and depth of the musical talent in the school – and the courage and determination it takes to get up and play, sing and perform in front of an audience.