Making music is an integral part of daily life at our school, with an abundance of opportunities for all ages and abilities. The growth of musical talent is organic and eclectic, with jazz, rock, funk, blues and classical ensembles evolving without fanfare but with great success throughout the year. We give boys every opportunity to showcase their abilities, from formal performances and composers’ concerts, to lunchtime recitals and school assemblies.
Boys are able to nurture their musical talent and passion in our spacious, fully computerised music suites equipped with midi keyboards, recording pods and traditional instruments. At every level of music education, technology is enthusiastically embraced, from listening and appraisal to performing and composing. Students can also access individual instrument or singing lessons, with a team of over 30 visiting instrumental musicians working with our music department to enhance musical provision across the school.
In Year 2 boys can learn the piano or violin. Theory and aural lessons are also available to help boys prepare for the Associated Board Exams. While in Years 7 to 9, music lessons stress composition as well as musical knowledge and performance.
There are three choirs in our Junior Section – the Year Two Choir, the Lower School Choir (Years 3 and 4) and the Junior School Choir (Years 5 and 6). The Senior Section also features a highly talented barbershop group, made up accomplished vocalists who also sing as part of the Wakefield Cathedral Choir. Our choirs take part in local festivals and the latter in National Competitions with the Junior Section Choir also touring Holland every two years.
Our Junior and Senior orchestras and swing band involve over 50 boys from Year 3 upwards. The aim is to provide an opportunity for boys of varying abilities and instruments to play together regularly, working towards performances in musical events.
Group music making is also hugely encouraged. Choral groups and concert bands, some collaborating with Wakefield Girls’, give performances of the highest standard. Other ensembles include Brass, Jazz and Guitar Groups and there are musical events throughout the year to develop performance skills both within our school and the local community.
Participating in the Performing Arts plays an important, enriching part of the lives of many of our boys. Throughout the year, all age groups in our Junior Section from Year 3 to Year 6, take part in a stage production, encouraging teamwork, developing language and social interaction skills and providing valuable experience in drama and musical performance.
The Year 6 summer production involves the whole year group and rounds off a year of musical achievement. Stunning scenery, costumes and scripts combine to create highly entertaining performances bursting with vibrant colour and action, with recent plays including Sweeney Todd, Jekyll and Hyde and Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat.
Each year, our Senior Section stages major productions jointly with Wakefield Girls’, giving students the chance to develop their acting, front of house management and backstage skills whilst playing a major role in co-ordinating lighting, scenery, design and sound.