Music Performance Programme
The music performance programme is rooted in the curriculum, with event opportunites that include mini-concerts, recitals, talent shows and charity fundraisers, as well as whole-school choral and instrumental shows, and a bi-annual Spring Concert.
In Middle School we offer
- General Music for grades 5, 6 and 7
- an intensive Choir and Orchestra program
- a co-curricular ‘Music Opportunities’ program during the lunch hour
- the opportunity to engage private music tuition
Middle School Curriculum
We align our curriculum to rigorous standards, preparing students to undertake the renowned International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, and/or the Advanced Placement (AP) Diplomas and courses in High
Middle School Opportunities
General Music is offered for grades 5, 6 and 7, generally meeting 3 times a week for one quarter. At each grade level students will explore aspects of music history, theory, composition, improvisation and performance. Both fun and challenging, classroom work is short-term project oriented, developing listening skills, composition and performing. Students will be encouraged and expected to perform for their peers.
Choir (grades 6, 7 and 8) is a year-long course meeting 3 times a week, open to anyone who enjoys singing. Each grade level will work on their own music literature, in addition to learning music to perform with other grade level choirs, and instrumental ensembles. Students will learn the basics of vocal production, developing technical skills and aesthetic awareness through the study and performance of a varied middle/junior high choral literature. Several mandatory performances are scheduled throughout the year, including some assemblies and evening concerts. A specific Concert Dress is required. No previous singing experience is necessary. No private lessons are required.
Choir 5 (The Fab Fives) meets Mondays during Recess.
Orchestra (grades 6, 7 and 8) is a year-long course meeting 3 times a week. The course is open to instrumentalists of all abilities who play orchestral instruments (i.e. woodwind, brass, strings and orchestral percussion). We play a variety of music of different styles and genres, arranged to suit the capabilities of individual players. Each grade level works on their own music literature, in addition to learning music to perform with other grade level instrumental ensembles, and sometimes with Choir. Students develop inner listening skills, technical skills and aesthetic awareness through the study and performance of repertoire. A specific Concert Dress is required.
Grade 5 Orchestra meets before school on Wednesdays.
Our programme is rooted in the curriculum (K – 12) and is offered during the school day, but we also offer a broad co-curricular programme in Music and Drama before and after school, and run a complementary visiting music teacher programme, offering private tuition in piano, percussion, strings, brass, woodwind, guitar, keyboard, theory, voice and speech & drama lessons and exams.
A Dedicated Team
We are located in the EJ Poularas Performing Arts Centre, and our department comprises a dedicated team of 10 arts practitioners who teach across the four divisions on our campus – including Music, Drama and Theatre; 11 visiting music and drama teachers; and our work is ably supported by our department secretary (Ms Angie Rowe) and theatre technician (Mr John Baddeley).
From Lower School to High School
In Lower School, all students participate in integrated Performing Arts classes. While all students in Middle School have classes in Music and Drama. From 8th grade, students elect an arts class from the several available offerings. The curricular programme concludes with students able to take exams in the two-year IB Music and IB Theatre classes. Since August 2015 we also offer a High School class in general Music.
Music & Performing Arts throughout the year
In 2017/2018, theatre productions for the year included The Wizard of Oz (presented by the Lower School) and Once Upon a Time… Before the Internet and Fantastic Mr Fox (presented by the Middle School). The High School performed the intense South African drama, Boo to the Moon, a spine-tingling production of the musical Little Shop of Horrors, and also presented an evening of six ten-minute plays (some of which were written and directed by the students). The Drama 2 class gave three performances of The Ruff Guide to Shakespeare to students and parents. The IB Theatre first year students again created and managed The Haunted House at the PSO’s annual Trunk or Treat event.
We were fortunate to enjoy the expertise of Artist-in-Residence Simone Lewis, who spent time in each of the divisions, but also worked directly with HS students on two productions as well as The Haunted House.
This year, several MS students attended the MS ISTA Festival at the Eden Project in Cornwall, along with students from several other schools across the world. Our IB Theatre students attended the annual three-day ISTA TAPS in Stratford-upon-Avon, and went in to London to see The Ferryman. Several students also entered and passed Trinity Drama Exams.
Our music programme was equally as busy, with a series of Lower School, Middle School and High School recitals, grade level music assemblies and concerts, as well as our annual combined cross-divisional Choir and Instrumental Concerts, the Winter Holiday Pops, and the Summer Concert. This year we again celebrated International Day of Peace with a joint performance by students from each of the divisions at a special assembly held in the courtyard for the whole school. In November, we hosted a World Arts Festival with Tango and Kathakali workshops and presentations. Also in November, our Middle School singers competed in the 2017 Woking Festival, winning first place in their category and The Swallow Shield for best school choir under 15!
In March, our Lower, Middle and High School choirs joined thousands of young singers at the Wembley Arena to celebrate Voice in a Million. In March, we also hosted a three-day Marimba Camp, with students joining us from around Scandinavia. Several of our HS and MS students also shared their musical talents on two occasions with the patients and staff at Princess Alice Hospice in Esher. We also presented a Jazz Evening, featuring performances by Middle and High School students, as well as guests from Tiffin Boys School. Finally, the High School Marimba Band performed at the Bracknell Food Festival in June.
As always, several of our students also completed ABRSM and Trinity music exams, and showcased their work at a special evening concert. This year, we also hosted three Rock Band workshop days.