Orchestra and Ensembles
The School Orchestra and various ensembles provide pupils with an excellent introduction to group music making. All orchestral instrumentalists are encouraged to join one or more of the groups such as the School Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Junior Strings, Concert Band, several chamber groups and a jazz group: The Seagrave Stompers. Choral and orchestral concerts are held each term in the Arts Theatre and pupils and teachers give lunch hour recitals in the foyer of the Arts Centre and Junior House choir room.
Junior Wind Band
Junior Wind Band meets twice a week for a full rehearsal and for sectional work. They perform at the termly Senior Instrumental Concert and their repertoire is a mixture of jazz and more traditional symphonic band music. Membership has grown from around 30 to 50 in the past 12 months. The band is not auditioned and there is no age limit – the only criteria for joining is that pupils must be between Grades 1 & 5 AB standard in their instrument. Recent repertoire has included Frosty the Snowman, Jingle Bells, Surfin' USA, My Girl and It don't mean a thing (if it aint got that swing).
Concert Band meets weekly for an hour after school and for sectionals at lunchtime. The band is open to all wind, brass and percussion players of Grade 5 and above, AB standard. The repertoire includes original symphonic band compositions of the 20th Century (eg. The band suites by Holst) and arrangements of orchestral music, film music and jazz. Recent pieces have included There's No Business Like Show Business (Irving Berlin), James Bond Suite (arr. Erickson) and a Mary Poppins Medley (Sherman & Sherman).
This ensemble consists of musicians from J4 to Upper Sixth-Form and has grown to 70+ in number. The grade for strings is 5+ and wind and brass 6+. They rehearse each week after school and there are frequent sectional rehearsals at lunchtimes. The orchestra performs a the termly instrumental concert in the school theatre and recent repertoire includes Dvorak's Symphony no. 9, Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Holst's Jupiter and Sibelius' Finlandia.
This ensemble was established only three years ago and involves about 20 pupils from Third to Upper Sixth-Form. It is an advanced group, all post Grade 7. They have performed at the internal Music Scholar concerts and also at the Hammersmith and Fulham festival, Downside School (as part of a tour) and also at the Royal Marsden Hospital. Repertoire has included Elgar's Serenade for Strings, Bach's Double Violin Concerto, Rutter's Suite Antique and Bach's Brandenburg Concerti, 3 and 4.
There are approximately 25 pupils involved in regular chamber groups from First to Upper Sixth-Form. They have played at internal concerts and the Royal Marsden hospital. Recent repertoire includes Mendelssohn's Octet and Schumann's Piano Quintet. A string quartet took part in a masterclass at the Royal Academy of Music in 2006. A brass chamber group has started in September 2009.
This is open to players Grade 1+ and has pupils from First to Fourth-Form as members. It is essentially a training ensemble, but performs in each term's instrumental concert. It numbers over 40 pupils and has doubled in size over the last three years. It performs simple arrangements of works such as Grieg's Holberg Suite.