We are pleased to offer a range of instrumental ensembles that give our students the opportunity to perform together and experience repertoire outside of their individual music lessons. The ensembles are led by our music staff, whose specialisms encompass all orchestral instruments. A high level of playing is maintained throughout all ensembles and pupils are expected to attend rehearsals on a weekly basis. These groups perform regularly throughout each term and are a vital part of the musical life at Caterham School.
Sinfonia is just one of Caterham’s flagship orchestras. Playing classical and contemporary works by great composers such as Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Brahms, Ravel, and Debussy the orchestra sets the highest level and is a feature in our annual Concert at St James’s, Piccadilly.
Caterham’s String Ensemble enjoys an in-depth study of challenging repertoire in an environment where discussion of style and musical interpretation is at the core of every rehearsal and recent highlights have included Barber’s magnificent ‘Adagio’. The String Ensemble also accompanies the school’s Chamber Choir and all other choral events, from a massed community chorus of Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’ to a Swing Night with over 70 voices.
With their success and dedication within the Wind Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia, Caterham are proud of their epic brass section. Constantly developing and taking on new challenges every turn, they have emerged as an ensemble in their own right. Having performed at Westminster Abbey and St John’s Smith Square, they were chosen to join the brass section of the London Mozart Players to premiere a new piece of music in the inaugural Croydon Festival of Peace. They have also competed in the Pro Corda National Music Festival reaching the Semi Finals. A key ensemble in many of the School’s concerts, Brass Ensemble is open to all brass players from the First Year to Upper Sixth who are Grade 5 and above.
Symphony Orchestra is the largest ensemble at Caterham with over 100 students. Combining the full forces of the String, Woodwind, Brass and Percussion faculties, Symphony Orchestra welcomes musicians of all abilities from the First Year to Upper Sixth. Making an impressive debut with Stravinsky’s ‘Firebird’ and wowing their audience with a spellbinding rendition of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Nutcracker Suite’, the Symphony Orchestra’s performance is always a highlight.
EARLY MUSIC CONSORT
As Caterham’s Lower School string ensemble, the Early Music Consort embodies artistic flare and enthusiasm for performing. This ensemble welcomes string players of all abilities from First to Fifth year and performs regularly in termly concerts and events at Caterham School. Specialising in Baroque pieces, the Early Music Consort offers the string students something different from the usual orchestral repertoire.
Caterham Wind Orchestra sets the standard of music required from all wind, brass and percussion players at Caterham School. Performing dramatic and captivating works such as Mussorgsky’s ‘Night on a Bare Mountain’, Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyrie’ and Todd Salter’s ‘Rampage’, the Wind Orchestra is an essential component at all major Caterham School concerts. Such is their adaptability, they recently took on the repertoire of a marching band, accompanying the School’s CCF cadets for their Annual General Inspection & Passing Out Parade. Featuring pieces such as Sousa’s ‘Liberty Bell’, the touching ‘Sunset and Hymn’, and the traditional ‘British Grenadiers’, members enjoyed an experience to remember.
For our younger students the transition between prep school and senior school can be quite daunting. Caterham’s Concert Band is a transition band that allows our younger students to grow in confidence before moving on to our senior orchestras. Playing a series of fun and manageable pieces throughout the year encourages the enjoyment of music as the children make their big step into a new school.
CORP OF DRUMS
Originating as the percussion section for all of the school’s orchestras, the Corp of Drums has recently been formed to play for the school’s vibrant CCF. Debuting at this year’s General Inspection and Passing Out Parade, the Corp of Drums were a musical spectacle much enjoyed by all in attendance.
We offer a range of smaller ensembles that include:
- Piano trios
- String quartets
- Flute choir
- Piano duets
- Year 1 Rock Band
- Scholars’ Ensemble
These ensembles rehearse weekly and participate in the School’s Chamber Music Concerts as well as taking part in local music festivals.