We are pleased to offer a range of instrumental groups that give our students the opportunity to perform together and experience repertoire outside of their set grade pieces. The ensembles are led by music staff and visiting music teachers whose specialisms encompass all orchestral instruments. A high standard of playing is maintained and pupils are expected to attend rehearsals on a weekly basis. These groups regularly perform works by our composer in residence, Mrs Helena Richards.
Caterham’s flagship chamber orchestra playing classical and contemporary works. The group regularly have works written for them by Composer in Residence Helena Richards, as well as featuring pupil compositions in their repertoire.
Sinfonia most recently performed at St James’ Piccadilly, tackling challenging music by Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky to great acclaim. Not an orchestra to shy away from a challenge, Sinfonia can regularly be found rehearsing orchestral repertoire by such heavyweights as Brahms, Beethoven, Ravel, and Debussy.
The largest ensemble at Caterham, combining the full forces of String, Woodwind and Brass faculties, Symphony Orchestra welcomes musicians of all abilities from the First Year to Upper Sixth. Making an impressive debut with Stravinsky’s Firebird the Symphony Orchestra have performed with London based orchestra St Paul’s Sinfonia. Gaining an inspirational opportunity to play along side a professional orchestra this is a partnership we look forward to exploring in future concerts.
STRING ENSEMBLE (SENIOR STRING ORCHESTRA)
Caterham’s senior string ensemble enjoy an in-depth study of challenging repertoire in an environment where discussion of style and musical interpretation is at the core of every rehearsal. Recent highlights have included Barber’s magnificent ‘Adagio’ and accompanying the massed community chorus in Vivald’s ‘Gloria’.
EARLY MUSIC CONSORT (INTERMEDIATE STRING ORCHESTRA)
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.
FRETKNOTS (GUITAR ENSEMBLE)
From J.S.Bach to James Bond, Fretknots play music spanning a wide variety of eras and styles. Open to classical guitarists of all abilities in the First Year to Upper Sixth, the group aims to improve sight-reading and ensemble performance skills, in a fun setting. The group have been featured in a variety of concerts from classical chamber music concerts to film soundtrack themed concerts.
SENIOR BRASS ENSEMBLE
Have performed successfully at Westminster Abbey and St John’s Smith Square, Caterham’s Senior Brass Ensemble were invited to perform alongside the Brass members of the London Mozart players in the first Croydon Festival of Piece. Recently the Senior Brass Ensemble got through to the Semi-Finals of the Pro Corda International Music Festival only to be stopped from getting through to the finals by the UK winter weather, where the heats were cancelled. A key ensemble in many of the schools concert, the Senior Brass Ensemble is open to all brass players in First Year to Upper Sixth who are Grade 5 and above.
Caterham Concert Band has gone from strength to strength over the past year and has performed dramatic and captivating works such as Mussorgsky’s ‘Night on a Bare Mountain’, Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyrie’ and Todd Stalter’s ‘Rampage’. Being assessed on the strength of their first two terms, Caterham Concert Band were invited to join together with the school’s ‘Combined Cadet Force’ (CCF) to perform marches for the annual Passing out Parade and the 100th Anniversary of World War One’s special ‘Remembrance Service’.
We have a number of piano trios, string quartets, flute choirs, a clarinet choir and other groups that meet regularly to play chamber music. There are bi-annual Chamber Music Concerts in the autumn to celebrate the musical masterpieces of this genre. Our Chamber Ensembles also enter the Pro Corda competitions each year.