Shrewsbury School

Ensembles and Choirs

We try to get as many boys/girls as possible actively singing or playing in a choir/ensemble of some sort. Making music in a group is so much fun, and we will endeavour to find the right standard for each individual. In addition to the groups below, the annual House Singing Competition involves virtually every pupil, and all pupils have the chance to audition and take part in one of the school's regular musical theatre productions.

Pupils also devise and run their own groups, and are able to rehearse using the excellent facilities within the Maidment Building where the Music School is housed.

School Ensembles and Choirs

  • The Symphony Orchestra is one of the most experienced and prestigious musical groups within the School.  Membership is open to all pupils who have reached a requisite standard; applications to join are usually made by approaching the Director of Music for consideration as a member.
    The Orchestra gives regular performances at the School, both on its own and also accompanying the School Choral Society.  In addition, each year the Orchestra usually plays in a major national venue such as St John's Smith Square.  Biennial tours are undertaken, and there are many opportunities for the more talented students to perform as soloists with the Orchestra in concert.
  • The Wind Orchestra is a large body of musicians who meet once a week and rehearse and perform repertoire for Wind Orchestra and Concert Band.  It provides a good opportunity for players of varying standards to come together to enjoy playing music written for a specific kind of musical group.  The Wind Orchestra gets at least three major performing opportunities a year.
  • Big Band at Shrewsbury comprises musicians with a genuine love of Big Band and Jazz repertoire, who meet on an occasional basis, or sometimes more regularly depending on concert commitments.  The repertoire stretches from traditional American big band standards to modern arrangements.
    In recent years the Band has toured to Prague, France and Germany.
  • The Pepys Brass Quintet is one of two brass quintets run for the best senior brass players in the School.  Membership is by invitation and informal audition.  The group is a reincarnation of the original Pepys Brass Quintet founded by the master-in-charge at Magdalene College, Cambridge (where the Pepys Library is situated) in 1974.  The repertoire is wide-ranging and challenging and the group performs regularly at concerts both in and out of the School.
  • The Senior Brass Ensemble is an active and accomplished group of brass and percussion players.  The repertoire tends towards the contemporary, and in recent years the Ensemble has regularly played at St John's Smith Square, the CBSO centre, the RNCM and also on tour with the Symphony Orchestra, as well as at many School concerts throughout the year.
  • The Senior String Ensemble at Shrewsbury is a superb group of string players who specialise in this particular genre of music to a high level.  The group has many opportunities for performing both in and outside the School.  Membership of the Ensemble is based on a combination of skill levels and real enthusiasm for playing a stringed instrument.
  •  The Chamber Choir is open to all year groups, by invitation, and rehearses on Wednesday afternoons.
    The Chamber Choir enjoys a good reputation for its regular appearances at concerts and on tours with the School and in the community.  The repertore might be from madrigals to modern arrangements, from spirituals to sacred works with orchestra.  The emphasis and approach is based on informal excellence.
    In recent years the Chamber Choir has contributed to performances at the Royal Northern College of Music, St John's Smith Square, Brimingham Town Hall, School concerts and many tours abroad.
  • The Chapel Choir is open to all year groups.  Please see the Chapel Choir page for more information.
  • The Community Choir is a non-auditioning choir that was formed in 1982 by the former Head of Music, Andrew Auster, to introduce some outside interest in the Shrewsbury School Music Department, and to get external interaction with the students, who not only play in the orchestra, but also sing with the choir during some concerts.  Please see the Community Choir page for more information.
  • Jazz Band
  • String quartets
  • Junior and Senior string ensembles
  • Clarinet and sax groups
  • Year-based brass groups
  • Flute Ensemble
  • Tuba and horn quartets
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