Like all musicians at Sherborne, players of woodwind instruments are given expert coaching by professional teachers, and lots of opportunities to perform. Our pupils feature in concerts locally and nationally, and woodwind ensembles make up an important part of our chamber music at Sherborne.
When you hear a fanfare at a Sherborne School Abbey Service, it will be provided by our Scholars’ Brass Ensemble. This group also performs in local venues, and had significant success in the 2013 National Pro Corda (chamber music competition).
Three other brass ensembles provide an opportunity for musicians of all levels to develop their skills, and gain experience in performing. Two of our regular Friday lunchtime recitals per year are given to the brass department, so everyone has a chance of playing in front of a live audience.
Chamber music is part of the atmosphere at Sherborne. We have piano trios, a string quartet, brass ensembles and a cello quartet. Each year, these groups are entered into the National Pro Corda Chamber Music competition, and regularly reach the final stages.
Membership of chamber music groups is generally by invitation, though boys are encouraged to set up their own ensembles if they wish.
The opportunities for string players to become involved in music making at Sherborne are extensive. We have string quartets, as well as a Chamber Orchestra – and string players are often in demand to accompany other musicians.
We also have a large number of guitarists, playing a rich variety of music. Our 41-piece guitar group was formed in 2009, and has become a very popular ensemble both within and outside the school. In addition, electric guitarists have the chance to join RocSoc and form a band, while acoustic players often feature in our regular ‘Unplugged' concerts.
Our Wind Band has almost 100 members. Entry is open to all players, from beginners to Grade Eight performers. It is an enthusiastic group of people, and nurtures a strong team ethos among its members.
The band performs one major concert each term, and regularly features on the programme for other school concerts.
We have a strong tradition of jazz music at Sherborne. Our 22-piece big band enjoys an enviable reputation and has toured places including the Caribbean, Grenada and St Lucia.
Our eight-piece jazz band is similarly successful, and performs music from the bebop era and beyond. Much of its repertoire is written by Anthony Ingle, who coaches the band on a weekly basis. Unsurprisingly, membership is highly competitive, and the band is much in demand at wedding receptions and other local events.