Music plays an important part in the life of Stonyhurst College. Many pupils play or sing in our choirs and instrumental ensembles and receive tuition each week.
Concerts and numerous other performance opportunities enable musicians of all ages and abilities to grow in confidence.
The musical co-curricular offer includes:
- Music lessons
- Big band
- Public performances
- Performances, Concerts and Tours
- Individual instrumental and vocal lessons
- Other ensembles
Performances, Concerts and Tours
The vibrant Music Department, although located in dedicated facilities, is often to be heard around the school. Not the least of these opportunities is the weekly Sunday Mass at which the Choir of St Peter’s sings, but there is also a variety of informal and formal performance opportunities throughout the year.
Each Playroom presents a concert on the Friday evening of the Parents’ Weekend, giving an opportunity for pupils to present their musical learning to their parents. This series of concerts culminates in the Great Academies Concert at the end of May, the traditional highlight of the school year.
Music scholars travel in the region to give recitals frequently, and the Choir of St Peter’s has an annual trip to London to perform in the magnificent Church of the Immaculate Conception at Farm Street, as well as an exchange programme with the Choir of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. There are also several trips further afield in the pipeline!
Individual instrumental and vocal lessons
Lessons can be booked on an individual basis on all orchestral instruments, plus piano, organ, drum kit, all guitars and harp. Our team of fifteen visiting music teachers includes members of the Hallé Orchestra, the Tallis Scholars and the BBC Philharmonic, as well as former military band members, and so a wide range of professional expertise is available to our pupils.
The Choir of St Peter’s is our flagship ensemble, singing at the weekly Sunday Mass. It is open to all pupils; if day pupils or weekly boarders need to board on a Saturday night to enable their attendance at the 10am Sunday morning rehearsal, this is provided free of charge provided a full commitment to rehearsals, services and concerts is maintained.
Our Gospel Choir sings, without sheet music, a wide variety of more modern repertoire. It is designed as an entry point for those interested in singing but put off by classical repertoire and conventional notation, but also to extend the musical memory and improvisatory abilities of more experienced musicians. It is also a huge amount of fun!
The Orchestra plays a range of the classics, such as Shostakovich’s ‘Jazz Suite’ and Strauss’ ‘Radetzky-Marsch’, as well as film music, most recently medleys from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and ‘Star Wars’. The Orchestra performs at three concerts each year, learning at least one new piece for each, whilst maintaining a repertoire of previous pieces.
Stonyhurst’s house band, consisting of a mixture of staff and pupils, with the emphasis on jazz improvisation techniques and job-of-work musicianship.
An ensemble which explores the treasury of the repertoire written specifically for string orchestra.
As well as concert work, the Brass Group explores other avenues of brass playing, such as fanfares, bugling, and performing carols at Christmas.
The ’Cello Group is an example of an ensemble set up in response to demand: there were a large number of ’cellists and so we took the opportunity to being looking at some of the surprisingly extensive ’cello-specific repertoire.
This ensemble is drawn exclusively from the ranks of the CCF, and is run by a former military bandsman. No prior musical experience is necessary.
We have the facilities to house three rock bands simultaneously in rooms acoustically isolated from each other!