Music is intrinsically bound in the life of St George’s and over half the pupils at the school learn a musical instrument. There are over 150 music lessons scheduled on a weekly basis, every pupil is taught music up until the end of the Third Year, the Chapel Choir sing three times a week in assemblies and there are a wide variety of musical groups on offer and two major music concerts a term.
St George’s is particularly well known for its choral music and the Chapel Choir in particular is of a very high standard and selective by audition. The girls in the Chapel Choir, who wear distinctive red cloaks, have sung on four occasions for the Queen, on other occasions for other members of the Royal Family, tours overseas - most recently to Spain and next year to Venice - and are invited on a regular basis to sing at concerts, weddings and services including Carols for the Law Society in London, Concerts at Eton College and even this year the Windsor Horse Show!
The Chapel Choir has broadcast for Radio 3, made its own CD, and sings Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey once a year.
We currently have the following music groups which take place on a weekly basis:
Chapel Choir (classical and church music)
String Ensemble (all styles)
Junior Choir (contemporary)
Flute Group (Mozart to TV theme tunes)
In addition there are currently two rock and pop groups run by the students and we have a large-scale joint orchestra with Heathfield School which rehearses on a monthly basis and performs a concert once a year either at St George’s or at Heathfield.
The Director of Music jokingly says that at St George’s girls can learn every instrument apart from the bagpipes! We do have music teachers for every instrument with the most popular being singing, classical guitar and electric guitar, percussion, piano, violin, clarinet and saxophone.
Our girls sit ABRSM exams every term and many pupils have even progressed onto Diploma stage. Those interested in Musical Theatre take the Thames Valley University Musical Theatre Exams and percussionists take the Trinity College Exams.
There are a variety of concerts which take place every term. Every term there is both a Junior Concert and a Whole School Concert which includes both solos and ensembles and give all pupils in the school a chance to perform.
During the autumn term there are four choral concerts including Harvest Festival, Remembrance, Advent and the Christmas Carol Service which is held at Windsor Church. The drama and music departments also get together to perform a school musical during the autumn with past performances including Bugsy Malone, Oliver! and Les Miserables.
During the spring, the House Music Competition takes place where pupils from each of the four Houses at St George’s perform a special concert which is adjudicated by an external judge. Items include a beginner, intermediate and advanced solo performances, an ensemble performance, the whole House taking part in a House song and a special item, chosen by the pupils which can be anything with a musical theme!
The summer term is a particularly busy one for concerts. It begins with the Jazz and Dance Show where the jazz group performs a variety of pieces from the 1920s to current numbers from the charts and all girls who have dance lessons perform solos and in groups. Music for a Summer Evening at the end of term is an opportunity for leaving Sixth Form students, the jazz group and Chapel Choir to perform for the rest of the school, parents, Governors, staff and friends to celebrate the end of the school year. The Chapel Choir also sing at the Valedictory Service and on Speech Day and the Junior Concert in May features soloists and the Junior Choir.
St George’s has some excellent facilities for music. There are 12 practise and teaching rooms, two classrooms for classroom music, taught from First to Third year, and IT room fitted with electronic keyboards and Sibelius music composition software, a drum and percussion room, four excellent Grand pianos and of course two performance spaces – the Chapel and the Sue Cormack Hall.