Excellence of performance is a characteristic of music at St George’s.
Each term there is a Junior Concert and a Whole School Concert, including solos and ensembles. The concerts provide an opportunity for all pupils in the school to perform. During the Autumn Term, we celebrate Harvest Festival, Remembrance and Advent, and the whole school looks forward to the Christmas Carol Service which is held at Windsor Church. During the Spring Term, the House Music Competition takes pride of place, where pupils from each of our four Houses compete in a special concert, adjudicated by an external judge.
The Summer Term is a particularly busy one for the Music Department. The term begins with the Jazz and Dance Show, a dazzling evening in which the Jazz Group performs a variety of pieces from the 1920's to current chart hits, with our Natalie Vinson dancers performing solo and and group numbers. Music for a Summer Evening at the end of term is an opportunity for our Upper Sixth pupils, the Jazz Group and our Chapel Choir to perform for the rest of the school community, Governors and parents, celebrating the end of the school year.
We are well known for our choral music. The Chapel Choir is of a very high standard and selection is made by audition. The girls in the Chapel Choir, with their distinctive red cloaks, have sung on four occasions for the Queen and on separate occasions for other members of the Royal Family. They have toured overseas, most recently to Rome and Vienna, 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 Ascot Racecourse or the Windsor Horse Show!
The Chapel Choir has broadcast for Radio 3, recorded three CD’s, and sings Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey once a year.
Our First to Third Years Pupils study music as part of the curriculum, introducing them to a wealth of different styles of music from Stomp to Jazz and Blues, from the Carnival of the Animals to Reggae, from Star Wars to African Drumming. The girls explore the musical theory and work on composition, both individually and in groups.
St George’s has excellent facilities for making music. There are twelve practice and teaching rooms, two dedicated music classrooms for the First to Third Years and an IT room fitted with electronic keyboards and Sibelius music composition software. We have a drum and percussion room, four excellent Grand pianos and of course two performance spaces – the Chapel and the Sue Cormack Hall.
Participation in instrumental and choral ensembles inspires loyalty, confidence and an appreciation of excellence. It also nurtures a sense of community, a point of essential social contact and an aesthetic dimension to the girls’ development. The girls are encouraged to take part in music at all levels and many find it to be a significant part of their education that they hugely value.
We run a variety of music groups throughout the week includingChapel Choir, Orchestra, String Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Junior Choir and Flute Group.
In addition there are rock and pop groups run by the pupils and girls are always keen to take part in the Open Mic Nights that are held each term.
Our Head of Music sometimes jokes that the girls can learn every instrument apart from the bagpipes! Under the guidance of outstanding teaching by a team of sixteen visiting staff, over half the pupils at the school take individual music lessons. Lessons cover a huge range of instruments with over two hundred timetabled lessons each week!
Instruments include singing, classical guitar and electric guitar, percussion, piano, violin, clarinet, trumpet 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.