The School has two orchestras which are run jointly with our sister school, King Edward VI High School for Girls. They are both conducted by Peter Bridle who is well known in the Midlands for his professional conducting work and has been awarded an MBE for his work with young people and music. This year he was awarded a Classic FM music teacher of the year award.
Symphony Orchestra is a senior ensemble which plays mainstream orchestral repertoire. In addition to the weekly rehearsals, it has an annual residential course, usually early in the New Year, at the Pioneer Centre in Cleobury Mortimer. This residential weekend affords the opportunity for intensive rehearsals, which benefits this ensemble both musically and socially.
A wide variety of music is performed, including some of the more challenging works in the repertoire, and it also provides opportunities for our advanced instrumentalists to perform concertos. Major orchestral works are performed in the Ruddock Hall and Symphony Hall and these works are often recorded for CD.
Concert Orchestra is a junior/training ensemble and its repertoire consists mainly of arrangements suitable for intermediate players. Occasionally, the orchestra is combined with Symphony Orchestra to play more challenging works.
In order to train players for progression into Concert Orchestra and then Symphony Orchestra we also run a String Ensemble which, with its straightforward repertoire, encourages pupils to play fluently and familiarises them with skills of orchestral playing.
The player below has a live recording of the schools' Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Peter Bridle) playing the first movement of the Piano Concerto in A minor by Grieg in a recent concert in Symphony Hall. The piano soloist is Jinah Shim.