The School offers a varied and exciting extra-curricular Music programme led by highly experienced musicians and teachers that continually strive to create and maintain a balance between excellence and inclusivity.
Whilst the most able students are stretched with challenging repertoire and leading ensembles, students that wish to perform with others and gain invaluable ensemble performance experience are also provided for in a variety of ways. There is a busy rehearsal schedule each week with major concerts and performance opportunities each term that give the diversity of musical ensembles a platform to showcase their work. The Autumn Term also features a traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols that gives the top choirs the opportunity to lead the festive Music. Further opportunities exist for soloists to perform either in the context of one of the larger concerts or in a smaller, more intimate occasion. Collaborations with visiting Musicians from other schools or professional musicians are also a regular feature of the Musical calendar.
Singing is a major part of the musical output at the School and all students are encouraged to sing at some point in their school career. We have six choirs or vocal ensembles covering all years of the School. These range from the 1 & 2 Choir to the large SATB Upper School Choir. There is also a student-led A Cappella group for the most able Senior School singers.
Upper School Orchestra
Continually going from strength to strength, the Upper School Orchestra is the main ensemble for the many talented instrumental players in the school. There is a minimum standard of instrumental expertise required and entry is dependant upon audition. A regular and consistent commitment to rehearsals is also expected.
Recent repertoire has included some of Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances, the overture to Verdi’s La Forza Del Destino, Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture, Copland’s Rodeo Suite, Shostakovich’s Second Jazz Suite and lighter items such as excerpts from Gladiator and Pirates of the Caribbean.
This student led ensemble gives Upper School students that play flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon an opportunity to develop their ensemble playing in an intimate setting. Many of the group are also members of the Upper School Orchestra although the tailor-made arrangements also allow less experienced students to hone their skills and gain invaluable experience.
The group typically focuses on traditional repertoire with recent performances including excerpts from Holst’s St. Paul’s Suite, Beethoven’s Symphony no.7, Vaughan-Williams’s Folk Song Suite and Mozart’s Divertimento in E-flat.
Originating as a group for Upper School classical and acoustic guitar players, this musically diverse group sometimes expands to include solo performance roles for electric guitarists and bassists as well as parts for singers, percussion and string players. The carefully arranged repertoire allows for less advanced guitarists to be involved whilst still providing a challenge for more able students.
Recent performances have included Lecuona’s Malagueña, Reinhardt’s Minor Swing, Coldplay’s Fix You, Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven and The Eagle’s Hotel California.
For alto, tenor and baritone saxophonists, this student led ensemble plays specially arranged repertoire that demonstrates the diverse nature of the saxophone. Entry is by audition although parts are written to encourage less advanced musicians wherever possible.
Recent performances have included The Pink Panther, excerpts from Star Wars, On the Sunny Side of the Street and a memorably choreographed arrangement of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean.
Exploring the vast repertoire of Swing, Big Band, Latin-Jazz and Fusion, the Jazz Band involves players of saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, and trombone as well as a rhythm section of piano, bass, drums and percussion. Solo feature opportunities are regularly given to singers, pianists and other instrumentalists through carefully written arrangements.
This group is always well-received in performance and has a current repertoire that includes Tuxedo Junction, Little Brown Jug, Kessel’s Brazilian Beat, Jamie Cullum’s When I Get Famous, a transcription of Jools Holland’s Smoking Shuffle and much more.
Soul Band and Prep Soul
The Soul Bands are very popular groups giving singers, saxophone, trumpet, trombone players, pianists, guitarists, bassists and drummers an opportunity to work together to perform Soul classics such as Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, In the Midnight Hour, Baby Love, It Takes Two, I Got You (I Feel Good) and many more.
One of the newer ensembles, the Pop Orchestra brings together singers, players of guitar, bass, piano, drums and strings to learn specially arranged Pop and Rock repertoire such as Oasis’ Whatever, Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, The Black Eyed Peas’ Where Is The Love and David Bowie’s Life On Mars.
Pre-Prep Instrumental Ensembles
The Pre-Prep School has its own orchestra, string, percussion and ukulele ensembles that provide a nurturing environment for our younger students to learn and develop important ensemble playing skills. Each group has the opportunity to perform in concerts to parents and other students at the end of each term.
Individual Instrumental and Singing Lessons
In addition to a varied classroom Music curriculum, Harrow Hong Kong also offers all students from Year 1 upwards the opportunity to learn a musical instrument or singing in individual 30 minute lessons. Our team of visiting specialists are highly qualified and experienced in their particular field and can guide student's learning from complete beginners to advanced levels. The majority of lessons, as is the case in almost all English schools, take place on a rotational basis whereby students will come out of part of a different subject class each week.
We currently offer specialist tuition in the following:
Guitar (Classical, Acoustic and Electric)
For further information, please contact the Music department on email@example.com