Music

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 pupils are stretched with challenging repertoire and leading ensembles, pupils that wish to perform with others and gain invaluable ensemble performance experience are also catered 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. A recital series runs through the year which affords individual pupils the opportunity to perform solo. Various other large-scale events also take place through the school year, including a Year 6 musical, a Year 7 concert and a whole school musical.

Pupils also have the opportunity to study Music at both GCSE and A-Level.

Choirs

Singing is a major part of the musical output at the School and all pupils are encouraged to sing at some point in their school career. Harrow Singers is our largest group and is open to all; this group sings at many events both in and out of school each year. Smaller vocal groups include the Prep Choir, Senior Singers and a pupil-led a cappella group. 

Instrumental Ensembles

Upper School Orchestra

Continually going from strength to strength, the Upper School Orchestra is the main ensemble for the many talented instrumental musicians in the school. There is a minimum standard of instrumental expertise required and entry is dependent upon audition. A regular and consistent commitment to rehearsals is also expected.

Recent repertoire has included Bizet’s Carmen Suite, Beethoven’s 1st Symphony and lighter items such as the theme from ET.

Big Band

Exploring the vast repertoire of Swing, Big Band, Latin-Jazz and Fusion, the Big 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 music by Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Bob Mintzer.

Pop Orchestra

One of the newer ensembles, the Pop Orchestra brings together singers, and players of guitar, bass, piano, drums and strings to learn a specially-arranged Pop and Rock repertoire such as Stayin’ Alive and Live and Let Die.

Soul Bands

The Soul Bands are very popular groups, giving singers, saxophone, trumpet and trombone players, pianists, guitarists, bassists and drummers an opportunity to work together to perform Soul, Funk and Pop classics by artists such as Chaka Khan, The Beatles, Madness and Tower of Power.

There is a Senior Soul Band, a Year 10 Soul Band, and a Prep Soul Band.

Wind Ensemble

This pupil led ensemble gives Upper School pupils that play flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone 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 pupils 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.

Guitar Ensemble

Originating as a group for Upper School classical and acoustic guitar players, this musically diverse ensemble 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 pupils.

Recent performances have included Guns n Roses’ Sweet Child o' Mine and The Eagles' Hotel California.

Saxophone Ensemble

For alto, tenor and baritone saxophonists, this pupil-led ensemble plays specially arranged pieces that demonstrate 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 and On the Sunny Side of the Street.

Samba

Pupils have the chance to use the School’s specially made Samba kit to perform original arrangements of traditional Samba Batucada music.

Brass Group

This weekly group gives pupils of the trumpet, trombone, horn and tuba an opportunity to play together and build ensemble skills.

Pre-Prep Instrumental Ensembles

The Pre-Prep School has its own orchestra, string group and ukulele ensemble that provide a nurturing environment for our younger pupils to learn and develop important ensemble playing skills. Choirs for Years 3 to 5 and Years 1 to 2 also run through the year in addition to a weekly singing assembly for the entire Pre-Prep. Each group has the opportunity to perform in concerts to parents and other pupils each term.

Individual Instrumental and Singing Lessons

In addition to a varied classroom Music curriculum, Harrow Hong Kong also offers all pupils 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 pupils' 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 pupils will come out of part of a different subject class each week.

We currently offer specialist tuition in the following:

  • Cello
  • Viola
  • Violin
  • Double Bass
  • Clarinet
  • Flute
  • Saxophone
  • Horn
  • Trombone
  • Trumpet
  • Tuba
  • Orchestral Percussion
  • Drum Kit
  • Piano
  • Guitar (Classical, Acoustic and Electric)
  • Singing

For further information, please contact the Music department on music.enquiries@harrowschool.hk