Musical performance is an essential part of life at Queen Elizabeth’s School. Through our extensive concert programme and other performance opportunities, musicians and audiences are bound together in enjoyment of some of the most sublime products of human creativity.
The exhilarating shared experience of making music before an audience not only builds confidence into our instrumentalists and singers, but often inspires them to greater heights of musical sensitivity and accomplishment. In addition, the very discipline of preparing for such occasions sharpens boys’ musicianship and enhances their ability to work effectively alongside their peers.
QE offers a breadth of extra-curricular opportunities, including more than 20 regularly rehearsing ensembles. These range from our Symphony Orchestra, three choirs and the Jazz Band to chamber ensembles such as the Saxophone Ensemble, String Quartet and our Indian Music Ensembles.
There are frequent performance opportunities for QE ensembles away from the School within the community and through participation in competitions such as the Pro Corda Chamber Music Festival in which the School has attained National success in recent years. In addition, many boys take an active part in music outside School by attending the junior branches of some of the London colleges, including the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music.
At any given time, there are usually several QE boys who have been selected for national ensembles representing the pinnacle of musical achievement for school pupils, including the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, the National Youth String Orchestra, the National Youth Children’s Choir and the National Youth Orchestra for Indian music.
During the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, a QE Virtual Orchestra and a QE Virtual Choir were established to support collective performance music during lockdown. These ensembles and soloists performed for a series of online concerts for the School community, prior to in-person concerts being able to return.
Performance music has been boosted by the completion of The Friends’ Recital Hall and Music Rooms, a new £3.75m development in the heart of the campus which delivers increased space and opportunities for teaching, rehearsing and performing. This investment reflects the significance of extra-curricular music within the QE experience and the School’s commitment to participation and excellence.