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Over 190 pupils at Kingswood School learn a musical instrument and there are around 300 individual music lessons timetabled every week for those who for instance want to sing, play the electric guitar, piano, violin, drums or saxophone as well as enjoy opportunities to perform in the music school and Chapel as soloists or in small ensembles. We encourage our musicians to take the Associated Board music exams and some have reached post Grade 8 Diploma level whilst still at school. The department also offers theory and aural coaching sessions for those wishing to take Grade 5 music theory and other musical qualifications.
For further information on the instruments that we provide tuition for here at Kingswood and to see the range of the 28 music department staff and the instruments they teach please see the the attachment at the bottom of this page.
Musical Groups and Ensembles
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A variety of musical groups, clubs and activities are also on offer for those who have a passion for music and we aim to get as many of our students as involved with music as possible. Our current ensembles include: The Kingswood Jazz Orchestra, Senior Orchestra and Westwood (Junior) Orchestra, Brass Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Ceilidh Band and a variety of chamber and string music ensembles. In addition, we have four choirs at the school: the Senior Choir for students in years 9-13, the Chamber Choir for students in years 11-13, Westwood Voices for pupils in Years 7-8 and the Year 9-10 Girls Choir which perform a range of music from traditional choral to pop and musical theatre. We encourage our pupils to organise their own groups which have resulted in several student-run rock bands and, to make use of our excellent recording studios, we run Band Factory, which enables pupils get involved in producing and recording music of different genres.
External competitions and events
Kingswood students also take part in external music competitions and events locally and recently our pupils have performed on television with the Bath Abbey Choir, taken part in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, National Children's Choir, and a number of individuals enter for the local Mid-Somerset Festival each year.
Musicians at Kingswood also have the opportunity to perform as part of the orchestra, alongside professional musicians, in the bi-annual Kingswood musical, run in conjunction with the drama department. Past productions have included 'Spamalot' in which Old Kingswoodian Tim Curry starred in the West End Production, 'Oliver!', 'Bugsy Malone', 'Into The Woods' and 'Return to the Forbidden Planet'.
A particular emphasis of the department is to support the local community with music. Musicians make frequent visits to sing in Bath churches and perform concerts in a range of other venues in the local area. Recent performance highlights have included launching the International Bath Music Festival at Green Park Station with a rock and pop concert, a Massed Choirs performance of Zimbe! at the Bath Assembly Rooms, Carol and Commemoration Day services at Bath Abbey, a choirs concert at St Stephen's Church, a fundraising concert at Woolley Church and a performance at Iford Manor. There are major music concerts held at school each term and, in addition, regular lunchtime performances which give all our musicians the chance to play in front of an audience.
Workshops and Masterclasses
We also bring in professional musicians for workshops. Jamie Cullum performed a private concert last term and gave jazz workshops and tutorials in the Kingswood Theatre for Kingswood music students and pupils from local state schools. In addition he worked with the Kingswood Jazz Orchestra, rehearsing with the students, helping them work on ensemble playing and improving their improvisation. To see a video from the event, please look at the link below.
Kingswood Choral Society
Parents, Friends and staff are also encouraged to get involved by joining the Kingswood Choral Society which meets on a weekly basis with performances once or twice a year. Last year they performed Faure's Requiem, and this year they will sing Zimbe! at the Assembly Rooms.
The music department organises bi-annual international music tours with last trip to Disneyland Paris. This is a wonderful way of enjoying the power of music in spectacular venues and forming strong bonds across age groups.