At Marlborough, we have a unique view on chamber music based on the experience and vision of our teaching staff in this field. We recognise its importance in building shared links across departments and its ability to bring pupils together through its extraordinary repertoire. We encourage chamber music from Shell through to Upper Sixth with particular regard for the dynamic of each group in terms of age, ability and social compatibility. We understand that life at Marlborough is full, so we prefer to develop chamber music performance through specific projects, be it a workshop with a visiting artist or a formal or informal school performance.
Any pupil in Shell or Remove who plays a wind, brass or percussion instrument to Grade 3 standard or above is eligible for the College Concert Band. This ensemble, usually made up of around 50 players, exists to complement the weekly work of other groups that are aimed at the less experienced musician. Uniquely, the ensemble also contains Music scholars from Shell and Remove who are very experienced, often working at Grade 8 level and above, whose function in this context is to lead and inspire. Rehearsals take the form of a one-day course in the Michaelmas Term which is repeated in the Lent Term, and includes sectional rehearsals with specialists as well as full ensemble sessions concluding with a concert for parents and friends. In the second half of the Summer Term the group rehearses weekly in preparation for a concert in the final week of the school year.