Concerts and Tours
The Music Department gives several major concerts each year, numerous smaller evening recitals and many other performances besides. These events, held both at the School and at prestigious venues in London and beyond, ensure that pupils at the Vaughan are offered remarkable performing opportunities.
Michaelmas term sees the annual celebration of the Patron Saint of music, St. Cecilia, whose Feast Day is marked by a large-scale choral orchestral concert. In addition, in recent years the School has held a choral concert in early December at St James’s, Spanish Place: repertoire performed has included Walton's Belshazzar's Feast, Verdi Requiem, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Handel’s Messiah. A traditional Service of Lessons and Carols, held at Our Lady of Victories Church, Kensington ends the term. The Lent Term includes the Spring Instrumental Concert and the Easter Concert. The Spring Concert give the First Orchestra opportunity to perform at length whilst the Easter Concert is often held at St John’s, Smith Square or Cadogan Hall. The less formal Summer Concert ends the year, complete with refreshments and music from the Big Band.
Since 2008 the School has enjoyed a formal partnership with Southbank Sinfonia, London's orchestra of young professionals. Concerts, with Southbank Sinfonia performing alongside the Vaughan's Chamber Orchestra, have been given at the Jerwood Hall at LSO St Lukes, Cadogan Hall and Wathen Hall, St Paul's School with performances of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, Dvorak's New World Symphony, Brahms Second Symphony and Sibelius Second Symphony the main works.
Each term there is a Junior Concert where the youngest boys have the opportunity to develop their performance skills. An Early Evening Recital Series runs throughout the year and allows soloists and chamber groups to perform. In the Lent Term the Department runs the Annual Music Competition, with heats leading to a final: the competition is judged by a panel of distinguished visiting adjudicators.
In addition, the Schola Cantorum and the Big Band are especially busy providing music at various services and events in and around London. A particular highlight for the Schola Cantorum are the half-termly visits to Westminster Cathedral whilst the Big Band appears regularly at The Bull's Head, Barnes, London's oldest jazz venue.
Pupils frequently work with professional groups outside of School, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Choir of London, the Bach, Choir, Opera Holland Park, English National Opera and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.
At the end of each School year the Music Department collaborates with the School's English Department to stage a full-scale musical. Recent productions have been as follows:
- 1995 Guys and Dolls
- 1996 Nicholas Nickleby
- 1997 Oklahoma!
- 1998 Return to the Forbidden Planet
- 1999 Oliver!
- 2000 Guys and Dolls
- 2001 Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat
- 2002 West Side Story
- 2003 The Importance of Being Earnest
- 2004 Kiss Me Kate
- 2005 Bugsy Malone
- 2005 My Fair Lady
- 2006 Oklahoma!
- 2007 Crazy For You
- 2008 Anything Goes
- 2009 Carousel
- 2010 Sweeney Todd
- 2011 Oliver!
- 2012 Guys and Dolls
- 2013 The Pajama Game
- 2014 West Side Story
- 2015 Into the Woods
- 2016 Les Miserables
- 2017 Sweeney Todd
The Music Department organises at least one foreign tour each year. Recent trips have been as follows:
- 1999 Big Band Tour of Paris
- 2000 Schola Cantorum Tour to Paris
- 2001 Big Band Tour to Barcelona
- 2002 Schola Cantorum Tour to Rome
- 2003 Big Band Tour to Holland
- 2004 School Choir and Orchestra Tour to Germany
- 2005 Schola Cantorum Tour to Rome and Assisi
- 2006 School Choir and Big Band Tour to the USA
- 2007 Schola Cantorum Tour to Barcelona
- 2007 Schola Cantorum Tour to Paris
- 2008 School Choir and Orchestra Tour to Austria
- 2008 Schola Cantorum Tour to Venice
- 2010 School Choir and Orchestra Tour to Prague
- 2011 Schola Cantorum Tour to Rome
- 2012 School Choir Tour to California
- 2013 Schola Cantorum Tour to Poland
- 2013 Big Band Tour to Hong Kong
- 2014 School Choir Tour to Madrid
- 2015 Schola Cantorum Tour to the USA
- 2016 Schola Cantorum Tour of Rome
- 2017 Schola Cantorum Tour of South Africa
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