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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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