Music commands a high profile within the School and participation in extra-curricular Music activities is strongly encouraged.
The School prides itself on its diverse range of extra-curricular musical activities. It is possible for every pupil to be involved in extra-curricular music, regardless of their ability or instrument. Below is a sample of the ensembles and groups that meet on a weekly basis, along with any requirements for involvement:
- Big Band (Grade 5 required): This group performs contemporary and classic jazz, funk and soul, giving two concerts a year at the popular ‘Christmas with the Big Band’ and ‘Summer Band and BBQ’ events.
- Westcliff Sinfonia (Grade 5 required): The School’s full-sized symphony orchestra performs three times a year, tackling professional-standard repertoire including symphonies and concertos.
- Concert Band (Grade 4 required): Focusing on 20th and 21st century music, including contemporary composers and film music, the Concert Band has performed at local events such as ‘Southend Makes Music’
- Westcliff Choir: This inclusive group accepts singers from the whole school and is the centrepiece of the popular annual ‘Festival of Lessons and Carols.’
- Treble Choir: Pupils in years 7-9 must audition to be a member of this choir, which performs a mixture of contemporary and classical repertoire.
- Jazz Band: Open to all years and abilities, the Jazz Band performs head arrangements of jazz classics, with a heavy focus on developing improvisation skills
- Brass Ensemble: Featuring brass instruments exclusively, this group regularly performs at CCF events and Chamber Recitals.
- String Ensemble: This inclusive ensemble is for string players of all abilities and aims to develop skills to prepare pupils for the more advanced music performed in the Westcliff Sinfonia
- Horn Group
- String Quartet
- Saxophone Quartet
There are many performance opportunities for pupils to take advantage of: In addition to regular Big Band and orchestral Sinfonia concerts, soloists and small ensembles will perform in termly Chamber Recitals. These concerts regularly see large audiences from the School community. There is also an annual play or musical which makes use of a Pit Orchestra. Every Wednesday sees a musical performance in assembly, often provided by a soloist or small ensemble playing a range of styles, from classical to contemporary popular music.
The School prides itself on its Music Scholars, who are selected through a rigorous auditions process each year. There are currently a number of Organ, Choral and Brass Scholars across a range of year groups.
Pupils are encouraged to take advantage of our talented instrumental tutors, and lessons for all instruments are offered on a yearly basis.