The music school offers a wide range of ensembles which cater for all standards and styles of music. These are run by enthusiastic and experienced members of staff and offer friendly, fun, but challenging pieces. The scholars are expected to lead these ensembles and assist the staff in preparation and rehearsals.
String playing at SVS has developed rapidly over the last five years. David Holmes our full time Head of Strings works with all violin and viola students and runs numerous ensembles from Junior to Senior Strings and Quartets. The Senior Strings have been fortunate to perform in a number of the most prestigious London venues, including St John Smith’s Square, with a St Martin in the Fields lunchtime concert a future aim. This group has tackled much of the standard baroque repertoire and has performed well- known romantic masterpieces such as the Capriol Suite by Warlock, Elgar’s Serenade and the Holberg Suite by Grieg.
Developing ensemble skills at a young age is vital and our Junior String players are encouraged to perform regularly in chamber groups. Pieces are chosen carefully, with the emphasis on being fun and enjoyable, whilst preparing them for the future.
A number of our string players have been awarded places in Kent County Youth Orchestra and have won prizes in competitions in the area and abroad. Currently the School has three players performing in the Kent County Youth Orchestra.
A recent development has been to include an annual masterclass for the more advanced violinists. Nicholas Miller a professor of violin from the Royal Academy of Music takes these classes and provides advice and consultation lessons to students considering auditioning for conservatoire places.
Chamber Orchestra (Mr Horley)
The Chamber Orchestra rehearses once a week after school and is for the more advanced instrumental players. It has performed in School concerts as well as at local venues. The repertoire during the past few years includes:
Vaughan-William’s Folk Song Suite
Mozart’s Symphony No 29 (first movement)
Haydn’s Farewell Symphony (last movement)
Schubert’s Symphony No 5 (first movement)
The Band is open to everyone who plays a wind or brass instrument, whatever the standard. Music is arranged especially for the instruments. Scholars in each section are expected to lead their parts and to practice outside the set rehearsals. The Band has played in many concerts, including several with the Band of the Royal Brigade of Ghurkhas, has been accompanied by Jools Holland, and has also toured Paris and Disneyland.
Includes Ghostbuster, I’m a Believer, American Patrol, Skyfall
Sutton Valence School has several groups which are set up and run by the pupils, overseen by the guitar and drum teachers at the school. The senior players were heavily involved as both instrumental players and singers in the School’s production of We Will Rock You.
The School also enjoys a clarinet choir, a flute ensemble and a saxophone ensemble directed by the Mrs Basden, Mrs Gent and Mr Keeping.