Common Time 2019

Instrumental ensembles

Music Hall
Music Organ
Boy playing Saxophone
View towards St Michael's Church from the Music School
Two Clarinet Players
Officium B Mariae on vellum c.1400. In Fellows' Library
Two Pianos

A large number of boys at Winchester play orchestral instruments, and there are plenty of opportunities to perform in ensembles. The following musical activities take place at different times during the week. In addition, boys meet informally to play together in varying compositional groups and styles from string quartets to bagpipes.

Symphony Orchestra
This 80-piece orchestra performs a major symphonic work and one or more concertos with boys each year. Recent performances have included the Brahms Violin Concerto, James McMillan's Veni, Veni Emmanuel, Beethoven's Eroica Symphony and concertos by Liszt, Strauss, Bruch, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. The main concerts take place in New Hall in November and in May. The orchestra also performs to local primary school children at least once a year.

Academy Orchestra
The Academy Orchestra is predominately a string-based group made up of first and second year boys in the School. It meets every Wednesday evening for forty minutes, working on repertoire which has ranged from Purcell to Debussy. The main focus is on ensemble playing and experiencing the enjoyment of music making as part of major School music events.

Chamber Orchestra
Winchester College Chamber Orchestra is made up of the most able musicians in the School who come together on Thursday afternoons to work on repertoire ranging from Bach to Bartok. The orchestra sometimes involves players from St Swithun's School, the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra, and the specialist music courses at local sixth form colleges.

The Baroque Players
Directed by Rebecca Miles, this is a lively, practical ensemble exploring music from the baroque period. By combining different solo instruments and/or voice together with the harpsichord and cello continuo, the group can experience a true taste of how chamber music was played in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Jazz Groups
There are currently two jazz groups which meet on a Wednesday evening after tea and prepare for concerts which occur at the end of each term.
The Large Ensemble: open to all players and levels and aims to be fun and educational by providing a comfortable environment to explore basic improvisation techniques and by playing repertoire from across the idiom. Incorporated into this group are a number of boys who, as part of their Community Service, share what they have learned with local school children through giving workshops and concerts.
The Small Group: consists of piano, bass and drums with no more than two front line instruments, and caters for more advanced improvisers. Repertoire is learned by ear or through transcribing original recordings and albums. Past projects include the Miles Davis album "kind of Blue" and Cannonball Adderly's "'Dem dirty Blues".

Shagwagg, the School's soul band, meets twice a week and gives several performances each year, including a number of outside engagements. Membership is by audition, and is open to boys in the top three years.

Smaller Ensembles
Chamber music thrives at Winchester, and groups are configured to involve the largest number of musicians possible. Ensembles which are currently rehearsing include:
• Double Reed Ensemble (oboes and bassoons)
• Large Brass Ensemble
• Brass Quintet
• Trombone Ensemble
• Junior Brass Group
• Junior Saxophone Group
• Flute Ensemble
• Percussion Ensemble
• Junior Percussion Ensemble
• Guitar Ensemble
• Oboe Ensemble
• Horn Ensemble

Please visit the Choirs page for details of our choirs and vocal groups.