Music and Dance
BSJ offers a varied and exciting extra-curricular Music programme led by highly experienced musicians and teachers that continually strive to create and maintain a balance between excellence and inclusivity.
Whilst the ablest students are stretched with challenging repertoire and leading ensembles, students that wish to perform with others and gain invaluable ensemble performance experience are also provided for in a variety of ways. There is a busy rehearsal schedule each week with major concerts and performance opportunities each term that give the diversity of musical ensembles a platform to showcase their work. Further opportunities also take place each term for soloists to perform in a smaller, more intimate environment.
Any student who wishes to participate in a Music Ensemble must attend weekly rehearsals and any additional rehearsals that are deemed necessary. Participation in all performances that the ensemble is involved in is compulsory.
Singing is a major part of the musical output at the school and all students are encouraged to sing at some point in their school career. We have two choirs at BSJ: the Primary Choir and the more advanced Secondary Choir. The choirs have regular opportunities to perform in and outside of school.
Continually going from strength to strength, the School Orchestra is the main ensemble for the many talented instrumental players in the school. There is a minimum standard of instrumental expertise required and entry is dependent upon audition.
The Chamber orchestra is a smaller, more advanced orchestral ensemble that is aimed at developing the more able musicians at the School. The group specialises in music from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods. Entry to this group is dependent upon audition.
The IB Ensemble allows musicians from Year 12 and 13 an opportunity to work together. Recent performances for this group have included the Yr.13 Graduation Evening & Speech Day. Entry to this group is dependent upon audition.
Originating as a group for Secondary classical and acoustic guitar players, this musically diverse group sometimes expands to include solo performance roles for electric guitarists and bassists as well as parts for singers, percussion and string players. The carefully arranged repertoire allows for less advanced guitarists to be involved whilst still providing a challenge for more able students.
The Soul Band is a very popular group giving singers, saxophone, trumpet, trombone players, pianists, guitarists, bassists and drummers an opportunity to work together to perform Soul classics.
The Pop Orchestra brings together singers with players of guitar, bass, piano, drums and strings to learn specially arranged Pop and Rock repertoire such as Alicia Keys/Jay-Z’s New York State Of Mind, Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, The Black Eyed Peas’ Where Is The Love and Paul McCartney’s Live And Let Die.
The Electronic Groups allows students with an interest in Music ICT and technology to collaborate to produce electronic-based music. Keyboard skills are desirable for this ensemble; however, drummers and vocalists are also required.
Indonesian Music Ensemble
Run by Pak Yaser, one of the instrumental teachers at BSJ, this ensemble fuses traditional Indonesian instrumentation with western instrumentation. Most pieces performed are composed by the Pak Yaser.
The Super Group ensemble programme enables our top contemporary musicians to work together in Year group ensembles. Entry to these groups is dependent upon audition.
This activity allows musicians to work in student organised Rock Groups. ‘Battle of the Bands’ competitions are held throughout the year which groups are expected to participate in. Other performance opportunities for these groups include ‘Friday Live’ and Year Group assemblies.
On top of these regular run ensembles, students are also given the opportunity to participate in Pit Bands that are specially formed to support musicals or productions that the Drama department run during the year.
The Primary Enrichment Programme
The Primary Enrichment Programme offers students a wide range of musical opportunities that allows them to learn and develop important instrumental/ensemble playing skills. All primary children who have an instrumental lesson are expected to join one musical enrichment group each week. There are regular opportunities to perform in Music lessons, assemblies and both around and outside of the school. Listed below are the Enrichment Activities offered throughout the year at BSJ.
- String Ensemble
- Brass & Wind Ensemble
- Guitar Ensemble
- Keyboard Ensemble
- Recorder Ensemble
- Gamelan Ensemble
- Sumatran Drumming
- Primary Rock Bands
Alongside the enrichment programme, the Primary Music department also runs a Primary Band and Primary Orchestra which rehearse during the Primary School Enrichment time.
Dance is gaining momentum as part of the curriculum at BSJ, and extra-curricular dance is no different. We have offered a variety of opportunities throughout the last few years which have enabled our students to work on performances alongside both Theatre and Music students, as well as in dedicated Dance shows. Highlights have been our contemporary dance version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the Dance Competition, Bodies in Motion and getting to work with a professional performer and choreographer as part of the Queen Concert.
In the primary school extra-curricular dance starts at KS1 with Dance Bugs; at KS2 dancers have the options of Ballet, Modern and Break Dance. In the secondary school we have regular contemporary classes as well as our new boys company.
Dance also often forms part of House events - most memorable was having the whole of Y7, 8, 9 and 10 work with a specialist Bollywood Dance company to learn and perform a routine.