Concerts and Competitions

The Christmas Concert provides an opportunity for the whole school to be together on the last night of term for what has over the years developed into one of the most popular events in the School calendar. The music ranges from Classical to Pop, Rock to Jazz giving an opportunity to hear our best instrumentalists and singers perform to an increasingly zealful but always appreciative and participative audience.

The Blue Note Society aspires to create a socially relaxed, ‘jam-session’ approach to music making, where people can drop in to listen, play and sing as the spirit moves them. Initially founded for the Upper School, it has become one of the most successful and popular events in the music calendar.

It regularly attracts large audiences, a multiplicity of performing talent and we meet four times a term. The society has proved so successful, that a junior version has now been formed. A regular supporter writes: ‘ Blue Note has truly shown its potential, this year, as more and more people have stood up and performed. At first, this appears daunting but it is clear that these performances are helping to boost the confidence of much of the emerging musical talent within the School. Audiences are also increasing as the diversity of musical performances has sparked interest across the year groups’.

Three singing competitions take place annually, judged adjudicators who are specialists in their field. The Cleaver Beresford Competition for solo singing leans toward a more classical repertoire, without amplification. The Musical Theatre Singing Competition, using microphones, gives opportunities for performers in all genres of musical styles. The House Singing Competition not only encourages Houses to form their own choirs, but also for some pupils within them to develop skills in musical leadership. All the competitions have captured the imagination of our singing pupils, adding much to our Music Calendar.

In collaboration with the Drama Department, musicals offer opportunities at every level of experience and ability to singers, musicians, dancers, actors and technicians. Shows have included Jesus Christ Superstar, Sweeney Todd, We Will Rock You, West Side Story.

Rock and Pop music is actively encouraged within Rugby School. Rock bands meet regularly in the Music Department and in their boarding houses to rehearse their own material. There are many opportunities for these groups to perform including the Christmas Concert and the Arts Festival week.