Performing is an integral part of the musical life of the School, and building the confidence to perform as a soloist and with others is a vital part of a Cranleigh education. The skills developed are transferable into many areas of life, and are valued by future employers.
We enjoy high-quality music-making across a wide range of vocal and instrumental ensembles. A large number of converts are given each year within School, in the wider community, and abroad. The Concert Series brings many professional musicians to the School community, reflecting an ethos that values and embraces all musical styles.
In my five years at Cranleigh I have played or sung in over 135 different concerts, ranging from a solo concerto, to singing Handel’s Messiah with 140 people and I am so grateful for all the opportunities and support that the school has given me.
— Fayruz, South
Appropriate opportunities are offered for each pupil, and include weekly concerts held in the Music School or Chapel, instrumental and vocal competitions and contemporary music events featuring bands and soloists. Performance skills are nurtured and carefully managed by our Director of Music to fully realise potential. Professional level orchestral and concerto opportunities are possible for the most advanced. Many pupils celebrate notable success in exams offered at School by ABRSM and Trinity and in external competitions. The School is supportive of advanced Sixth Form musicians extending their experiences at Junior Conservatoires on Saturdays. The importance of performance is furthered by the large proportion of teaching staff who also enjoy professional performing careers.
Cranleighans celebrate each other’s success as if it were their own. The music school is a hugely supportive environment in which every pupil is made to feel at home, regardless of how nervous or confident they are about performing
— Mr Richard Saxel, Director of Music
Making music together with friends is one of life’s greatest joys. A carefully managed programme of progression through appropriate instrumental ensembles enables Cranleighans to participate according to their interests and development level. Pupils are also encouraged to establish their own ensembles with expert guidance on hand. A wide range of concerts and performances are given throughout the year: indeed it is rare for there to be a single week in term time without an opportunity to perform.
The 70-strong School Choir is open to all keen singers and performs a wide range of sacred and secular music, including the music for chapel services, concerts and in an annual large-scale collaboration with the local Choral Society. For the most able, the auditioned and chamber choir Cranleigh Voices provides an opportunity for advanced singers to perform to an exceptionally high standard. Its activities include the annual singing of Evensong in a major cathedral and external concerts.
Cranleigh has an enviable reputation for the high quality of its Drama and regular collaborations take place, including the biennial large-scale production of a major work of musical theatre. In recent years these have included: Sweeney Todd, Chicago, Fiddler on the Roof, The Producers, Into the Woods and Les Misérables. In addition to opportunities for keen singers, advanced instrumentalists also have the opportunity to play in the band for musical productions, gaining valuable insights into the special skills and team work required in this area.
Several house music events take place throughout the school year. These are more informal events, often organised and led by pupils, and offer an excellent opportunity for everyone to take part in an atmosphere which celebrates all abilities. The annual House Performance Competition and Part-Song are hugely popular, and a wonderful opportunity to bring the whole house together with a musical focus.
I have never been short of things to do here at Cranleigh, 10 productions including Les Miserables, along with jazz and rock performances.