Music has been at the forefront of everyone’s lives during the pandemic, whether that be through personal practice or soundtracks on television and film.

Amidst the academic and co-curricular changes that happened to ensure the safe return of our pupils during the Michaelmas Term, our Music Department’s provision focused on individual tuition and ensembles while perhaps the biggest adaptation came with the return of performance opportunities.

With live lessons, group work and concert performances back on the timetable, our teaching staff worked tirelessly to re-establish the profound human connection that is formed through music. “It has also been a privilege to watch young people develop”, says Director of Music, Matt Lowe.

“We have all very much enjoyed seeing them share a part of themselves in a challenging yet exhilarating situation on stage, through the beauty of sound and the emotion of story-telling. I commend all our young musicians, from the 50 pupils who have performed in the Lunchtime Concert Series to the 75 who entered the House Music Instrumental Competition and all who continue to immerse themselves in ensembles and choirs.”

Building on the success of the online concerts which were streamed during the remote Summer Term, the Music Department offered regular opportunities for pupils to perform live on stage with the audience expanded to include the whole Bradfield community. The weekly Lunchtime Concert Series returned with specific Year Group bubbles showcasing their musical talent to an online audience and some of our headline shows were also streamed and featured a mix of live and pre-recorded elements.

In early October, Upper Sixth Music Scholar, Tom (G), gave a spotlight concert as part of his application process to several Music Colleges this year. He performed an eclectic programme, featuring fellow Scholar Holly (K) on vocals and accompanied by some top-class professional Jazz Musicians, including one of our Visiting Music Teachers, Chris Montague, who also teaches at the Royal Academy of Music and the Birmingham Conservatoire.

The ever-popular Michaelmas Concert continued to be a true showcase of Bradfield talent. It was wonderful to see the collaboration between the Music and Film Departments for the pre-recorded elements with the Lower Sixth Film Studies pupils, under the expert eye of Mrs Stables and Miss Macaskill, bringing their expertise and equipment to the event and shooting some superb footage.

On the programme was an exciting mix of two Gospel Choirs, a brand new Jazz Band, a pupil-led Pop Band, a Classical Trio playing Mozart, the Upper Sixth Chapel Choir and the three winners of the Advanced Class House Instrumental Competition. The concert was broadcast to great critical acclaim on the final night of term to the entire College, parents and other guests.