Concerts at Sevenoaks

Presenting music that you have personally prepared as well as music that you have been working on with friends is one of the most enjoyable parts of musical activity.

The school puts on approximately 50 performances a year, which range from half-hour informal concerts for a handful of students in front of an audience of less than a dozen to orchestral and choral performances in the Pamoja Hall to an audience of 400 people.

Some of the larger concerts include Music at Sevenoaks, the William Sevenoke Memorial concert (formerly the Alan Adler memorial concert), Sevenoaks Swings and Crash into Christmas, while the many smaller concerts go under the name of Platforms: Singers' Platform, Middle School Platform and so on. There are also charity concerts, often student-organised, and one-off extravaganzas such as collaborations with Modern Languages departments or A Night at the Movies.

Solo concerts

Any person who has had to present anything in front of a group of people will understand the nervousness with which youngsters experience when preparing for a performance.

The solo concerts in every year given by the Music department include informal afternoon concerts in boarding houses. These attract half a dozen or so musicians with little or no experience and are given in front of an audience of supportive parents and students.

More formal concerts are called platform concerts and take place in the Recital Room. Although the platform concerts are a little more formal, they are still open to all students.  

There are also jazz evenings, boarders’ concerts and gigs throughout the school year.

Large ensemble concerts

The department avoids auditioning pupils. In nearly all cases, enthusiasm for the group and a willingness to commit are enough to allow any pupil access to a large ensemble. Many students at Sevenoaks School take advantage of this, joining the Foundation Orchestra regularly and Symphony Orchestra. Rehearsals for large ensembles are scheduled in lunch breaks and after schools at times when they are not likely to clash with sport. The school has a priority system which enables all large activities where the pupils represent the school to have protected time.

The pride which students feel following a performance with a Big Band, the Choral Society or a large orchestra cannot be under-emphasised. These experiences stay with pupils for the rest of their life.

Christopher Dyer, Director of Music