Orchestras, Choirs & Ensembles

Our ensembles include a large Chamber Orchestra, and a String Ensemble that is especially prestigious and develops the best senior string players in the school. Other active groups include Early Music groups, Junior Sinfonia, Brass Ensemble, Wind Ensembles currently including Saxophone, Clarinet and Flute Ensembles, a Scottish Traditional Group, Jazz Combo and Guitar Ensemble.

Every pupil is encouraged to experience small-scale ensemble playing as an important part of their musical education. This is reflected in our curriculum where Chamber Music is specifically timetabled, with three hours scheduled for senior pupils, half of which is tutored.

Every pupil participates in Choir on a weekly basis and the standard of Choral Singing is high throughout the school.

Peter Maxwell Davies conducting School Choir

Pupils also play regularly in youth orchestras such as Edinburgh Youth Orchestra, National Children’s Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland, Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Singers regularly participate in the Scottish Opera Connect programme and some also sing in National Youth Choirs of Scotland.

St Mary’s Music School encourages traditional Scottish music and improvisation and the timetable makes provision for monthly Jazz Days.

Guest conductors of St Mary’s Music School Orchestra have included: Garry Walker, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Christopher Seaman, William Conway, and David Watkin.

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