There is a wide range of extra-curricular musical activities at Bolton School Boys' Division, some of which are run as joint ensembles with the Girls' Division. They include Percussion Ensembles, Guitar Groups, String Quartets, Concert Bands, Orchestras, Choirs, Jazz Band, Brass Group, Saxophone, Clarinet and Flute groups, Rock Groups and String Ensembles. Each week there are over 30 different music clubs and ensembles allowing boys to explore a vast range of musical experiences.
All of these ensembles perform regularly in a very busy concert schedule throughout the year in school and also at local venues such as the Victoria Hall in Bolton and the spectacular Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.
Joint concerts have included major choral works such as Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ and Bach’s ‘St John Passion’ and some of our recent joint productions have been Westside Story, Les Misérables and We Will Rock You.
Our music ensembles frequently take part in workshops – recent events include the Percussion Ensemble visiting the Royal Northern College of Music, the Guitar Groups have taken part in a guitar ensemble workshop run by Craig Ogden, and the Joint Concert Band recently hosted a workshop including local junior school children. We have excellent links with the Northern Chamber Orchestra who regularly visit the school to work with our pupils and we recently hosted a piano master-class given by Jonathan Middleton.
Alongside live performances, a number of CD recordings have been made, all of which are available at School Concerts. The Joint Chamber Choir has also appeared live on BBC Radio 4 singing in the Daily Service programme and our Joint Jazz Band have recently won a platinum award at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Ensembles regularly go on tour at the end of the Summer Term. The Joint Chamber Choir, the Percussion Ensemble and the Joint Concert Band have visited Italy, the Czech Republic, Holland and Spain.
Participation in school music is extremely impressive. Over 400 students take instrumental lessons in school. Year group concerts involved every boy performing together, the annual "Young Musician of the Year'" competition attracts over 500 individual entries and our ‘Battle of the Bands Competition’ is judged by a major musical celebrity each year.