Arts
Music

Instrumental Music

Music at Groton is academic. Nearly everything taught in the Music Program receives academic credit and falls within the School's daytime curriculum. That means Groton students do not need to choose between a musical interest and sports, clubs, or drama. Time for individual practice and rehearsals for Groton’s ensembles is built into each student’s daytime schedule. 
 
For example, a student can play in Soul Sauce, Groton’s Jazz Ensemble; the Second Form steel drum ensemble; or the Chamber Orchestra, while still playing sports and participating in clubs and drama.
 
Groton’s outstanding music faculty challenges all students to reach a skill level—individually and in groups—needed to perform at a high level in a variety of programs. Performance opportunities include more than 20 student recitals, a Parents Weekend concert, three Lessons and Carols services, the annual Jazz Festival, morning and Sunday Chapel services, and the culminating spring concerts.
Students work with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and faculty from Berklee College of Music. They perform at Ryles, Cambridge’s storied jazz club, and—through School-sponsored trips—at venues around the world. Groton musicians have performed at the Sydney Opera House; the Hugo Lambrechts Center in Cape Town, South Africa; at nursing homes in Hiroshima for survivors of the atomic blast; at the Montreux Jazz Festival; on the snow-capped Alps of Switzerland; and in remote villages of rural China, where the Chamber Orchestra truly realized, through service-learning projects, that music is a universal language.
 
Jazz Ensemble: Soul Sauce
Soul Sauce studies and performs music from traditional and contemporary jazz repertoires. The music selected is based on instructors’ goals, student interests, and the solo potential of individual students. The ensemble rehearses one double and two single periods per week and performs in a variety of venues throughout the year.  Membership is by audition or permission of the instructor. See photos from Soul Sauce's recent performance with the Berklee College of Music Concert Jazz Orchestra.
 
Recent Repertoire: “Mofungo,” Mintzer; “Moanin’,” Mingus; “On Green Dolphin Street,” Kaper & Washington; “Quintessence,” Jones; “Spain,” Corea; “The Jazz Police,” Goodwin; “Sweet Georgia Brown,” Bernie & Pinkard; “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be,” Ellington
 
Chamber Orchestra
The Groton School Chamber Orchestra learns and performs works in a variety of styles, at levels that represent hard work and concern for both individuals and how they can best contribute to the larger group. The orchestra meets one double and two single periods per week and performs in a variety of venues throughout the year.  Membership is by audition or permission of the instructor. Check out a video from the orchestra's day at Boston's Symphony Hall, where student musicians took master classes and performed.
 
Recent Repertoire: Overture to “The Barber of Seville,” Rossini; “Danse macabre,” Saint-Saëns; “Pavane pour une infant défunte,” Ravel; “Carmen Suite,” Bizet; Overture to “Die Zauberflöte,” Mozart; “Danse Bacchanale,” Saint-Saëns; “Romanian Folk Dances,” Bartok; “Hoe-Down,” Copland; “Ancient Airs and Dances,” Respighi
 
Second Form Steel Drum Ensemble
The Second Form Steel Drum Ensemble is a hands-on introduction to music through the use of traditional Caribbean instruments.  Students apply what they are learning concurrently in Second Form Musicianship to their exploration of a traditional steel band repertoire and transcriptions from other idioms. The class culminates in an end-of-term performance.
 
Concert Tours
Concert tours take Groton musicians and faculty to stages and communities around the world. From the Sydney Opera House to South African townships to rural China, Groton musicians experience a broad context for their art. Beyond participating in memorable performances, they are challenged to think critically as they begin to form impressions of the world and define their responsibilities as informed global citizens.
 
Concert tours: Japan 2005, Switzerland 2006, Argentina and Brazil 2007, Australia 2008, China 2009, Southern United States 2010, Italy, Switzerland and the Montreux Jazz Festival 2011, South Africa 2012, United Kingdom 2013, Cuba 2014
 
The Edward B. Gammons Concert Series
Outside professional musicians visit and perform on campus each year as part of the Gammons Concert Series. The series’ mission is to expose students to a wide range of musical styles and to raise their awareness of what is possible in music, and, therefore, human expression. Performers are highly skilled musicians and excellent communicators. Recent performances have included a rock band powered by audience members who pedaled bicycles, a virtuoso harpist, a contemporary jazz combo, an experimental “bowed” pianist, a woodwind quintet, and a group of German singers. Check out this year's concerts.
 
Musical Instruments
Groton students have access to five Steinway grand performance pianos; upright or grand practice pianos in all practice rooms; an Aeolian-Skinner organ; a Yamaha CP1 stage piano; two harpsichords (one built in 1789); a broad spectrum of percussion instruments including marimba, timpani, and a complete set of steel drums; and a wide variety of orchestral and jazz instruments.
 
Music Facilities
The Music Wing is home to music instruction and student practice; it features eight practice rooms, one classroom, five music technology work stations, two recording-editing labs, two offices, music storage, and a faculty-resource room.
 
The Edward B. Gammons Recital Hall seats 110 and hosts recitals and other performances by students, faculty, and guest artists. It is the rehearsal space for the Chamber Orchestra and smaller groups and provides student access to a cutting-edge recording system.
 
The Schoolhouse Hall seats 390 and hosts annual concerts by the Chamber Orchestra and the Jazz Ensemble.  It is also the rehearsal space for the Jazz Ensemble and the Second Form Steel Drum Ensemble, as well as many of the School’s “underground” rock ensembles.
 
St. John’s Chapel serves as rehearsal and performance space for Groton’s Choir and Chamber Choir. The Chapel, which is equipped with a recording system, houses the School’s historic Aeolian-Skinner organ and holds the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols and the Choir’s annual spring concert.
 
The Campbell Center for the Performing Arts, equipped with cutting-edge lighting and sound systems, seats 450 and hosts the annual Parents Weekend concert and other large musical events, including plays staged by the Theater Department and dance recitals.
Groton School is a diverse and intimate community devoted to inspiring lives of character, learning, leadership, and service.
Groton School is recognized as one of America's top boarding schools. It prepares students in grades 8-12 for the "active work of life."