The Orchestra is an integral, thriving part of the cultural life of Durston House, and is much valued. As well as providing the boys with a vital educational opportunity to show how capable they are, it adds colour and flavour to assemblies and other school events. The Final Assembly, at the end of each term, is always opened by the Orchestra. Performance at the School Concert, in front of the whole Durston community, is the occasion for which boys and Music staff work so very hard to prepare. The Orchestra’s repertoire is varied; the boys are as much at home with Schubert’s Serenade as they are with a more contemporary work such as Chariots of Fire, by Vangelis. Talent is always on show and we marvel at what they are able to achieve.
Any orchestra is a complex mix of instruments within the different sections of the ensemble, each one playing its part in the creation of a unified musical sound. For boys of differing ages, musical experience and ability, being a part of an orchestra is a great challenge, perhaps one of the most difficult things they are called to be involved in. At Durston, the Music Department positively encourages all instrumentalists to audition to join and arranges weekly rehearsals, in which boys are trained to work as a team, whilst continuing to develop their own musical skills. They must be committed and learn to work in a disciplined manner, if they are to maintain the tempo and shape the complete sound. The Music staff exemplify for the boys the qualities of self-discipline and perseverance in their whole-hearted commitment to the musical life of the boys and their thorough enjoyment of music for its own sake. Their continued work, to develop the Orchestra and its quality of performance, is testimony to this.