Alongside the main orchestras, several smaller ensembles are available to Whitgift musicians.
Three string orchestras accommodate a range of abilities, from beginner to diploma level and beyond. Advanced players are also encouraged to take part in a chamber ensemble, such as a string trio, string quartet or piano trio.
The Flute Ensemble, Double Reed Ensemble and Saxophone Ensemble are available to wind players. There are also opportunities to play alongside other instruments, such as the Wind Chamber Ensemble.
There is an established, progressive structure of mixed brass ensembles to accommodate the huge interest in brass-playing at Whitgift. Instrument-specific groups are also available for trumpet, horn, trombone and tuba players. When required, they join forces to create Whitgift Brass, which involves all players from Grade 1 to diploma standard in one formidable ensemble. In addition to regular performances throughout the year, an annual Brass Concert involves all brass players, as well as providing a stage for the final of the Solo Brass Competition, which is open to all Whitgift brass players.
Percussionists at Whitgift have access to some of the finest instruments available, and regularly perform with the School’s orchestras and bands, as well as in the weekly Percussion Ensemble.
Both jazz and popular music are encouraged at Whitgift, with many students forming their own groups, as well as taking part in school organised ensembles. Groups regularly perform at school Guest Nights and external events, and have many opportunities to perform
to their peers at events such as the House Music Competition, school assemblies, and at several student-organised charity concerts throughout the year. The Junior Jazz Ensemble welcomes boys from the Lower School, many of whom then progress into the Big Band. A selection of Big Band members is also chosen to form the Jazz Combo, a small ensemble allowing advanced students opportunities to arrange and rehearse jazz standards independently, with staff coaching as and when required.
Two guitar ensembles rehearse weekly, the Rock Guitar Club for electric guitarists, and the Guitar Club for classical and acoustic players.
All musicians at Whitgift are encouraged to perform on a regular basis. As well as the major school concerts, informal lunchtime concerts are held each week, giving soloists and small ensembles a chance to perform frequently in front of a supportive audience.