Bedford has a long-established reputation for excellence in music, drama and art. Creativity and imagination are fostered from the earliest years with opportunities open to all abilities. Boys can become as involved as they wish to and all are encouraged to develop interests in the performing arts beyond the normal curriculum. An Arts Festival has become an important bi-annual event with a broad range of opportunities in all aspects of the arts being explored by the boys.
With expert specialist tuition, a large number of boys learn to play one or more instruments and participate in a broad range of musical expression. For the youngest boys this may mean involvement in the Junior String Group, the Training Band, the Junior Choir or the Steel Drums group. As they progress through the School, musicians have the opportunity to join the First Orchestra, the School Band, the String Orchestra or, for the most able, the Brass Ensemble, Clarinet Quartet and String Quartet.
The two School Choirs perform regularly, in their own right and with the Upper School and other Harpur Trust Schools. Trebles from the Preparatory School are also integral members of the highly regarded Bedford School Chapel Choir.
Drama is taught within the English curriculum but there are many opportunities beyond the classroom. Major productions are staged in the Theatre each year including in some years a jointly staged production with the girls of Bedford High School. The choice of productions is always varied and often highly original and, as well as having acting opportunities, boys can become involved backstage through set design, lighting and stage management.
The Erskine May Hall provides an exceptional centre for the cultural life of the School and the musical highlight is the Annual Summer Concert. The Hall also provides a venue for informal concerts and one act plays, as well as the House Singing Competition, always a source of great excitement!
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