Monkton Combe Choral Society
Each week, a group of up to one hundred people from the local community and including pupils, parents and staff from Monkton, come together for a two hour rehearsal led by the Director of Music here at Monkton.
The group works together to put on two concerts each year in the Bowerman Hall at the Senior School, drawing a range of professional orchestras, performers and a diverse audience.
The aim of this initiative is to bring the school and community together around creative projects, leading to high quality performances which are accessible and affordable. It is really about members enjoying singing together.
Critical factors for success include the availability of Monkton's Director of Music, the ability to use the Bowerman Hall on a weekly basis and the ongoing support of the members of the society.
Immediate beneficiaries include a wide range of members of the local community who can receive weekly training, build connections with other members of the community, and take part in the process. Other beneficiaries include pupils, staff and parents.
This project was the inspiration of Monkton's Director of Music, designed as an enrichment and outreach programme.
It has been running since 2010.
It uses the Bowerman Hall at Monkton Senior School and relies on the time and efforts of the Director of Music.
Additional teaching and non-teaching staff can take part on a voluntary basis but are not required for running this initiative.
All members of the society pay a termly fee of £25 to contribute to running costs associated with putting on the performances, hiring music. This price includes a free concert ticket.
The popularity of the concerts as seen in audience sizes are an indication of the success of this project.
Annecdotal evidence suggests that it has contributed towards individuals experiencing reduced social isolation, building friendships and learning new skills.
A range of pupils take part in the society, generally in the senior years.
This is an ongoing activity that runs weekly. It is hoped to continue indefinitely as it has a very loyal membership.