The Centenary Hall was opened in 2004. This is a beautifully designed and very well-equipped performing arts centre, providing a striking setting in which a wide variety of music and drama takes place. Look at information about the building of this facility, and a report on the architecture from The Independent newspaper.
There are many concerts, plays, functions and entertainment evenings, providing plentiful opportunities for the boys to perform and display their skills and talents. The annual Declamations Competitions enable each boy who reaches the final to perform on the big stage in front of a visiting adjudicator and invited audience, and all boys to experience public speaking.
Music is highly valued and an important part of school life for all boys. The Chapel Choir sings at the Sunday services and at Eton College Chapel for the Christmas Carol Service. The Junior Choir sings regularly, and informal and formal music evenings encourage both the gifted and the beginner to perform in public.
There is specialist tuition in a wide range of instruments, from piano to bagpipes, and well over half the boys in the school have music lessons. Many boys join the various music groups which are formed each year. A wide range of musical styles and tastes are catered for, from classical ensembles through to jazz groups and other combinations, and boys are encouraged to explore and develop their musical interests. The Caldicott Concerts scheme brings professional musicians to Caldicott to hold workshops and perform for the boys, parents, staff and the local community.
Drama is both part of the academic curriculum and a creative activity in the boys’ spare time. Boys work towards speech and drama exams and there are several formal and informal dramatic productions every year. The main school play is always an impressive production and recent shows have included ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ ‘Bugsy Malone’ and ‘Under Milk Wood’. There are other dramatic evenings which cater both for those who are talented and those who find being on stage more challenging.