Arts & Music

Chamber Strings

The Chamber Strings ensemble is composed of students from the Middle and High School who demonstrate a high level of ability and experience on their instrument. Typically, these students have been playing from an early age and have made string playing an important part of their life. This group is selected by audition and rehearses at the same time as the Symphony Orchestra, but performs as a separate entity on concert programs. Past repertoire includes Grieg’s Suite in Olden Style, Peter Warlock’s Capriol Suite and Holst’s Brook Green Suite. Members of the Chamber Strings are strongly encouraged to audition for the KPASS Honor Orchestra in March.

Honor Orchestra

The Honor Orchestra is an auditioned group featuring the top string instrumentalists from Tokyo's KPASS schools. Students submit a recorded audition which is then sent to a panel of judges for review. Successful candidates assemble for a total of three days of rehearsals and a final performance in the evening of the third day. Each ensemble is directed by a highly qualified conductor, chosen for his/her experience, enthusiasm and skill in working with large ensembles at the university and high school level. Participation in the Honor Orchestra is an achievement our students can be proud of; Sacred Heart has supplied the concertmaster position of the orchestra three times in the past 10 years, and usually accounts for over a third of the orchestra's membership on a yearly basis. Honor Orchestra members must be in grade 7 or above.

Instrumental Solo & Ensemble Festival

The Kanto Plain Instrumental Solo and Ensemble Festival is a co-curricular opportunity that provides solo and small ensemble experiences for student musicians in a serious and professional, yet supportive environment. Student performances are critiqued in a manner that gives them specific direction for growth and encourages their continued participation in music. Ratings are given and comments made in the areas of technique, tone quality, rhythm, intonation, articulation and expression. All Sacred Heart students taking part also perform for the student body at a special assembly held the day before the festival. They should treat this as a "dress rehearsal" for their critiqued performance the next day. Students must be in grade 6 or above in order to participate.

MS Band

Middle School Band meets twice weekly in the Sacred Heart Band Room and recording studio. Steve Tootell Head of Creative and Performing Arts produces a new band by audition each year. These students quickly gell together and create a series of public and private stage shows with music of their choice. The band records C.D.'s and DVD's of their three major sets. Members include vocals, bass, guitar, keyboard, percussion, drums,V.J., sound engineers, lighting engineer and more!

MS Choir

Many students in the middle school decide to join the MS Choir. We meet twice weekly, Mondays from 3:40-5:00 p.m. and Thursdays during lunch from 12:40-1:10 p.m. The MS Choir sings a variety of repertoire, from Bach to Broadway! They participate in four performances throughout the year: the Christmas Carols Concert, the MS Choral Festival, Family Festival, and the Spring Show. The MS Choir prides itself in its high standard of musicianship and aims to instill a love of singing in each singer. If you love to sing and want a great way to meet other members of the middle school, the choir is a great place to be!


The Sacred Heart Orchestra is open to students in grades 5-12 who play string, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. Rehearsals are held every Thursday from 3:45 - 5:30 p.m. and every Monday at lunchtime in the Duchesne Room. Regular performances include the Christmas Carols Concert, Family Festival, Spring Concert and the Grade 12 Graduation Ceremony. The orchestra performs music from the Western classical and popular traditions as well as arrangements of music from around the world. Rehearsals involve scales and chorale warm-ups, full-orchestra rehearsal of concert pieces and smaller sectional work where necessary. Auditions are held at the beginning of the school year to determine part assignments and seating arrangement. Most orchestra members take weekly private lessons and many take advantage of extra performance opportunities, such as the Instrumental Solo & Ensemble Festival and the prestigious Kanto Plain Honor Band and Orchestra Festival (both held in early March).

Speech Festival

The Kanto Speech Contest is open to students in grades 7 through 12 who enjoy public speaking or who would like to improve their speaking skills. Students have many categories from which to choose. Students may audition to compete in areas including poetry interpretation, extemporaneous speaking and original informative. Preparation for other categories, like humorous, dramatic duo and multiple-reading, are open to students who join the Drama Options class. As many as 30 ISSH students participate in the Kanto Speech Contest, which is held in the autumn of each school year.

Math Field Day

Math Field Day is a competition open to grades 7 to 12 which usually takes place during April each year. It is split into two parts. In the morning there are individual competitions for the different grade levels. There is also a Rapid Computation category which is open to grade 7 and 8 students and a Calculus category open to students in grades 11 and 12. The afternoon event is a team competition. It is split by age into Junior and Senior events. Students are allocated to teams made up of students from different schools and different age groups. The students work together to solve a variety of problems and race against the other teams to be the first to hand in a full set of correct answers. Each school is allowed to take a maximum of 30 students to the event. Selection takes place early in Semester 2. Mathematics teachers look for interested students in the enriched groups in Grades 7 to 12. There will then be a selection process and students who are taking part in the competition will know by the end of March.