In addition to the Introduction to Art/Music program, elective courses in music appreciation, choral, and instrumental are also offered. There are also many other venues for musically inclined students to hone their talents. The Ursuline Singers, Cantors, and Instrumental groups provide instruction and performance opportunities.
Our music students are preparing for the 2019 Christmas Concert that will be presented on Wednesday, December 18 at 6:30 p.m.
The marvelous Spring Concert in April 2019 offered a thoughtful and impressive selection of pieces. From the Middle School Choir singing Blackbird, by the Beatles, a capella to the Honors Choir performing the ethereal Alleluia by Randall Thompson, there was something for every audience member to enjoy. And not just in English. The Junior Choir sang a complex Bach piece in German.
On the instrumental side, the Beginning Strings showed courage and poise after only 5 months of study and the Wind Ensemble brought joy with the upbeat Remember Me. The Orchestra was tremendous in performing Arirang, a beautiful Korean song based on the pentatonic scale.
All who attended our Christmas Concert in December 2018 were treated to a fabulous evening of beautiful and challenging music from our choral and instrumental ensembles.
Our Middle School Choir opened the concert singing ancient as well as well-known carols in English, Latin, German and French. The Wind Ensemble received a standing ovation after their piece, Highlights from The Greatest Showman dazzled the audience. Members of the Junior Choir performed the The Christmas Song getting the audience in the holiday spirit while the Orchestra proved that they could interpret their great version of Imagine Dragons hit, Radioactive.
The Honors Choir shared three beautiful seasonal pieces, including See Amid the Winter's Snow and then joined with the Junior Choir to perform "Christmas in the Great Hall" featuring solos by Olivia Cook and Christina Yavdosnyak. The Symphony Orchestra musically delivered a unique arrangement of the Shaker tune, Simple Gifts.
The much- anticipated finale showcased the scope of the Performing Arts program as all the instrumental and choral groups recreated The Hallelujah Chorus with much fanfare bringing the festivities to a close.
Before the concert started, we held our Tri-M Music Honor Society Induction. Tri-M selection is based on scholarship, character and service, along with a high level of proficiency in music. Congratulations to the newest members of this honorary organization.
Congratulations to the Performing Arts Department for preparing such a wonderful evening of music! Thank you to our Performing Arts faculty: Ms. Rosemary Kennedy, Dr. Laurie Adamo, and Mr. Mark Collins. The excellent photos are by Chris Pope of Pope Photography.
At the 2018 Spring Concert, the talented Sixth Grade String Class began the evening with selections that displayed excellent rhythm and impressed us with how much they have learned in just one year. The fantastic Middle School Choir, under the direction of Music Department Chair Ms. Rosemary Rossi Kennedy '89, processed into the gym singing an upbeat Bora Maisha Life is the Best Gift. The gifted soloists featured in Songs of a Disney Princess received thunderous applause. They were Violet McCann-Anthony, Gianna D’Ambrosio, Devon Keane, Evelyn Gassman, and Katherine Timmons.
The Ninth and Eighth Grade String Class treated us to a new arrangement of Amazing Grace which showed off their fine pizzicato and bowing skills, and highlighted soloist Mary Branley ‘21. The piece was arranged and directed by Mr. Mark Collins, a new member of our music faculty.
When the Middle School yielded the stage to our high school music groups, we were ready for even more musical riches! The percussionists added a lovely touch to the Wind Ensemble’s performance of Hedwig’s Theme as conducted by Mr. John Benza. The wonderful Junior Choir, under the direction of Dr. Jean Boehler, offered two very different musical selections and sang both superbly. The Honors Choir, extraordinary as always, blended their voices like beautiful tapestries.
The finale of the Romeo and Juliet Overture performed by our exceptional Symphonic Orchestra began with a sweet melody, progressed to a dramatic middle section, and ended with harmonies that led us to imagine the lovers embracing as the tune played out. Notable also were the outstanding violin soloists, Olivia Ross ’18 and Geraldine Goodman ‘18.
Our 2017 Christmas Concert began in candlelight, singing about a hope for peace. Ms. Killebrew was the animated voice for the famous poem, Twas the Night Before Christmas. She was accompanied by a spirited Wind Ensemble, led by their conductor, Mr. John Benza.
The Middle School Choir, led by Ms. Rosemary Rossi Kennedy '89, wowed all with an incredible arrangement of Wenceslas Canon for Voice, Chimes, Drum. The Middle and High School choirs, led by Dr. Jean Boehler, each performed their own version of Jingle Bells, made complete with... Jingle Bells!
The Symphonic Orchestra played The Little Drummer Boy and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There was no Grinch here as the Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Choirs led an audience participation Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long. We concluded our concert festival with our annual Hallelujah Chorus with all ensembles to end with a bang!
That same evening, the Tri-M Music Honor Society welcomed 60 new members, bringing the total number to 124!
The Spring Concert in April 2017 included the Glee Club's performance of Bohemian Rhapsody, to thunderous applause, and the Wind Ensemble's Caribbean Carnival, which featured different instruments such as castanets and drums.
Soloists Christina Yavdashnyak '20 and Catherine O'Donoghue '19 were wonderful. The trumpet solo by Jessica Abbattista '17 was a real treat – a lullaby on an unexpected instrument – performed with exceptional feel and backed up superbly by the Symphonic Orchestra. A dramatic Beethoven number closed the night.
The Christmas Concert in December 2016 featured two instrumental ensembles and four vocal ensembles. This was also the first performance of the new Junior Choir, made up of 8th and 9th graders. And what better Christmas concert ending could there be than The Hallelujah Chorus, from Handel's Messiah - one of the most well-known musical pieces from the baroque period. It literally brings some people to their feet. Legend has it that in 1743, the British monarch King George II was so moved by Handel's Hallelujah Chorus that he stood out of respect for the "Lord of Lords," the only authority above his own. When the king stands, everybody stands. And since then many people have followed suit.
The Spring Concert in April 2016 offered wonderful musical selections from A to Z, or from Adele to Zulu Folk Song. The sensational finale featured ballerina Jillian Marzziotti '16 and soprano Elizabeth Vuksanaj '16 performing while the Symphonic Orchestra played Habanera from the opera Carmen, by Bizet.