The Sound of Music

The Keiser Concert Series delivers another season of fantastic programming

Spring Term has been busy with musical activity at the School. April saw three performances by visiting artists as part of the Keiser Concert Series. Early Italian Opera, with Erin Headley and her world-renowned ensemble Atalante, filled the Old Chapel with the sounds and images of 17th century Rome. International organist, and master of improvisation, David Briggs entertained the School in Chapel with a spontaneous improvisation on the School hymn, “Love Divine,” and a dramatic and spellbinding organ accompaniment to the silent movie The Phantom of the Opera later that evening. Tami Lee Hughes brought her Legacy Show to the School, presenting a live multimedia concert, celebrating the cultural contributions of African-American musicians, past and present. All three of these enriching events played to enthusiastic audiences from the School and the greater Concord community.
The month of May saw the final Evensong for the school year, which took the form of a Spring Lessons and Carols. Director of Chapel Music Nicholas White and Associate Director of Chapel Music Mary Dolch shared the direction of the Chapel Choir as they performed a mix of poetry and choral selections by Antonin Dvorak, John Rutter, and Nicholas White. The evening also featured two world premieres. The first was a new hymn by mathematics teacher Michael Glazner entitled “The Eternal Valley,” and the second was a piece for cello and piano by Nicholas White, which was written for the School and dedicated to Interim Rector Amy Richards and her husband, Frank. The score is based on the poetry of Richard Crashaw. Using the Gregorian chant, Adoro te devote, the piece reflects on the symbolic sacrifice of the pelican as it feeds its young. White’s wife, Kate Jensik, played the cello for this first performance. A YouTube Playlist for the musical portions of the service may be found HERE.
Following this, the Annual Keiser Competition for Student Music took place on Friday, May 10, and Sunday, May 12. Twenty music students took part, competing with each other in four categories: strings, brass/woodwind/percussion, voice, and piano. Four guest adjudicators came in from outside the School, and the winners were as follows:
Strings: Amanda Li ’21, violin
Woodwind: Anna Solzhenitsyn ’21, flute
Voice: Sam Hobbs ’19, bass
Piano: Nichole Hu ’22, piano
Honorable Mention: Olivia Chuang ’19, piano; Kay Zou ’21, percussion.
Nicholas White is the director of chapel music at St. Paul’s School.