For Hudson Stovall ’24, SPS is a place to do what he loves — and a chance to do it all.
BY JACQUELINE PRIMO LEMMON
“Music doesn’t have to be some really composed piece of art; music is, you know, the crickets chirping at night, the birds chirping in the morning — music is nature,” says Hudson Stovall ’24. He says this matter-of-factly, like unfurling a backdrop to tell the rest of his story in front of. “Music elicits emotion, right? We listen to music when we’re sad, when we’re happy, when we’re indifferent. Particularly with jazz, I was able to really discover how to express myself through music.”
Stovall is disciplined, driven, and — in his own words — also stubborn: a combination that makes it possible for him to keep multiple plates spinning at St. Paul’s School. A Sixth Former, he plays tenor saxophone in the jazz band and SPS Orchestra; is the student head of Onyx, the affinity group for students who identify as Black, African American or of African heritage; is head of the Chinese Society; plays JV lacrosse; and is what he calls a “midnight poet” who likes to write during his free time — most of which, as the name suggests, is late at night. He’s also an entrepreneur, the founder of Different as One, a clothing company that pairs messages of diversity and inclusion with the traditional branding of St. Paul’s and several other boarding schools.
Stovall may pursue a wide variety of interests at SPS, but it was the music program that brought him here. “What really put St. Paul’s School over some of the other schools I was considering was the individualized experience,” he says. Speaking with Director of Music Orlando Pandolfi P’19 opened his eyes to what an education at SPS could look like for him. “Mr. Pandolfi told me that at SPS, I would have your basic musicianship courses, but my SPS learning experience would be individualized to me. … I knew I was going to get an in-depth and personalized education in music theory, so that was really appealing to me.”
Stovall plays first chair in the jazz band and first chair in the SPS Orchestra when the composition requires a tenor sax. He also plays the alto saxophone and is learning to play the piano.
Watch Hudson perform at the 2022 SPS Festival of Lights: