Music in Upper School
The Upper School music program facilitates discovery and understanding of music as a discipline and as a means of self-expression. This skills-based program engages each student intellectually, emotionally and physically in the process of understanding and creating musical expression. It is the goal of this program to make the language of music accessible to all students while providing advanced students the opportunity for further study.
The Upper School Music Block
A component of the Upper School daily schedule is a dedicated Music Block for all students in choral or instrumental music classes. This dedicated block allows student musicians to participate in music classes and offerings without scheduling conflicts.
Chorus and Chamber Singers
The Upper School Chorus is open to students in all grades. This ensemble collaborates to sing a variety of compositions that include Renaissance works through contemporary compositions sacred and secular. Elements of singing technique taught in the course include proper breathing, vocal production, vowel formation, expression, intonation, and range expansion. Elements of musicianship such as sight-reading, ear training and score analysis are also an essential part of the course. Students are required to sing a number of performances for school assemblies, open houses, and evening concerts.
Members of the Upper School Chorus may audition for Chamber Singers. Vocalists who audition and are invited to join this ensemble rehearse additional musical selections that often include advanced a cappella and/or jazz compositions. Students are expected to perform on a regular basis and concert venues may include off-campus locations.
Orchestra, Jazz Band and Chamber Ensembles
The Upper School Orchestra is open to all grades and to all students who have played a string, woodwind, brass or percussion instrument for at least two years. Students in Orchestra prepare and perform a wide variety of music spanning many periods and styles. There are a number of performances for school assemblies and evening concerts.
Instrumentalists who play in Orchestra may audition for the Jazz Ensemble in early spring. Instrumentalists who audition and are invited to join this ensemble prepare and perform additional musical selections in the jazz idiom. Emphasis will be placed on building skills, working with chord charts and improvisation. Performances will be both on and off campus.
Additionally, instrumentalists who play in the Orchestra have the opportunity to be members of Chamber Ensembles. Students audition and, with permission of the music faculty, are invited to join this ensemble as a member of a duo, trio, quartet, etc. to work on small-ensemble skills. Students will be divided into ensembles based on skill level and interest. Performances will be both on and off campus.
Music Theory and Composition
Elective courses in music theory, music composition, digital audio and music history are offered on a rotating basis, depending on interest and enrollment.
Visit the Abington Friends School YouTube channel for additional videos from our choral and instrumental program.