Upcoming Events in the Arts

upcomingartsAs the new school year  gets underway, Groton holds a number of exciting events, and the music department plays a significant part in the festivities.

The jazz band, for example, is making a two-week trip to Cuba this year, working with a prominent educational exchange program called Cuba Educational Travel.  “The wonderful thing is the group we’re working with also has a setup to work with the National Union of Writers and Artists in Cuba,” Ms. Lanier said.  “We get to actually rehearse with Cuban musicians.”

Although that alone promises to be an amazing experience, the choir has its own musical pursuits in mind.  Groton’s Lessons and Carols concert in the coming December includes a performance of a new carol, written by Andrew Gant, the composer of Psalm World, which the choir debuted last year and recently finished recording. “It’s written for us,” Becca Gracey added. “So it’s a big deal,” although Mr. Hampson admitted that he still does not know the text the composer has chosen. The concert on Memorial Day weekend will also include a poignant  tribute to all Groton alumni who have given their lives in service to the army, which will be accompanied by The Armed Man, a touching suite penned by Karl Jenkins.

The school’s choir has also been invited to a singing competition in New York, although the exact date is indeterminate. “It’s like The Voice,” explained Mr. Hampson. Groton will be competing against larger, intimidating schools, and at the end, the winners will receive prizes. The choir was also invited to sing Psalm World, which premiered at Groton last year, at a professional venue in either Carnegie Hall or the Lincoln Center. “It’ll be in the next two years,” promised Mr. Hampson but added that the choir was shooting for next year.  For those who aren’t in choir yet and who don’t want to miss out on these opportunities, you’ll be able to join during winter term.

Groton is also bringing in a broad spectrum of musical talents from across the country.  The company  from which Groton bought the steel drums will be coming in to tune the instruments and will also be doing several master classes with not only the steel drum ensemble but also various science classes. In addition, the St. Petersburg String Quartet will be performing during the all school lecture in April and will also be holding master classes with string players.  The organist from the St. Paul’s Cathedral , will also be performing on campus in February.

As for concerts, there will be small change to the Parents Weekend Concert on October 26th.  Rather than the Hall, students will be playing in the much larger Campbell Performing Arts Center. The music department has also added a new concert to the agenda: a Groton Pops Christmas Party.  “We’ll be setting up the Hall like the Boston Pops,” explained Ms. Lanier.  “It’ll be like a big Christmas party.”  The musical department will be partnering with the Student Activities Committee to garner  publicity and acquire the proper equipment. A more casual concert with much more student planning than usual, Groton Pops promises to be a unique and enjoyable experience.

The last, and perhaps the most exciting change regarding  the music wing, will actually not happen this year.  With Schoolhouse renovations slowly ramping up, there are plans for the music wing. It will be expanding to upper floors, allowing more practice rooms and space for rehearsals.  With the Hall turning into the library over the coming summer, the faculty room will be revamped in order to make space for the jazz band and steel drum ensemble by next year.  Another room will be dedicated to the creation and soundproofing of a recording studio, for smaller ensembles and for the student body in general. These renovations will be completed  in a few years.

Although the school year has only just begun, the music department has already elaborately planned a wide array to ensure music will be thoroughly integrated with the Groton community from renovations and concerts to travels and premieres

Leave a Reply