Music

Solebury School's music program is current, innovative, and unique.

Approximately one-third of students are enrolled in the music program each trimester. We offer seven music performance classes: Chorus, Diversity Music Ensemble, Jazz Roots Ensemble, Master Singers, Solebury Elite Ensemble and Vocal Performance Workshop. Each class has several performances throughout the year. Non-performing classes are also offered, such as Scoring for Film and Video, Music of the 1960s, Indie Music - Reshaping the Music World, Ear Training and Music Theory, Writing and Arranging Using Finale, Jazz Theory and Composition, Songwriting, and American Song Roots.

These classes are taught by highly skilled teachers who are working music professionals with real-world experience in the music industry and performance arena. They bring their contacts, expertise, and experiences into the classroom, creating a wellspring of inventive and impactful classes that often host industry professionals.

 

Meet the Teachers

Cathy Block P'14, Music/Dance Department Head
Vinroy Brown, Choir Director
Greg Lipscomb, Instrumental Music Teacher
 

Course Offerings

Vocal Performance Workshop is a master class on vocal training and performance, with an emphasis on building vocal technique, learning to constructively critique peers in a workshop setting, learning to accept constructive critiques and performing. The musical backdrop for this class is vast, ranging from musical theater songs to contemporary music. Students will perform as an ensemble but will also get at least 2 themed song assignments. For these assignments, they will perform for the class, receive feedback, and give a repeat performance after they’ve incorporated suggestions from the workshop. An example of a theme may be duets, where the teacher will pair two students together on a selected song. Other themes could be: three-part harmony, a specific artist or musical, or different genres of music, such as pop or folk. If any students play an instrument, they will be encouraged to accompany themselves or collaborate with classmates. Students will audition for a performance slot at the end of the trimester concert. The ensemble will perform with a live pianist and/or house band. This class serves as a good resource for anyone who loves to sing and is ideal for students who plan to audition for collegiate-level music or theater programs.

Chorus is a performance class using group and harmony singing in a variety of styles. Students learn physical exercises to enhance and improve vocal skills, breathing, coordination, and rhythmic skills. The chorus has various opportunities to perform live, and several students have been selected for Bucks County Music Educator's Association County Chorus over the past ten years.

From Bach to Cold Play to African and Chinese Folk, Diversity Music Ensemble is designed to celebrate musical diversity across different styles, eras and cultures. String players of bowed and plucked instruments, vocalists, keyboardists, percussionists, and wind players are all welcomed. Also in the spirit of musical diversity, we often collaborate with students of other ensembles or other select musicians at Solebury. Students learn the art of building a strong musical team, being rhythmically in sync, and playing the supportive role as well as the solo within a group.

Jazz Roots Ensemble plays jazz or jazz-influenced music, but is not limited to that genre. As an instrumental and vocal group, students have played everything from Miles Davis to Ingrid Michaelson, as well as original works by our band members. Improvisation, listening, ear development, and playing as a tight unit are key in this class. We perform evening concerts, as well as making school assembly appearances. Listen to the Jazz Roots Ensemble perform student-written songs...


 


Master Singers is a select group of 12-16 students within the larger chorus. Participation in the Masters Singers is by invitation or audition only. The Master Singers have additional opportunities to perform and must audition for the Bucks County Music Educators Chorus.

Rock Band is a class devoted solely to playing and performing contemporary and classic rock. Come get the experience of what it feels like to be in a band. Students learn about rehearsing, stage presence, performance skills, and how to make an exciting arrangement for a band. Our concerts are fun, loud, and usually get the crowd moving. Vocalists and instrumentalists are welcome.

The Solebury Elite Ensemble is an ensemble designed for the musical student who plays at a very advanced level. Students are admitted by audition or at the discretion of the music director. Though preference will be given to those who are well grounded in the classical style and who can fluently read music notation, students will have the opportunity to study a mix of musical styles with all of their particular characteristics. Each student plays a role in choosing the ensemble's repertoire. Performances throughout the school year include a school assembly, a school auction, the end-of-trimester concert, and other off campus venues to be determined. Listen to the Solebury Elite Ensemble perform...

In Indie Music and How It Is Re-shaping the Music World we skype with some of the artists we cover, as well as having conversations with music managers, producers and radio hosts.

Scoring for Big and Small Bands
Songwriting
Music of the 1960's
Making Music with Logic Pro 
Jazz Theory And Composition
Greatest Bands of All Time
Ear Training and Music Theory
Writing and Arranging using Finale 
American Pop Music
Vocal Performance Workshop
Diversity, Culture and Share



Private Music Lessons

As a service to students, the music department can arrange for outside music teachers to come to Solebury School to provide private lessons, including piano, voice, trumpet, flute, violin, viola, guitar, bass guitar, string bass, saxophone, and drums. A list of music instructors is available upon request.

 

Considering Solebury School? Read our Letter to Prospective Music Students.