Upper School Music

Department:  Upper School

The goal of the Waterford music program is to teach students how to love music in all its form, preparing them for a lifetime of enjoyment and added enrichment. The best way to develop a deep love for music is to know what musicians know, and to do what musicians do. Through detailed interaction with the art form in one of several performance ensembles, Waterford students sharpen their musical perception and sensitivity, while also building skill as musicians. Students study music history and music theory, but most importantly they perform the great music of the world as singers, instrumentalists, and composers.

Music: US Chamber Singers
Students explore their individual talents and potential as it relates to ensemble singing of many different styles of vocal music.  Drawing heavily on Kodaly-based training, they acquire and develop the listening, singing, reading and interpretive skills which are required of confident and successful performers. There is increased emphasis on independence in part-singing, dynamic shadings, intonation, vowel coloring, balance, style, precision, blending, and performance. As each choir develops its own identity, students gain facility in cultivating group unity and personal reliability, both in character and in performance.  In addition, each student must prepare and perform solos during the year. In this way, individual voice development can be supported, as well as the ensemble sound. Theory homework and vocal practice is expected of students enrolled in this course. Voice lessons are encouraged. Audition required.

Music: Select Choir
This auditioned ensemble will rehearse and prepare advanced music for mixed voices in 4-8 parts. Repertoire is normally a cappella and explores a wide range of genres from a variety of time periods. The Select Choir maintains a full performance calendar with opportunities both on and off campus such as Waterford concerts, civic performances, Waterford meetings, Solo/Ensemble festival, annual Masterworks festival, HS exchanges, and other opportunities as they arise. Students in Select Choir must be concurrently enrolled in C-block Chamber Singers to be eligible for the ensemble.

Music: US Jazz Ensemble
This course is an introduction to jazz and related musical styles with emphasis on improvisation and accurate sight-reading. Students participate in performance, directed listening, transcription, and analysis. Special emphasis is placed on the historical significance of Jazz as "America's Original Art Form" and on the influence of jazz on all succeeding forms of popular music.  Audition required.

Music: US Orchestra
Students will focus on the study and performance of the core repertoire for orchestra through a variety of skills that involve listening, analysis, evaluation and performances. Performances include concerts, school assemblies and community service performances. Students will demonstrate progress in mastery of rehearsal repertoire and assignments given in sectionals through individual practice. Private lessons are strongly encouraged for all students.

Music: String Quartet
This class provides an opportunity for advanced string players to develop their ensemble skills and meet the challenge of performing in a small group.  Emphasis will be placed on sight reading and listening skills. Careful consideration is given to the selection of repertoire for the various groups to ensure that each individual student's needs are met.  The repertoire is carefully chosen from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic period. Depending on the various instrumentation the ensembles may be made up of duos, trios, or quartets. The chamber groups may perform several times throughout the school year at concerts and other functions in the community.

Music: US Symphonic Orchestra
The Wind Ensemble is intended for the advanced upper school musician and will focus on the study and performance of the core repertoire for winds and percussion though a variety of performing media, critical listening, analysis and evaluation. There is a strong emphasis on individual practice and preparation. Students will demonstrate progress in mastery of rehearsal repertoire and on assignments given in sectionals through individual practice. Classes will include a survey of music history, improvisation and compositional technique, careers in music, and  introductory experiences in music technology. Instructor approval required.