"Music is a vital part of life at The Masters School. We are committed to cultivating and nurturing 21st-century musicians who have the capability, fluency and flexibility to work in varied musical modalities. From the beginner to the virtuoso, there is something for everyone. The experienced faculty inspire a lifelong love of music and are skilled at making music come alive — whether to fuel an existing passion, to inspire a newfound love or to reinvigorate flagging interest. In all activities, participation is enthusiastic, our faculty interact closely with students, and programs are thriving and joyous." -Jennifer Carnevale, Chair, Department of Performing Arts

List of 7 items.

  • Academic Music

    Middle School

    Integral to the interdisciplinary curriculum in the Middle School, the music program is a fundamental part of every student’s middle school experience and ties into established themes in conjunction with other academic areas of study. Students learn to read and notate music; to listen to, analyze and describe music; to compose, arrange and perform music; to give and receive feedback; and to evaluate music. Most importantly, students develop an ability to utilize music to understand themselves and others, that builds a deeper level of empathy for fellow human beings. All middle school students collaborate to produce the annual Winter Concert with sung repertoire related to their grade-level curriculum.
    Fifth Grade
    Students will study the art of opera from every angle: production to performance, to theory and practice, and will end the year by performing an original opera. In our state-of-the-art Piano Lab, fifth graders master a variety of hand positions through sight-reading, improvisation, performance pieces, and technical exercises. Utilizing these skills, students will compose original music for the fifth grade puppet operas.
    Sixth Grade
    Students begin with an introduction to folk music and to basic music theory in a practical setting, while preparing for the Middle School Winter Concert. Students will compose, arrange, sing and play a variety of folk music while examining music theory in context. The year will end with a group performance of original song cycles composed and performed by students.
    Seventh Grade
    Students learn about music from Africa, Central and South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia. The course includes an exploration of rhythm and percussion, piano lab, ukelele and drum circle. A final project investigates each student’s musical heritage.
    Eighth Grade
    Students study American popular music styles, including folk, bluegrass, country, blues, jazz and rock. The course includes exploration of drum set, bass guitar, electric and acoustic guitar and electronic keyboard. The year ends with a collaborative project: the production of an arts expo with original songs written and performed by student bands.

    Upper School

    Masters has a long and rich history of recognizing the academic value of music. Whether you are looking to delve deeply into your existing musical studies or to broaden your casual understanding, there are myriad opportunities to explore the multiple facets of music. From recording to theory and from music psychology to music and social justice, we offer opportunities to look at music through a multitude of lenses.
  • Instrumental Music

    Instrumental Music at Masters is diverse and exciting. Whether you are a skilled musician with advanced technique or a beginning musician looking to get started with ensemble work, there is an opportunity for you to create music with your peers. From the advanced musicians in Chamber Music to the acclaimed Jazz Band to the massive interdisciplinary project, Great Gig in the Sky, most students on campus engage with music in a meaningful way. Join us!

    Middle School

    Ensembles: Middle School Jazz Band, Middle School Orchestra, Masters of Rock, Boom!

    Upper School

    Faculty-Directed Ensembles: Jazz Band, Contemporary Ensemble, The 1877: Band Edition, Intro to Chamber Music, Advanced Chamber Music, String Ensemble.

    Student-Directed Ensembles: Positive Rhythm, 49 Clinton.

    Classical Instrumental Playlist

    Jazz Playlist

  • Choral Music

    Choral Music at Masters has something for everyone, whether you are a proficient and passionate singer looking for a challenging ensemble of peers or a reluctant but curious adolescent figuring out where singing fits in your life. From competitive, award-winning ensembles that perform at a wide range of public off-campus events both locally and internationally, to groups that allow you to just get your feet wet, singing has been a part of the fabric of Masters since its founding. The Glee Club, one of the oldest clubs on campus, is composed of students, faculty, parents and alumnae/i and performs at the two major community-wide events that bookend our school year: Family Weekend and Commencement. Come join our community of singers!

    Middle School

    Ensembles: The Glee Club, grade-level choirs, MastersSingers and Preludes

    Upper School

    Faculty-Directed Ensembles: The Glee Club, The 1877: Vocal Edition, Tower Singers, Dobbs 16

    Student-Directed Ensembles: Dohters, The Naturals, Cabaret Troupe and Salty Dogs 

    Choral Music Playlist

  • Facilities

    Our facilities include four performance spaces: The Claudia Boettcher Theatre, Doc Wilson Hall in the Middle School, Estherwood Mansion, and Morris Recital Hall in the Fonseca Center. Two music labs feature 28 MIDI-capable digital keyboards, iMacs or Macbooks for use with each, and a full complement of professional-grade music software, including ProTools, Sibelius, Aurelia, Ableton Live, and more. Our state-of-the-art, professional-grade recording studio in the Fonseca Center is complemented by a classroom recording equipment setup in Strayer Hall. The campus is home to 22 pianos, including a nine-foot Steinway grand piano in the Theatre, 12 Steinway grand and baby grand pianos, and three Mason and Hamlin pianos.
  • Faculty

    Our exceptional cohort of four full-time, two part-time and 15 adjunct faculty are committed to nurturing a love of music that will last a lifetime.

    Full-Time and Part-Time Faculty

    Jennifer Carnevale: Department of Performing Arts Chair; Director of Dobbs 16 and The Glee Club; Instructor of Psychology of Music, Music and Social Justice
    Curt Ebersole: Private Lessons Coordinator; Director of Chamber Music, String Ensemble and Middle School Orchestra; Advisor to The Salty Dogs; Instructor of the Independent Study in Conducting and Public Speaking
    Katie Meadows: Coordinator of Middle School Performing Arts; Director of Preludes; Musical Director of Upper School and Middle School Musicals; Advisor to Cabaret Troupe; Instructor of Fifth Grade Music and Sixth Grade Music, Sixth Grade Class Dean
    Gilles Pugatch: Director of Contemporary Ensemble and Great Gig in the Sky. Advisor to 49 Clinton; Instructor of Theory of Music, Studio Production and Advanced Topics in Audio Recording
    John-Alec Raubeson: Director of Masters of Rock, BOOM!; Advisor to Positive Rhythm; Instructor of Seventh Grade and Eighth Grade Music
    Barbara Ciannella: Director of The 1877: Vocal Edition, Tower Singers and MastersSingers, Advisor to Dohters; Keyboard Coach for Chamber Music, Co-director of the Masters Justice Choir

    Private Lessons Faculty

    Bass (Guitar): Brian Connie, Brian O’Connell
    Bass (String): Ark Ovrutski
    Clarinet: Barbara Cifelli
    Drum Set/Percussion: David Jones
    Flute: Stefani Starin
    French Horn: Darlene Kaukoranta 
    Guitar: Brain Connie, Brian O’Connell
    Harmonica: Brian Connie 
    Mandolin: Brian Connie
    Piano: Barbara Ciannella, Nancy Kennedy, Sima Wolf 
    Saxophone: Barbara Cifelli 
    Trombone: Darlene Kaukoranta
    Trumpet: Darlene Kaukoranta
    Tuba: Darlene Kaukoranta
    Viola: Olga Tymchenko
    Violin: Olga Tymchenko
    Voice: Gwendolyn Bradley, George Croom
  • Private Lessons

    The private lessons program at Masters is staffed by exceptional performing artists who work closely with each student in their respective studios to cultivate confidence, healthy technique and exceptional musicianship. The private lessons program is extremely popular; about 40% of students participate. When possible, lessons are scheduled during a study hall so that the one-on-one work becomes a part of the school week. Private lessons are an excellent complement to participation in choral and instrumental ensembles at Masters. Note that private lessons are at an additional fee. 

    Available Instruments:
    Bass (guitar), bass (string), clarinet, drum set/percussion, flute, French horn, guitar, harmonica, mandolin, piano, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, tuba, viola, violin, voice
  • Student Performing Groups

    Our creative and passionate students direct their own ensembles as well. From R&B to sea shanties, they choose their own repertoire, rehearse themselves, and make all governing decisions themselves. While they have access to a faculty advisor who is knowledgeable, students have direct ownership of our Student Performing Groups. All members of music performing ensembles must maintain concurrent membership in The Glee Club, which performs twice per year at Convocation and Commencement along with all academic music ensembles.

    Dohters is the high-voice a cappella singing group, which was founded in the 1960s to sing folk and protest songs. Their repertoire currently includes classical and contemporary music as well. The mission of Dohters is to uphold the long-standing tradition of song and of all-girls singing at Masters. Dohters performs a solo concert in December and in the Spring SPG Festival. 

    The Naturals
    The Naturals are the low-voice a cappella singing group. The Naturals aim to bring people together through music and to share their talents with the school and the greater community. The Naturals perform in the Spring SPG Festival. 

    Cabaret Troupe
    Cabaret Troupe is a musical theater ensemble whose members explore music, dance, and acting through a variety of musical theatre repertoire. Cabaret Troupe performs in the Spring SPG Festival. 

    Positive Rhythm
    Positive Rhythm encourages musicians and vocalists to express their musical styles through blues, gospel and/or R&B. Positive Rhythm contributes its positive vibe through music to the Masters community.

    The Salty Dogs
    The Salty Dogs are a rollicking group of mates whose particular interest lies in songs of the sea: shanties, ballads and working songs from a variety of periods and origins.

    49 Clinton
    49 Clinton is a group of passionate, high caliber musicians interested in playing and performing contemporary alternative and rock music. 49 Clinton performs in the Spring SPG Festival.

    Student-Directed Performing Groups Playlist


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