Spring Concerts Promise Memorable Musical Moments

The beautiful sounds echoing from the storied halls of Estherwood can only mean one thing.

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The School’s vocal and classical instrumental ensembles are preparing for their upcoming performances: the Prism Concert on Tuesday, April 9, and the Spring Choral Concert on Thursday, April 11.

“The acoustics and setting in Estherwood are perfect for the classical instrumental ensembles,” explained Curt Ebersole, director of the annual Prism Concert, which includes 25 middle and upper school musicians. “The wood paneling reflects a warm sound, and the stately high ceilings add to the lofty effect of the music.”

Known as the “musical moveable feast,” the Prism Concert is staged in different rooms throughout Estherwood, with the audience following the music from room to room. This year’s theme, “Bolero,” is based on the concert finale, in which all the performers will assemble in the Estherwood foyer to perform Maurice Ravel’s revered “Bolero.”

Select pieces include “Night Shift” by Steven Meyer (Middle School Orchestra), “Bagatelles for Two Violins, Cello, and Piano, Opus 47” by Antonín Dvořák (Chamber Music), and  “Arachnid’s Lair” by Kirt Mosier (String Ensemble).

This year’s concert shines a spotlight on Julianne Korb ’24, Prism’s featured composer. She will debut her piece “Bloom.” 

“I’m thrilled that ‘Bloom’ will receive its world premiere at Masters, and I’m grateful to Mr. Ebersole and the String Ensemble for rehearsing and performing my work so well,” Korb said. “The inspiration for ‘Bloom’ stemmed from a project where we were all assigned to create a song about spring. I ultimately decided to go with a waltz-like piece that reflects the beauty and simplicity of spring.”

The senior violinist, whose first composition, “Coming to an End,” premiered at the Winterlight Concert in December, plans to attend the University of Vermont next year to study music technology, and hopes to pursue a career in composition and film scoring. 

Derin Barkan ’28 is a flutist in the Middle School Orchestra whose favorite piece to perform is “Allegro und Menuet,” a duet by Ludwig van Beethoven. “The best thing about the concert is how each piece blends into the other to create the feeling of one big piece with multiple movements,” he said.

“I’m very proud of the students’ work, assembling this complex and unique concert program,” Ebersole said.

Don’t miss the Prism Concert on Tuesday, April 9, at 6:30 p.m. at Estherwood.

Two days later on April 11, the Spring Choral Concert will take place, also in Estherwood. Jennifer Carnevale, chair of the Department of Performing Arts, says that Estherwood is a magical place to perform and recalls a former student’s fond memory of the venue: “When Estherwood was a dorm, the girls would sing vespers together in the mansion’s library on Sundays. I love the feeling of the history of sung music at Masters coming alive in that room during this specific concert — reverberating with the voices of our alums right along with us.”

Choral teacher Caitlin Adler is looking forward to her first spring concert with the 41 middle and upper school students from MastersSingers, 1877: Vocal Edition, Tower Singers and Dobbs 16 (led by Carnevale).

“These ensembles are performing a blend of popular songs and contemporary choral works,” Adler explained. “The students have been working very hard on the repertoire for this concert. None of these pieces were particularly easy but the students all rose to the challenge!”

Lucy Vargas ’26, an alto with Tower Singers, is excited to perform "Twa Tanbou," a “fun and energetic song” about three drums and written in Haitian Creole. “There are many different complex parts that weave in and out of each other, so the rhythms of the piece really stand out,” they explained.

“I love being a part of this group; we are all very close because of the small size of it,” said sixth grader Ada Garberina, an alto with the seven-member MastersSingers, whose favorite song to sing is Jason Derulo’s “Whatcha Say” because “It is very similar to the songs that I generally listen to in my free time.”

Mark your calendar for the Spring Choral Concert on Thursday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. at Estherwood.

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