Seventy members of the Rye Country Day School Concert Choir and 100 members of the Highbridge Voices Concert Choir between the ages of 8-17 joined in song on April 28th when they performed a combined concert at the school.
The 2011 Festival Chorus Concert, this I believe, was based upon statements of belief contributed by RCDS Middle School and Upper School students, as well as faculty, parents and friends in the adult choir.
Music is the universal language of mankind. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Outre-Mer
Rye Country Day School seeks to empower students with a literacy, understanding and passion for music both as performers and listeners. Through a vibrant music program from Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade, students become familiar with music from a wide variety of genres and cultures. We have an outstanding program rooted in a rich tradition of artistic excellence, offering students among the very best of music education. Even in our elective programs, students enthusiastically participate while pursuing a variety of other interests on campus. There is a place in the music program for the novice and experienced musician alike. Read more about the Lower School, Middle School and Upper School programs.
If you can walk you can dance, if you can talk you can sing!” Zimbabwe Proverb
While singing abounds in the Lower School, formal choral singing starts in the Middle School. There are separate fifth and sixth Grade choruses each with their own identities and repertoire. In seventh and eighth grades, students elect to be part of the Concert Chorus and also audition to be a member of the select CubScats. In addition to their choral repertoire, members of the Concert Chorus produce an annual musical. Recent productions include 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Seussical, Into the Woods, Once On This Island, The Music Man,Fiddler on the RoofandGodspell.
The Upper School supports four major choral ensembles. In addition to a eclectic repertoire, sight reading and ear training are part of the choral curriculum. All singers participate in the large usually more than 70 students voiced Concert Choir. From that group, there are three additional auditioned singing groups. There are two smaller sections of Honors Choir: Madrigals (mixed SATB) and Bel Canto (trebles only). The twelve voice WildScats, our acappella vocal jazz group, is the only extra curricular offering of these singing groups, all others carry full academic credit as a demonstration of the school’s commitment to music as an academic discipline.
Many of our students participate in the NYSSMA festivals and we have sent many students both to NY All-State and Westchester area All-State ensembles.
From Mickey Mouse to St. Peter’s, members of the Concert Choir have toured both domestically and internationally over the years including trips to Japan, Italy, Sweden, Austria, the Czech Republic and most recently, Spain.
Cross Divisional Choral Concert - This semi-annual events seeks to build a vocal community across grade levels. Each individual choral group presents a favorite piece from their repertoire and then combines as a Grades 4-12 choir to present several pieces together.
Students begin their instrumental exploration with drumming and recorders in the lower school. In fourth grade, students are introduced to the band instruments and may elect to begin private lessons on a wind instrument or percussion. This introduction to a specific instrument prepares students for fifth grade Beginning Band. There are separate fifth and sixth bands each with their own identities and repertoire. In seventh and eighth grade, students elect to be part of the Concert Band and also audition to be a member of the select Middle School Jazz Band.
Play the music, not the instrument. ~Author Unknown
The Upper School supports both a Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band. In addition to a varied repertoire, the wind ensemble made up of generally more than fifty students also work towards individual playing goals through the band hearing curriculum. Students may audition to join the Upper School Jazz Band. The performing ensembles at RCDS carry full academic credit as a demonstration of the school’s commitment to music as an academic discipline. These instrumental ensembles tour on a yearly basis to Festivals throughout the East Coast and Canada.
Cross Divisional Band Concert - This semi-annual events seeks to build an instrumental community across grade levels. Each individual band presents a favorite piece from their repertoire and then combines as a Grades 5-12 band to present a piece together.
Private Lesson Program
Rye Country Day School has a private lesson program with thirteen outstanding teachers offering lessons in wind, brass, percussion, guitar, bass, voice and piano. All of our teachers are experts in their field both as teachers and as active working performers. By day they are committed, inspiring teachers and come evening, they fill the stages of many of New York’s best musical venues. Read this document for more information.If you are an RCDS student interested taking private lessons, please call: 914-925-4580Download the brochure and registration form.
One of the great traditions of the Rye Country Day community is the annual Festival Chorus concert in January. The Upper School Concert Choir combines with an adult choir of parents, faculty, alumni and friends to form the Festival Chorus. Along with full orchestra, we perform a major work from the choral repertoire.
Festival chorus selections from past years: 2012: I'll Fly Away(Click for slideshow) 2011: this I believe (Click for videos and description) 2010: War and Peace including Haydn’s Mass in Time of War 2009: earthsongs (including a newly commissioned arrangement of earthsongs by Perera) 2008: Prophecy (featuring excerpts from Mendelssoh: Elijah, Rudolf: The Dream Isaiah Saw and other works about prophets) 2007: How Can I Keep From Singing? A program of Living Composers (welcoming composer Paul Halley to RCDS) 2006: Mozart Requiem (in celebration of the 250th anniversary of his birth) 2005: Concert of African American Composers 2004: Rutter : Requiem; Mozart: Regina Coeli 2003: Haydn: Creation 2002: Schubert: Mass in G 2001: Bernstein: Chichester Psalms 2000: Vivaldi: Gloria, Bach: Alleluia from Lobet den Herrn; Vaughan-Williams : Antiphon 1999: Faure: Requiem 1998: Mendelssohn: Elijah 1997: Poulenc: Gloria, Haydn Te Deum 1996: Mozart: Requiem