There are many opportunities for musical engagement at Newton Country Day School. We believe that all students should have the opportunity to develop their skills in creativity, communication, confidence, artistry, and discipline through music. Acting on this belief, all Middle School students take general music classes, sing in a choir, and begin learning an instrument in 5th grade. In the Upper School, students may choose to continue singing in a choir and/or playing in our instrumental ensemble. They may explore their musicality further through private lessons or the A Cappella Committee.
All 5th and 6th grade students participate in our instrumental music program learning the basics of playing a string, woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. Students in 7th and 8th grade are encouraged to continue playing their instruments as a part of the more advanced 7th and 8th Grade Instrumental Ensemble. Both ensembles prepare for a major performance at the end of each semester. Students who hope to hone their skills further are encouraged to enroll in private lessons. Although students are welcome to provide their own instruments, Newton Country Day School manages the process of instrument rental and purchase for most students.
All Middle School students sing in a choir. 5th and 6th grade students learn the basics of vocal technique, sight reading, and choral performance grounded in the Kodály method. 7th and 8th grade students continue this work at a more advanced level. Both ensembles prepare for a major performance at the end of each semester. Students who hope to hone their skills further are encouraged to enroll in private lessons. 7th and 8th grade students are eligible to audition for the Middle School's select choral ensemble––Cantilare.
Cantilare is an advanced choir for 7th and 8th grade students. Students may audition for this ensemble at the beginning of their 7th or 8th grade year. They sing advanced music and have more performance opportunities when compared to the larger 7th and 8th grade choir. This group of approximately 30 students performs regularly throughout the academic year at masses, concerts, and special events.
Instrumental Ensemble is open to all students with prior experience playing an ensemble instrument. The goal of this course is to hone individual musicianship as well as to develop a well-balanced ensemble sound through a varied study of instrumental music. The course focuses on team building skills and offers leadership opportunities to all students. Instrumental Ensemble performs at important school events including a major performance at the culmination of each semester. Students who hope to hone their skills further are encouraged to enroll in private lessons. Although students are welcome to provide their own instruments, Newton Country Day School manages the process of instrument rental and purchase for most students.
All Upper School students are encouraged to sing with Chorale, regardless of their previous experience. This large, non-auditioned choir focuses on building skills in reading music, sight reading, vocal technique, and choral performance. Classical choral, folk, gospel, and popular music are all included in the repertoire. Students are encouraged to enroll for all four years of their Upper School experience. This ensemble performs once at the end of each semester and embarks on an international performance tour every other year. Students who hope to hone their skills further are encouraged to enroll in private lessons.
Admission to this group is through audition and limited enrollment is reserved for those students who are active members of Chorale. The course is designed to improve vocal and choral technique through the mastery of more demanding choral works of various styles. A strong emphasis is placed on a cappella singing, leading the school in chapel and mass as cantors, and being visible leaders in the larger Chorale. They sing advanced music and have more performance opportunities when compared to the larger Chorale. This group of approximately 20 students performs regularly throughout the academic year at masses, concerts, and special events.
Private lessons in piano, brass, strings, woodwinds, percussion, and voice is available to any student after school for a nominal fee. Registration forms are completed in September for a full year’s instruction (and in January for half-year instruction) through students' music courses. Lessons are open to both Middle and Upper School students. Questions about this program may be directed to the Chair of the Arts Department, Tyler Turner.
Our a cappella group––the Heartbeats––meets once a week for 50 minutes to prepare for two major performances. Students audition for this committee early in the academic year. The committee is primarily led by students with the assistance of a choral music faculty member. The music performed is most often in the collegiate a cappella style. The committee is meant to be a supplement to other academic engagement in music at Newton Country Day School.