Music is alive and well at Brownell-Talbot. The program is constantly nourished and flourishing. We have two full-time music instructors assigned by grade level (preschool through grade 4; grades 5 through 12), and a part-time instrumental instructor for Middle School band and grades 5-12 strings. We are also fortunate to have an accompanist for Middle and Upper School vocal music classes.
Lower, Middle and Upper School music classrooms are located in the same hallway. The proximity encourages awareness and respect for student learning and performances across levels. We regularly see and hear each other!
The older students are taught to understand and appreciate the musicality of the young children. Middle School students serve as mentors to the Lower School students and apprentices to the Upper School students. Middle School students have accompanied Lower School singers at the annual Christmas Concert and Middle School students have appeared in "child roles" in the annual Upper School musical. Lower, Middle and Upper school students attend each other's performances, cheer, and encourage each other.
The vocal music programs operate from the foundational viewpoint that everyone is able to sing and, with proper training, can sing well. All students in Lower and Middle School take a general music course that teaches them about reading music, singing and playing instruments, music history and theory, as well as relating music to arts and cultures. All Middle School students also have a weekly chorus class, where every student learns the performance side of vocal music. Third through sixth grade students learn to sing in two-part harmony, and seventh and eighth grade choirs learn to sing in three and sometimes four-part harmony. The groups give excellent performances at the end of each semester, giving every student years of experience in choral music.
Upper School Choir is an open-enrollment elective, meaning that any student who wishes to continue singing in grades nine through twelve may join, audition-free. These students should be committed to the success of the group and should be ready to give their best effort at every rehearsal. US Choir gives at least six performances throughout the year, both during and outside the school day, on and off-campus. US Choir sings in four to eight-part harmony, performing music that can range up to college-level in difficulty, in all styles from Renaissance to jazz and pop. Students in Upper School Choir have enjoyed great success in recent years at District Music Contest, at Frontier Conference Vocal Music Clinic, in the Rally for the Arts, as cast members in the Upper School Musical, and as members of community ensembles, programs, and productions.