The Music Department at Hamden Hall is in the exciting genesis of a new vision and a new birth, while retaining the excitement of the former program. Hamden Hall offers a comprehensive selection of musical ensembles as well as courses in Music Theory and Film Score Study.
Upper School Choral Music
Hamden Hall has a great singing tradition, which continues to evolve under the direction of Mr. Matthew Harrison (B.M. James Madison University; M.M. The New England Conservatory). Students can sing both during the day (for credit) or outside of school hours to participate in a wide variety of ensemble offerings. Our newest group on campus, On A High Note, is an all-female, collegiate style a cappella group that covers contemporary music without instruments. Hamden Hall students highlight their talents through exposure to industry standard studio technology: Protools & Melodyne. Students work to create professional level recordings of music that was specifically arranged for their voices.
Incorporating elements from college level classes (ear training, sight reading), students work hard to develop music literacy. Studying solfeggio (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do), participants in vocal ensembles ultimately become lifelong learners and appreciators of music because they have the tools to read and interpret any composition. Working in small classes, students have the opportunity to find their own voice. Every voice is unique and every student is treated as an individual. This musical empowerment often leads to a more confident, creative, well-rounded person.
The sinfonia is a chamber orchestra that offers MS and US musicians who play orchestral instruments the opportunity to interact in an ensemble setting. Various styles of music will be explored and performed. A typical concert may include music from several different genres. Classical, jazz, patriotic, new age, world music, and the music of stage and screen have been well represented in our past performances. The ability to read music is mandatory. At the discretion of the director, an audition may be required for wind and percussion players.
The jazz ensemble, in the "big band" format, is being offered to those students who have a special interest in learning to play this original American art form. Our repertoire will include compositions from the masters of jazz throughout the decades. In addition, the study of chords and related scales will be provided to encourage the students to create their own improvised solos. The ability to read music is mandatory. Enrollment is limited as there will be no doubling of parts. An audition is required for all new students.
The concert band is available to all MS and US woodwind, brass and percussion players. The music to be performed will be drawn from the large body of concert band music created by various composers, past and present, who are skilled in writing for this medium. The ability to read music is mandatory. No auditions are required.
* a new course (subject to approval) for inclusion in next year's curriculum.
Middle School Music
The Middle School music program includes two performance groups. First, the Music 7 class has an out-of-class performance component. Every Thursday during the study hall period both sections of the class meet to sing as a combined chorus. We perform for the Middle School once during the semester during our activity period and in either our winter or spring concert for parents and others in the evening. The goal of this chorus is to integrate the note reading and music appreciation instruction they received during class combined with the joy of singing in a group. Our other performance group is our Middle School Select Chorus. This group consists of both seventh and eighth graders who meet after school once a week. These students are attracted to this opportunity because of their love of singing in a more select and elite group and are challenged by more difficult music. They also perform for the Middle School during the semester, at our winter and spring concerts, and at our Eighth Grade Celebration at the end of the year.
Hamden Hall Country Day School is a nurturing and inclusive community with a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence by understanding each child and fostering their individual growth.