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Music

At Pingry, we believe that music is an indispensable part of a well-rounded education. With that in mind, we offer students the opportunity to study vocal and instrumental music as well as music theory, addressing the needs of both experienced and experimental musicians through individualized and group instruction.

Our performance courses expose students to a wide range of musical styles and genres, from J.S. Bach to Duke Ellington, as we believe that a strong foundation in the classic repertoire not only allows students to experience musical performance with greater understanding, but also encourages them to explore other musical styles and textures.

No background in music? Don’t worry! Many of our programs require no more than a commitment to consistent rehearsal and performance attendance. Eager to take your skills to the next level? Our department includes professional musicians who offer students private study in particular instruments or vocals.

For course descriptions, please refer to the Curriculum Guide .

Band

Middle and Upper School

Pingry offers Middle and Upper School students a host of ways to catch the beat including 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Bands, and Upper School Wind Sinfonia. Jazz Ensemble is an Upper School elective. All groups hold performances throughout the year and all ensembles perform at the Winter Festival concert in December and the Spring Festival concert in May.

Upper School bands also perform at a separate instrumental concert in the spring and the Jazz Ensemble performs at the Upper School Ensembles Concert in November well as at other concerts, both at Pingry and in the community.

Basking Ridge Campus Band Director: Mr. Sean McAnally

 

Lower School

The Lower School offers a comprehensive music program for K-5 students. Singing, playing a wide variety of musical instruments, learning to appreciate music from many cultures, and music performance are key components of a Pingry music education. The Lower School music program provides a foundation for a life-long enjoyment of music.

Many students in Grades 4 and 5 elect to participate in the optional Instrumental Music program. 

Chorus

Upper School

Pingry offers Upper School students numerous ways to find their voice! The Men's and Women's Glee Clubs are open to all boys and girls in Forms III-VI, while membership in the Balladeers and Buttondowns, our more selective girls’ and boys’ a cappella groups, is gained through spring and fall auditions. Each ensemble contains approximately 18-22 female or male singers among Grades 9 and 12. And all perform many genres of music: a cappella madrigals; a cappella and accompanied classical music; music in foreign languages; world and traditional music; and popular repertoire in the college a cappella group style.

Women's Chorus Director: Mr. Jay Winston
Men's Chorus Director: Dr. Andrew Moore

Middle School

Middle School students can also have their voices heard through the Girls' and Boys' Choruses, comprised of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. Music is mandatory for one trimester, and students will participate in at least one concert. Eighth grade students have the option to participate for a full year.

The 6th Grade Boys' and Girls' Choruses meet for a full year and participants perform in the winter and the spring music concerts.

Boys' Chorus Director: Dr. Andrew Moore
Girls' Chorus Director: Mr. Jay Winston

Lower School

The Lower School offers a comprehensive music program for K-5 students. Singing, playing a wide variety of musical instruments, learning to appreciate music from many cultures, and music performance are key components of a Pingry music education. The Lower School music program provides a foundation for a life-long enjoyment of music.

All students in Grades 4 and 5 participate in Chorus. 

Lower School Director: Ms. Emma Liu

Handbells

Middle and Upper Schools

Love music, but lack a background in the discipline? Our Handbells classes are a wonderful way to get your feet wet, offering students the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of music and perform in an ensemble. We begin with important music basics such as rhythm, meter, tempo, and pitch and progress to learning, rehearsing, and performing a variety of music written for handbells.

In the Upper School, a Handbell club is offered with a faculty advisor. In the Middle School, Handbells is offered as a scheduled trimester elective for Form II (Grade 8) students and has one major performance per trimester.

Director: Mr. Jay Winston

Lower School

Grade 5 Handbell Choir meets weekly for rehearsal. The Band, String Ensemble, and Handbell Choir perform at regularly scheduled concerts during the school year, with occasional additional performance opportunities. The Handbell Choir is designed primarily for those students who do not play band or orchestra instruments, in order to provide them with an ensemble experience.

Director: Mrs. Patty Finn

Strings

Upper and Middle Schools

At the Basking Ridge Campus, strings are the thing! In the Middle School, Grade 6 and 7 students rehearse separately from the eighth graders, but combine during concerts as the Middle School String Orchestra. Middle School students who choose orchestra/strings as their music option will rehearse during Conference Period (CP). The Upper School String Orchestra welcomes any student who plays a string instrument and rehearses during CP.

Lower School

The Lower School offers a comprehensive music program for our K-5 students. Singing, playing a wide variety of musical instruments, learning to appreciate music from many cultures, and music performance are key components of a Pingry music education. The Lower School music program provides a foundation for a life-long enjoyment of music.

Grades 4 and 5 Strings students are offered instruction through our after-school enrichment program.

Director: Mrs. Alyson Whelan

Music Faculty

The conductor cues singers and musicians to start Winter Festival