Arts
Performing Arts

Music

At Vermont Academy, students can follow their passion

The Music Department at Vermont Academy is a thriving and growing set of programs that offer a diverse selection of musical activities for our students. Students participate in classes, ensembles, lessons, jam sessions, instrument building, and recording projects with their peers and instructors. On an intimate campus, the presence of musicians at Vermont Academy is strong, and their performances are met with acclaim from their friends and families.

List of 4 items.

  • Music Curriculum

    FALL ELECTIVE
    Electronic Music
    It is desired that the 3 electronic music electives be
    taken consecutively during the fall, winter, and
    spring trimesters, though not required.
    Serving as a foundation for winter and spring electives, students
    enrolled in this course discover a broad scope of concepts
    related to electronic music, sound recording, and music
    technology. Students in this course will work through a diverse
    set of music and technology related activities, where they have
    the opportunity to learn about the audio sound systems on
    campus, learn how to record themselves or a student band,
    compose an original piece of music, repair a broken instrument
    or amp, or unlock the secrets of wireless transmission. This is an
    excellent course for a student interested in pursuing any field
    of music technology, electronics, or musical experimentation.

    WINTER ELECTIVES
    Music Appreciation
    Music Appreciation is a course designed to teach listening
    skills with the intention of providing historical and culturally
    relevant information about music throughout history. The course
    begins with an overview of the basic elements of music with
    a focus on active listening, and continues with units covering
    many musical styles and periods including music from antiquity
    through the 20th century, including contemporary pop, rock,
    and jazz music. Students will participate in ‘music sharing’
    days where they will prepare and share information about
    their personal interests in music, as well as attend numerous
    live music events throughout the term. This course offers
    students the opportunity to share and explore music from
    all genres, with an emphasis on listening techniques, diverse
    musical exposure, and many cultural influences in music.
    Electronic Instrument Building and Design
    It is desired that the 3 electronic music electives be
    taken consecutively during the fall, winter, and
    spring trimesters, though not required.
    This course provides discussion, application, construction and
    hands-on experience with musical instruments of an electronic
    nature. This course begins with the basic properties of sound
    and electricity as a foundation for basic understanding of
    instrument design and construction. Major projects include
    constructing a tone generating circuit, constructing a pitch
    controller, modifying a ‘found instrument’, circuit bending,
    and basic sound processing techniques. This lab-based,
    hands-on course is an excellent offering for a student who
    is interested in music, electronics, or sound production.

    SPRING ELECTIVES
    Music Theory and Composition
    The goal of this class is to provide students with a comprehensive
    foundation in general musicianship. Major areas of study
    include basic musical theory, ear training, analysis, piano skills,
    and composition. PC based musical notation software is used
    to aid in associating concepts with sounds. Students learn to
    compose and harmonize melodies, which serve as the foundation
    for a large-scale composition project that serves as the final
    evaluative tool for each student’s success. This is an excellent
    course for any student studying instrumental technique, playing
    in ensembles, or considering a study of music in college.

    Electronic Recording Studio
    It is desired that the 3 electronic music electives be
    taken consecutively during the fall, winter, and
    spring trimesters, though not required.
    This class offers its students exposure to all of the materials and
    principles related to sound recording. Actual recording processes
    will be explored on many types of historical devices, including LP,
    cassette, reel to reel, wax cylinder, and all forms of digital media.
    This course presents the opportunity for students to learn about
    the physical nature of sound recording in an environment that
    encourages thoughtful and creative composition. Each student
    will produce their own creative music compositions using varying
    recording devices. Recording Studio is a single trimester elective
    with open enrollment for any sophomore, junior, or senior
  • Ensembles

    Instrumental and Vocal music ensembles are available during the academic day during a non-conflict period. Each group performs in multiple concerts and venues throughout the year, and their members are frequent participants in regional and state-wide music festivals.

    ENSEMBLE OFFERINGS – H PERIOD
    Ensembles are full-year courses with open enrollment
    at winter and spring trimesters. No prerequisite

    Jazz Ensemble
    Through intensive ensemble rehearsal, this class will
    provide members with the knowledge of and ability to
    perform music from the jazz, funk, latin, and contemporary
    literature. Two rehearsals per week make this ½ class an
    easy addition to a musician’s academic schedule. The group
    focuses on ensemble playing of music of all styles, as well as
    improvisational and instrumental technique. The ensemble
    presents upwards of 6 concerts each year to enthusiastic
    audiences. All instrumental students are welcome to enroll,
    with occasional limitations based on instrumentation.

    Vocal Ensemble
    Through ensemble rehearsal, this class will provide members with
    the knowledge of and ability to perform music from many genres,
    including jazz, classical, madrigal, musical theater, spiritual, and
    contemporary literature. Two rehearsals per week make this ½
    class an easy addition to a musician’s academic schedule. The
    group also works on vocal techniques. The ensemble presents
    upwards of 6 concerts each year. In addition, students are also
    eligible for off campus festivals, such as the All-New England
    Choral Festival, Vermont All-State, and District Festivals.

    Chamber Music Ensemble
    This ensemble caters to the musicians at VA who are more
    interested in classical repertoire. Our group usually carries 10-15
    members including strings, winds, brass, and other instruments
    where appropriate. Our literature includes arrangements of wellknown
    classical pieces as well as examples of music from film and
    popular culture. Two rehearsals per week make this ½ class an
    easy addition to a musician’s academic schedule. This ensemble
    presents numerous concerts throughout the school year, adding
    balance to concert programs featuring Jazz and Vocal Ensembles.
    The V-8s
    Through intensive ensemble rehearsal, this boy’s chorus
    class will provide members with the knowledge of and
    ability to perform music from the barbershop, a capella, and
    accompanied male vocal library, as well as contemporary
    forms of men’s choral and group singing. Two rehearsals
    per week make this ½ class an easy addition to a musician’s
    academic schedule. This ensemble performs both in traditional
    concert settings and for varying events on campus and in
    our community. In addition, student participants are also
    eligible for off campus festivals, such as the All-New England
    Choral Festival, Vermont All-State, and District Festivals.
  • Lessons

    Vermont Academy’s music lesson program offers students with an interest in performance a chance to study their instrument as part of their academic regiment. Students take a lesson with a private teacher once a week during the academic day, earn academic credit for their lessons, and have access to practice rooms, lockers, and listening resources. These lesson students benefit from the outstanding teaching and musicianship brought to Vermont Academy by our staff of adjunct music teachers, who organize a culminating recital at the end of each trimester.

    Music Lesson Program Outline
  • Music Resources

    • Keyed Practice Rooms
    • Bechstein Concert Grand Piano
    • Konabe 6” Grand Piano
    • 6 Yamaha Upright Pianos
    • Drum Studio
    • Recording Studio
    • Horowitz Performing Arts Hall
    • Lockers for Instrument Storage
    • Listening Stations
    • Instrumental Loans
    • Large Library of Printed and Recorded Music
    • Professional Performers as Teaching Faculty

List of 7 members.

  • Mr. Steve Cady 

    Performing Arts Chair / Music Programs
    (802) 869-6213
    Keene State College - BA
    Keene State College - BM
    Bio
  • Mr. Phil Bloch 

    Violin
    Bio
  • Mr. Greg Burnell 

    Guitar
    Bio
  • Mr. Ben Carr 

    Ukulele, Percussion
    Bio
  • Ms. Bonnie Fairchild 

    Piano, Cello
    Bio
  • Mr. Jason Koerber 

    Saxophone, Clarinet
    Bio
  • Mr. George Robinson 

    Drums
    Bio