University School and Hathaway Brown combine for joint concert

University School and Hathaway Brown combine for joint concert

Ethan Roberts, Staff Writer

A new year calls for new traditions, which was certainly the case for this year’s Glee Club and Orchestra. After years of dealing with Covid restrictions, including masks that greatly limited music creation, the US musical groups were ready to return to their norms and function as normal ensembles again. This year, the ensembles were graced with a new face, their new teacher and Upper School Director of Music, Devon Steve ’13. Mr. Steve was tasked with filling the shoes that former teacher Mr. Daniel Singer left while continuing to craft the success of these ensembles. The return to normal and new faces was accompanied by the return of many traditions, one of which was a joint concert between brother and sister schools, our very own University School and Hathaway Brown. This exciting concert, which occurred on March 2, 2023, brought more than just excellent music with it. It also brought major significance, the significance of appreciation for music. Fittingly, the title of this concert was Celebrate Music. On this late winter evening the stage was set, and the ensembles were ready. And, in front of a packed audience with standing room only left, they did not disappoint.

Opened by the US Glee Club, the night started off strong. The ensemble preformed three individual pieces beginning with “Gamaya” by Paul John Rudoi. Gamaya, translated to Lead Me, was created delicately starting with a two-part cannon and moving later into a three-part cannon to give the audience a strong feel for the meaning of the song. Here are the translated lyrics from Gamaya:


“From untruth lead me to Truth.

From darkness lead me to Light.

From death lead me to Immortality.

Peace, Peace, Peace.”

-Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, I.iii.28


Next, the Glee Club moved into “Tell My Father” arranged by Andrea Ramsey. Tell My Father is an extremely gentle, Civil War song telling the story of a young man, who presumably died during battle, giving his father his last words and his final goodbyes. This piece brought many of the audience members to tears. Finishing off their part of the concert, the Glee Club concluded with a modern sea chanty titled “The Wellerman” from New Zealand. The piece has a quite comedic background because Mr. Steve discovered it on Tiktok. The piece left the audience members with a few laughs and the Glee Club wrapped up their performance on a happy, fun note.

Directly after the Glee Club, the Hathaway Brown Orchestra preformed their only piece of the night. The piece, titled “Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah” by Camille Saint-Saëns, displayed the talent and ability of the HB musicians. It was expertly played and gave many people who were new to this orchestra a good experience. Many people after the concert left high praise for this orchestra and hope that they would come to US to preform again.

After the HB Orchestra came the US Males A Capella group. This group, comprised of many Glee Club members, preformed two pieces on this day. The first piece titled “Mr. Blue Sky” by the Electric Light Orchestra arranged by Deke Sharon was a familiar one for the audience. It was familiar because they had performed this during the winter concert and decided to bring it back as an addition to this one. The second piece, “Over the Rainbow” by Harold Arlen arranged by Andy Beck brought a gentler feel to the audience and now showed them a new side to this small ensemble. It truly showed the versatility of this group even if they were at a lack of instruments to accompany them.

This performance concluded the vocal part of the concert. After they finished, the US Orchestra got the chance to perform its own piece.  This was a three-part piece titled, “Selections from Les Misérables”, arranged by Bob Lowden. The three parts were, I, Prologue/At the End of the Day. II, I Dreamed a Dream. III, Do You Hear the People Sing? This piece was truly excellent and served as a great lead into the final component of the concert.

The final portion featured combined pieces between the orchestras of HB and US. Their focus was a celebration of Women’s History Month, with a goal to celebrate all of the excellent women who have greatly influenced our lives. Additionally the selections were intended to make everyone appreciate the bonds they have formed with women in their life, whether it would be with a mother, grandmother, girlfriend, wife, or even just a friend. The three pieces formed were as follows: “Andalusian Adventure” by Erica Donahue for the string instruments, “Pipe and Thistle” by Carol Brittin Chambers for the wind instruments, and finally “American Landscape” by Soon Hee Newbold for the entirety of the orchestras.

Overall, these ensembles did not disappoint and created an even stronger bond between the two brother and sister schools. The celebration of music was truly spectacular, and we hope it will happen again in the future.