Upper School Music Courses
The Pennington Schools offers a variety of music courses that develop students' skills in the elements of music, as well as vocal and instrumental music performance. Pennington students start their study of music with Basic Music, in which they gain or refine skills in music reading and analysis through playing the alto recorder, keyboard, and percussion instruments. Students may then choose intermediate and advanced courses that further develop skills in specific areas including music theory, American popular music, keyboarding, instrumental ensembles, and chorus. Private instrumental instruction is available after school. Graduating senior music students have gone on to pursue music at schools such as The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, New York University, Northwestern University, and Temple University.
Vocal: The Upper School Chorus and the Pennington Singers have a performance schedule both outside and within the School community. On-campus, these groups perform regularly at the School's weekly chapel services, in the annual Candlelight Service in December, and at the spring Arts Celebration. Music students who specialize in voice frequently have leading roles in the winter musical, and students also perform in the Coffeehouses sponsored by the Dramatic Society. Off-campus, the Chorus and Pennington Singers visit nursing homes, perform at alumni receptions in New York City and Washington, DC, and embark on an interstate tour each spring.
Instrumental: Students at Pennington play a variety of instruments, and different ensemble groups are formed each year. These ensembles include classical chamber groups; jazz combos; blues, pop, and rock groups; world drummers; and recorder groups that perform at chapel services and at the spring Arts Celebration. Music students at Pennington enjoy participating in the pit band for the winter musical. There are also several student bands that compete at the annual Battle of the Bands during the winter and perform at Spring Fling in May. For students enrolled in private music lessons, a recital is held at the end of the year.
The Pennington Singers
The Pennington Singers is a select choir whose members are chosen through an audition process. The Pennington Singers participate in a two-day retreat off campus in late fall. In early spring each year, the Upper School Chorus and the Pennington Singers embark on a tour that includes concerts and competition. In the past few years, the groups have traveled throughout New England and to Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and a variety of places in New Jersey. Recent successes in competition include a first-place finish for Concert Choir and second-place finish for Chamber/Madrigal Choir at the Boston Music Festival, and first place finishes for both Madrigal Choir and Mixed Choir at Music in the Parks-Busch Gardens Williamsburg.