Competing on an international level, current students Yat Fei Chan '23, Meng Lu '20, Cihan Sahin '21, and Yiwei Zhu '22 are reaping the benefits of over a decade of study and thousands of hours of practice from the age of six or younger by winning spots at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where they study piano and classical music with world-class college faculty for up to six hours every Saturday.
Our students auditioned for this rigorous program last spring, competing against students from around the world. They continue to display grit in their pursuit of excellence by giving up their Saturdays to enrich their musical skills with classes in music theory, music history, ear training, composition, chamber music, and solo performance. Their professors at MSM are world-renowned performers and scholar/teachers who expect perfection and high-level achievement at all times, requiring the students to practice and study for hours every day during the week in order to prepare for their courses and private lessons each Saturday.
The Pennington community supports young composer/pianist Chan, and pianists Lu, Sahin, and Zhu as they give up their Saturdays and free time between studies and other extracurricular activities to pursue this historic art form, whose pedagogies and traditions stem back more than three hundred years. The students' dedication to intense musical study will equip them with the focus on study and perseverance under pressure that is needed for success in whatever career they pursue beyond Pennington, whether it is in the sciences, business, or other creative fields.
Pennington's proximity to major cultural centers such as New York City and Philadelphia attracts talented musicians from around the world. Many of our students choose to become part of the Pennington School community because of their access to Saturday precollege music programs such as those at the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College, and Juilliard. At the same time, these hardworking students enrich the music program at Pennington with their enthusiastic participation in our ensembles, music classes, and performances on and off campus.