Cantata Premiere

Today was the preview premiere at TPS of the cantata “The World is Changing,” the culmination of a unique creative collaboration that began in the fall of 2017 between Temple Music Prep, Temple University’s Boyer College of Music, The Philadelphia School, and the Chester Arthur School.

Last October, 16 middle school students from the Chester Arthur Middle School and The Philadelphia School came together under the guidance of Shannon Coulter and Ashley Opalka, both teachers at The Philadelphia School, and began writing poetry based on their life experiences. The students met once a week for ten weeks and on three occasions, they met with two student composers from the Boyer College of Music, Jon Paul Mayse and Timothy DelCollo. During this process, the students and the composers had the opportunity to share their ideas about what sounds and musical textures the poems evoked.

On one memorable afternoon, Megnot Toggia and Kyle Dunn, both Boyer College vocal students, came and sang for the students. In December, Jon and Tim selected lyrics from the wealth of poetry that the student authors generated and composed eight songs for string orchestra, piano, soprano and baritone. 

The cantata, conducted by TPS music teacher and string conductor Aaron Picht, was performed at Encuentro for students in grades 4through 8. A free performance – the official premiere – will take place tomorrow evening at 7:30pm at the Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square. Don't miss it!