Music Surrounds

The Philadelphia School fills the weeks before Winter Break with musical performances by every single student in the school, be they participants in an all-school sing-along or performers in a winter concert.

Last Friday was the Preschool Sing-along - probably one of the cutest and heartfelt performances of the year!

On December 12 the Junior Unit/Middle School Concert featured 8th grade bands, the Junior Unit Chorus, the Sandra Dean String Ensemble, and the sixth grade. Music will range from “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen to "La Rejouissance” from The Royal Fireworks Music by George Frideric Handel to “Nkosi Sikeleli Afrika” arranged by Joseph Shabalala, Nick Page, and Donna Bostock.


On December 14, Encuentro time will be devoted to an all-school sing-along.

Finally, on December 18 - the day before Winter Break - we will be serenaded by the Primary Unit and the Third Grade. Their concert will feature the Primary and Junior Uint Choruses and the Junior String Ensemble. The audience will enjoy “La Musette” by Johann Sebastian Bach, “Tree Song” by Kenneth Medema and arranged by Robert Sterling, “Dansi Na Kuimba” – to highlight just a few.

And . . . the musical performances will continue in January, with a Kindergarten Sing-along Concert on January 29.

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!

7th Grade Rock Band Video

Breaking news: The 7th grade rock band video is now available!

This year the 7th grade tradition continued – even though this year's performance date moved from fall to winter and  the science curriculum focused on the anatomical and not the geological.  

There were two rock bands this year! With the energetic support of music teachers Aaron Picht and Donna Bostock,  our 7th graders presented their own versions of "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and "Gone, Gone, Gone," with witty revised lyrics and stirring musical performances.

There were two performances of each band - one for parents and our youngest students and the other for grade 1-8 classes.



First Recital of the Year

What better way to start a fall morning than listening to your schoolmates perform in recital! On Friday, November 17, several students in grades 3 to 5 performed for an appreciative audience! Our musicians, most of whom study in the TPS After School Music Program coordinated by Thomas Flanagan, gave beautiful performances. Congrats!

Maestro Aaron Picht at Kimmel Center

Next Sunday evening, November 5, our very own music teacher and string conductor Aaron Picht will be conducting the Temple Music Prep Youth Chamber Orchestra in a benefit concert for Peace in Philadelphia: A Musical Journey for Unity and Humanity. The concert is at 5pm at Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available at For more info, click here.

Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 4.10.44 PM.png

Spreading City Love

The duo City Love, which includes our very own Brian Jordan, shared some music, encouraging some dialogue, and working with everyone in grades 4-8 last week to create a full group song.  (You can visit City Love at  City Love focused its program on discovering and celebrating our identities and talking a bit about the ways our identities can sometimes open doors or block roads for us.

Students and teachers stepped up to the mic to share their own newly written lyrics!