Dear Academy Families,
This has been a week of musical events, showing the breadth and depth of our Academy community.
On Monday evening, Dr. Brett Abigana, our choral and chamber ensemble teacher, gave a faculty lecture on German music under the Third Reich. He focused on two composers in particular. Erich Wolfgang Korngold was a Jewish composer who fled Germany to Hollywood to escape persecution, and who became the father of American movie scores. Richard Straus was considered the preeminent German composer of the time, but having a Jewish daughter-in-law, he used his considerable influence to try to ameliorate Nazi persecution both for his family and for Jewish musicians, by working within the Nazi machine while refraining from joining the Nazi party. Behind this historical perspective, the audience of parents, students, and faculty at the lecture also learned a great deal about musical theory.
Then, later this week at All School Meeting (ASM), we had a wide range of students share their musical talent, with performances on violin, piano, bassoon, cello, and guitar. Perhaps my favorite moment was when, lacking music stands, two students knelt to become human music stands in support of their classmates performing a bassoon-cello duet!
The theme this week just happened to focus on music, but in any category, the Academy has talented teachers and students who share their love and expertise with the wider community. What a pleasure and an education that is for all of us!
James S. Berkman
Head of School