From Bath, Maine to Nashville, Tennessee, the students taking music classes at Hyde School have had an incredible year.
To culminate the achievements of the students this year, the Hyde School Music Department hosted a recital event at the Chocolate Church in Bath, Maine. The evening featured student work ranging from soloists to large group ensembles. The material was incredibly varied as well. The set list included original songs, instrumental jazz standards, pop and Motown. Students were incredibly composed, delivering excellent performances.
Of her time in the music program, performer Ivy Mortensen ’18 says of her experience, “Music, to me, is one of the purest forms of expression as a writer and a singer. I was tentative in taking music at the start of the year because the music was in a style outside my comfort zone. By the end of the year, however, I was able to perform my new repertoire at the Chocolate Church and honor the expressions and styles of others as well as myself. I have such a respect for Mr. Newberg and the music program at Hyde and am proud to have been a part of it.”
Hyde’s music program offers academic courses such as Introducing Music Theory and Songwriting, Theory and Performance, and Sound Engineering and Stage Production. The curriculum provides hands-on experience in the Bath campus’ state-of-the-art recording studio under the expert guidance of Matt Newberg, Director of the Music Department. However, the jewel of the program is the annual trip to Nashville.
This year in Nashville, students got to meet professionals on the famous Music Row, visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry, and stroll the honky tonks of Broadway. However, this trip was not solely a sight-seeing adventure. The students also got to record their original songs in Richard Down’s Cyber Productions studios under the tutelage of professional studio musicians.
Many of the songs recorded during the trip were penned in the weeks leading up to the trip in Mr. Newberg’s music classes. Some however, were written only days before, strumming around a campfire or while swinging on the front porches of the cabin at the Opryland KOA, where the group stayed for the week.
The highlight of the week though, was that seven of the eight students were able to perform at the Bluebird Cafe’s Monday night writer’s night, an experience featured often in the hit TV show Nashville.
The Nashville trip is sponsored by HAPA parent Michael McDonald of Doobie Brothers fame and son Dylan ’07, who assist students while working in the studio. Dylan is a Nashville-based hip hop fusion artist who goes by the moniker Stealing Oceans.
Nava Schorsch ’19, one of the students who participated in the Nasville trip, says of her time in the Music program, “My experience in music this year has been full of wonderful happy moments, growth and challenges, and incredibly meaningful memories with my peers and Mr. Newberg. I have enjoyed exploring composing music as well as varying from my typical musical endeavors (ie.vocals). I am forever grateful for Mr. Newberg who has taught and challenged me in ways that have been pivotal to my growth as an artist and person. I look forward to more adventures in our little theater!!!”
You can listen to the album of songs recorded in Nasville on Hyde’s SoundCloud account and see photos from the Nashville trip and Chocolate Church performance on the Hyde School Facebook page.