The Music Program at St. Mark’s School serves a wide range of student interests and includes co-curricular vocal and instrumental performing groups; curricular classroom courses for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students; and a comprehensive private music lesson program.
We have a full schedule of music performances this year featuring our students and faculty as well as invitational festivals with guest student and professional musicians. Look in the events calendar for what’s planned for the school year.
Our Class of 1945 Hall is a popular recording venue for major artists and groups in the Boston area, including the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, soprano Maria Ferrante, cellist Sergey Antonov, the Lydian Quartet, the Muir Quartet, Anonymous Four, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Boston Cello Quartet and the public radio show From the Top.
Nearly 100 St. Markers participate in music ensembles at the school. Most ensembles rehearse twice weekly during the school day. Ensembles include: St. Mark's Symphony Orchestra, Choir, Jazz Band, and two *a cappella* groups, the Royal Blues (girls) and the Marksmen (boys). some students also choose to participate in outside groups, such as the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Lessons and Carols
Music performed on Family Weekend
Throughout the COVID era, the arts at St. Mark's have continued to thrive curricularly. Arts Department head Chris Kent is teaching theater arts remotely, while Director of Music James Wallace has been working diligently with St. Mark's students, producing music for regular chapel services, the uniquely virtual 2020 Lessons & Carols service, and some wonderful a capella vocal productions. The visual arts, taught by faculty veterans Barbara Putnam and Aggie Belt, have been particularly impressive. Ms. Belt's sculptors have created "cultural unity vessels" in which students combine pottery styles from different cultures to produce unique objects. There was also an extraordinarily creative output from Ms. Putnam's studio artists this fall and leading up to the Christmas break. The vast majority of these artistic endeavors have taken place remotely, so it is exciting to realize that the arts at St. Mark's are thriving despite all challenges.
This fall, veteran art teacher Barbara Putnam—entering her 42nd year on the St. Mark's faculty—assumes the mantle of Senior Teacher. This is an historic transition for the School, as Ms. Putnam will be the first woman to hold that title in the 150-plus-year history of St. Mark's.
On February 3, 155 students and faculty members will be going on the annual St. Mark's opera trip in New York.
On Saturday, September 21, Anishka Yerabothu '20 presented "A Kathak Showcase" in the Putnam Family Arts Center. The event was a fundraiser for Educate Lanka, a program providing support to Sri Lankan students, where Anishka volunteered this past summer.
The first-ever St. Mark's Arts Fair delighted a large crowd of students and adults on Saturday evening, May 18. The inaugural event was organized and hosted by the Monitors.
Four St. Mark's students have been accepted into the Massachusetts Music Educators All-State Music Festival. Violinist Waverly Shi '21 (pictured here), violinist Richard Zhang '22, Sophia Liu '19 (flute), and Grace Li '21 (flute) faced a series of challenging auditions to achieve All-State recognition.
The Class of 1945 Hall in St. Mark's Putnam Family Arts Center is one of the most acoustically perfect halls in the entire Boston area. In 2018-19 it will be new home of the Symphony Pro Musica, with four concerts by them this season, one including the New World Chorale, part of the new SOUTHBOROUGH SOUNDS concert series at St. Mark's.
On the afternoon of Saturday, May 19, during Reunion Weekend, veteran SM art teacher Aggie Belt and several of her students hosted the annual Empty Bowls sale to help the hungry.
The Music Program at St. Mark’s School serves a wide range of student interests and includes vocal and instrumental performing groups; curricular classroom courses for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students; and a comprehensive private music lesson program. Director of Music James Wallace believes that all music making should be honored by the school and offers departmental support to any students who want to make music, regardless of musical genre.
Nearly 100 St. Markers participate in music ensembles at the school. Most ensembles rehearse twice weekly during the school day. Ensembles include: St. Mark's Symphony Orchestra, Choir, Jazz Band I and II, and two extracurricular a cappella groups, the Royal Blues (girls) and the Marksmen (boys). Ensembles are half-credit courses, so two years in the same ensemble will fulfill the minimum one-year arts requirement. Some students also choose to participate in outside groups, such as the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra.
St. Mark's Choir
The members of the St. Mark’s School Choir rehearse twice each week and perform for major Chapel services and concerts during the year. The annual Christmas Lessons and Carols services are a school favorite and are the focus of the first semester. The Choir, led by Music Director James Wallace, sings a wide-ranging repertoire of music from the past seven centuries. . The choir tours biennially in the first week of spring break. Recent tours have ventured to Barbados, Cuba and Ireland. Auditions for new members are held in the fall.
A Cappella Groups
The Royal Blues and The Marksmen are female and male a cappella pop groups whose members are auditioned each fall. Students must be participating in the academic work of the music program in Choir, Orchestra or Jazz Band in order to audition. The Royal Blues and The Marksmen perform concerts for the school and community and host groups from ten schools and colleges at our annual Wick Choral Festival each February.
St. Mark’s Symphony Orchestra
St. Mark’s combined its string and wind groups in 2014 to create one orchestra, now under the direction of conductor Nathaniel Meyer. The orchestra performs major concerts for the school and public, and also does one run-out concert to a retirement community each year. The Choir and Orchestra usually perform one piece together at the end of year concert.
St. Mark's Jazz BandSt. Mark’s has a lively program for rhythm and jazz players with both beginning and advanced ensembles. The Jazz Bands rehearse twice each week. Students play standards and custom arrangements and benefit from guest professionals. The Jazz Band plays in three major concerts each year, including the Cutler Festival in the Spring when the students get to play with a professional group in a workshop setting and then hear them play in concert.
Twenty professional musicians teach and coach in the SM Music program. Typically, over eighty St. Mark’s students participate in our private music lesson program. Lessons are offered for a fee on a credit or non-credit basis. Students may also seek permission to take lessons as an independent study project or in lieu of sports.
[click here] to sign up for private lessons.
- Keyboard — pipe organ, jazz, blues, classical piano
- Strings — violin, viola, cello, bass
- Guitar — acoustic, electric, bass
- Winds — flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon
- Brass — trumpet, trombone, French horn
- Percussion — timpani, drum set, ethnic drumming