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Ware rings in spring with Bell Choir performance

From left, Ware Bell Choir members Sam Spadaccini, Jay Cho, Nick Ledbetter, and Brendan McCarthy perform in the group’s first concert.

Aaron Ward, Ware Academy music teacher and alumnus, directed Ware Academy’s first ever Bell Choir in its début concert on March 12 at Abingdon Episcopal Church in Gloucester.

Music was provided by accompanist Randy Joyner; organ, Ann Thomas; trumpet, Peter Booker; cello, Nina Buzby; flute, Cameron Carter; percussion, Andrew Morgan; and the Ladies Ensemble of Chelsea Champ, Ann Thomas and Helen Ware.

The concert opened with the Ware Bell Choir performing the prelude “Celebration” by Jason Krug. This was followed by a memorable welcome from Mr. Thomas, head of school, that included many hard-hitting facts and reminders about the importance of music in education. The most impressionable fact he stated was “students who were exposed to music-based lessons scored a full 100% higher on fraction tests than those who learned in the conventional manner. We take pride in our efforts to offer varied and creative teaching methods to inspire our students.”

The Ware Singers, an elite choir made up of auditioned students, performed “Cantate Deo” from George Frederic Handel’s Water Music Suite (1717) and several other selections. This was the Ware Singers’ first public concert since their reformation under Mr. Ward in 2008.

The Ware Singers were then joined by the Lower School students (grades 3-5)  and performed “Places Among the Stars,” a poem by Stephen Crane (1871-1900), music by Jonathan Adams, and other selections.

One of the most exciting parts of the concert was the dedication of the new handbells for the Ware Bell Choir. In December 2008, the Fine and Performing Arts Department initiated a campaign to raise money for a set of Malmark brass handbells. A person could donate funds for a single or multiple bells, and have it inscribed in honor and/or memory of someone special. Each inscription was read and then dedicated by a single ring of their particular bell.

Following this dedication, the Ware Bell Choir performed several more selections. The Bell Choir members received their bells only three weeks prior to the concert, and were already performing at a level two aptitude, which can take some groups up to two years to reach.

The night came to a culmination as the first and second graders came out to accompany the Lower School and Ware Singers to debut the school’s new Alma Mater.

Every grade participated in writing the school’s new Alma Mater and the students were proud to sing it in front of a sold-out show.

posted 03.19.2009

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