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RSSAA - Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor

Music

Vocal

The vocal music curriculum is designed to both cultivate the feeling nature of students and help them work as a group as they sing together. All students and some full-time faculty participate in the High School Chorus. Emphasis is placed on correct vocal technique, sight-singing, and good musicianship. The repertoire performed is a variety of some of the finest choral music literature available including classical, spirituals, folk songs, and contemporary pieces.

There are two elective vocal music options that students may take as their full-year music elective. These are the Women’s Vocal Ensemble and the Steiner Singers. The Women’s Vocal Ensemble is an advanced singing group that performs throughout the year for school and community functions. The repertoire represents a variety of different genres including classical literature, show tunes, and contemporary songs. The Steiner Singers is a small choir that requires an audition for entrance. Students study vocal technique and interpretation. All genres of music are studied including classical, contemporary, folk songs, and popular standards. Students sing as a full group, in small groups, and individually.

Teachers: Cheryl Vanduzen and John Hummel

Instrumental

Instrumental music expands a student’s musical experience beyond the physical body and allows him/her to gain musical experiences that are only possible with string, wind, and percussion instruments. Instrumental music provides a challenge for students as they work to integrate the intellectual skills needed to understand and follow the music, with the physical skills needed to master the instruments and cause the desired sounds to emerge. Instrumental music at High School is also a highly social experience as the students play together to create an experience for the listener.

Each year from ninth to twelfth grade, students choose a full-year music elective ranging from Orchestra/Chamber ensemble, drumming, guitar, or jazz band.

The orchestra/chamber ensemble instrumental music program is designed to enhance the musical experiences of students already familiar with a classical instrument through the study of chamber music and chamber orchestral literature. Each week, professional string and wind performers coach student chamber ensembles. Performances include community recitals and participation in the Michigan School Band and Orchestral Association. The chamber orchestra studies the works of major composers drawn from the Baroque and classical era, as well as 20th century contemporary works. Previous instrumental experience is required, and chamber groupings are made based on experience and skill.

The art of African hand drumming and Caribbean steel drumming is studied in this musical program. Songs are learned and memorized in the aural tradition. Beginning and advanced classes are offered.

The guitar classes explore chord formation, the twelve-bar blues, and beginning improvisation. Tablature and standard musical notation are taught. Beginning and advanced guitar classes are offered.

Jazz Combo is an ensemble dedicated to self-expression through improvisation. This ensemble investigates traditional and contemporary idiomatic concepts found in jazz music. The students emerge with a rich improvisational experience performing Traditional, Progressive, Latin, and Bossa Nova Jazz music.

Teachers: Bob Rohwer, Lydon Sorzano, Kyle Neely, Eddie VanRiper, Derek Lockhart, Stephanie Shapiro, Kasia Martin, John Madison, Maria Bessmeltseva, and Sam Martin