Conservatory Program Hosts Master Class

The Rivers’ Conservatory Program welcomed master saxophonist Dave Liebman for the first Conservatory Program master class of the year. Mr. Liebman, who has performed with renowned jazz artists Miles Davis, Elvin Jones, and Chick Corea to name a few, gave an outstanding master class to all of the Upper School and Middle School Conservatory Program students. Michael Manasseh ’19 and Henry Lewis ’20 performed with Mr. Liebman along with RSC faculty bassist Sean Farias.


Summertime and There’s Plenty of Music

This summer, Rivers’ jazz students have been attending a variety of summer jazz camps to advance their musical skills. Close to home, Calvin Carswell ’21, Kevin Kamanitz ’21, Calvin Smith ’21, and Jack Willard ’24, are all enrolled in the Rivers School Conservatory’s Summer Jazz Program, along with new Conservatory Program students, Frank Kasparian Weisman ’22 and Ethan Kasparian Weisman ’24. They’ve all enjoyed the mentoring of Rivers alumnus John Nydam ’15, a rising junior at Princeton University, who is majoring in music with certificates (minors) in jazz studies and computer science.


Spring Awards for Ensembles & Soloists

Fifteen classical musicians from the Rivers School participated in the recent MICCA (Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association) statewide solo and ensemble festival on Saturday, April 28th at Concord Carlisle High School. The Middle School trio, Upper School trio, vocal ensemble, and two soloists all came away with gold “superior” ratings, and one soloist received a silver rating. In addition, three of the gold rated entries were recommended for the prestigious Honors Concert, which showcases the top performances from the day.

Big Bands Win MAJE Medals

Rivers’ Honors Big Band and Big Band both competed at the MAJE Senior District Competition on Wednesday, February 28 with great success. The Honors Big Band won a Gold Medal, while the Big Band (new this year and competing for the first time) won a Bronze Medal.
In addition to finishing first, Honors Big Band members Joe Nedder ’18, trombone; Michael Manasseh ’19, drums; and Henry Lewis ’20 received outstanding musicianship awards. Joe Nedder was also named the MVP for the entire festival, which is sponsored by the Massachusetts Association of Jazz Educators.

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Students Perform in Vienna & Venice

Members of Rivers’ Upper School Orchestra, Honors Big Band, and Men’s and Women’s choruses spent an exciting week performing and sightseeing in Vienna and Venice. During the trip all of the ensembles performed in both cities to enthusiastic audiences and students were able to sample the local music scene as well as the local cuisine.

Take a Look at Photos and Videos of the Trip

Middle School Chorus

The Middle School Select Chorus, led by Choral Director John Bower, participated in the annual Music in the Parks Festival at Six Flags and won first place in their division. They also received the highest overall score for all middle school choral ensembles at the festival.

Conservatory Program at The Rivers School

Middle School Duo Wins Gold

Tayja Sallie ’21 on cello and Katherine Liu ’23 on piano received a Gold Medal at the MICCA competition last spring. All six instrumental and vocal ensembles from the Conservatory Program that participated in the competition received a superior “Gold” rating, and three entries were invited to the MICCA “Honors Concert,” representing the highest honor of the festival.

Complete List of Conservatory Programs

Choruses Perform Premiere

Rivers’ Middle and Upper School Choruses joined the Rivers Symphony Orchestra at Jordan Hall this spring for the world premiere of Francine Trester’s “Walkers with the Dawn.” With baritone Robert Honeysucker and narrator Lois Shapiro, the orchestra and choruses conveyed the despair and optimism of Langston Hughes’ poetry, which provided Trester with the inspiration and lyrics for this challenging piece.

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Chamber Orchestra Wins Gold

The Upper School Chamber Orchestra and two Conservatory Program Chamber Ensembles participated in the 2017 MusicFest Canada, returning home with three Gold Medals from the competition that drew more than 15,000 high school students from across Canada and the United States. The Orchestra performed pieces they had presented as part of Rivers’ Carnival of Music and Poetry at Jordan Hall, including Saint-Saëns “Carnival of the Animals.”

READ MORE ABOUT THE Chamber Orchestra