Through GSB’s music programs, students find expression for their unique voices and learn the techniques to help them experience excellence in performance. Emphasis is placed on the satisfaction that comes from presenting an excellent finished product and success is measured in terms of how the students feel about the performance they present.
At the Upper School students are encouraged to participate in choral music both inside and outside the classroom. Those enrolled in Chorus as a course are eligible to audition for two select groups, the GSB Chamber Singers and the GSB Women’s Ensemble. These groups meet once a week in the evening and focus on more sophisticated musical works.
Every year in the spring, GSB mounts a musical play, which provides another showcase for student vocal expression. GSB’s production of A Secret Garden recently won four awards from New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, including “Outstanding Overall Production of a (high school) Musical.”
In addition, Jazz Band and a Dance Club at the Upper School give students the opportunity to pursue their interests in these fields.
In Middle School, students participate in formal choral classes as well as having the opportunity of joining extracurricular groups. The Honors Choir is an auditioned chorus that meets once a week after school; The Gill Gals & Barbershop Boys, which meet once a week during lunch, are music ensembles open to all sixth graders; Above and Beyond is an extracurricular choral ensemble for fifth and sixth graders that meets once a week in the mornings. In all these groups, students learn and perform choral literature of several styles and cultures.
Students are introduced to vocal music in the Lower School where performances such as Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker by the Kindergarten, and the winter and spring concerts by all grades set the groundwork for later skills. The school also offers Lower School children the opportunity to learn piano, guitar, voice, drama and dance in after-school programs.