Music Week showcases students’ and faculty’s musical talents


Jorge Orvananos, Staff Writer

The Music Department hosted the annual Music Week in-person for the first time since 2020, Music Instructor Dr. Amir Khosrowpour said. Music Week has been a tradition at the school for several years, he said. The week showcases musicians from the school community and outside it, and features performances throughout the day. Last year, the week was shifted to a virtual format due to COVID restrictions.“We’re very excited to bring back Music Week because it’s a great time to celebrate music and spread the warmth and love that music brings back to the school,” he said.

While all members of the Music Department contributed to bringing Music Week to life, Khosrowpour organized the schedule for performances and coordinated the week’s events, Music Department Chair and N-12 Music Program Coordinator, Timothy Ho said.

Unlike last year, this year’s Music Week brought performances back live and on campus, Khosrowpour said. With the help of the Music Department, Khosrowpour organized a “light Music Week” where only members of the school community could perform, he said.

Ari Palla (10) thought it was unfortunate that outside musicians would not be able to come on campus to perform, but enjoyed a greater return to normalcy without virtual performances, he said.

Science Teacher George Epstein led four “Physics of Music” lectures on Monday, in which he explored the relationship between the physics of sound waves and music, he said. He began the performance by demonstrating the sound wave created by low frequency and mundane humming noises, which create recognizable patterns when viewed on an oscilloscope, a device that graphs the waves created by those sounds, he said.

Epstein enjoys involving spectators in his lectures, and invited volunteers up onto the stage during the performance to play instruments and sing while having the remainder of the audience view the irregular oscilloscope patterns created by the volunteer’s music, he said.

While Epstein does get nervous before performing, he enjoys revealing the physics behind music and looks forward to next year’s events, he said. Epstein additionally performed “The Elements Song” at the UD Music Week Assembly on Tuesday with his father, Music Teacher Doug Epstein.

A wide variety of other workshops were offered throughout the week, including Theatre Teacher Benjamin Posner’s Musical Theater Performance Open Class, where community members were invited to watch the rehearsal process during one of his Musical Theater Performance classes. The class is an advanced arts course for students with a passion for music and theatrical performance, Posner said.

Posner began the workshop with a stretching routine, which allowed the four class members who were about to perform to relax. Following the stretch, Khosrowpour, who accompanies the singers on the piano, offered a vocal warm up, which filled Recital Hall with harmonious music.

Then, the four class members each performed solo songs while acting the part of their character, every time received with strong applause from the crowd, Daniel Pustilnik (10) said. He greatly enjoyed both the performances and the balance between acting and singing by each of the four class members, he said.

Natalia Hecker (11) appreciated how both faculty members and students were able to perform, and also enjoyed the wide variety of different types of performances offered throughout the week, she said.

English Teacher Rebecca Bahr was excited to share music with other members of the school community during her jazz duo production with English Teacher Harry Bauld at Tuesday’s assembly, she said.

Bahr was delighted to be able to perform again, after COVID had brought Music Week to a halt last year, she said. She was also excited to see the wide variety of other performances offered this week, and brought some of her classes to see performances, she said.

William Bramwell (11), who offered a piano performance on Wednesday, wanted to perform after having not been able to last year due to COVID. “When I saw the opportunity which Music Week presented, I immediately leapt at the chance,” he said.

Palla believes Khosrowpour and the Music Department did a great job organizing Music Week this year since there was such a wide range of different types of music, he said. Palla also performed piano on Wednesday in Olshan Lobby, offering a rendition of the theme from Interstellar and Clair de Lune, he said.

Palla was convinced to play after many of his friends suggested it, he said. “Now, after the experience is over, I’m very glad I performed.” He was nervous when he began playing, but was able to relax after the performance began, he said. 

Palla hopes that Music Week next year will also display musicians from outside of the school community, but nevertheless he enjoyed performing this year and viewing performances from others within the school, he said.

“I think the week is important to showcase music and the community, and the talent that we as a school community have,” George Epstein said.