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Courses and Faculty by Department
Whether enrolled in a Music Theory class, performancing with the Rock, Jazz, or Classical Ensembles, or participating in one of the choral or a capella groups, KUA offers a full slate of academic courses and performing opportunities. Students showcase their talents and refine their skills by participating in the annual Fall and Spring Concerts, Winter Musical, Singers’ Salon, and even at our bi-weekly All School Meeting. The Flickinger Arts Center's well-equipped recording studio and experienced faculty allow students the mentorship and resources to create digital recordings.
(full year; 1/2 credit; Prerequisite: Audition; Co-requisite: Membership in the Concordians)
Selects is a group of singers who auditioned and were selected from the larger group, the Concordians. These are dedicated singers who seek to achieve all that the Concordians do, and then some. Traditionally an a cappella ensemble, the Selects will also branch out a bit and interface with other musicians on campus. Likely combinations are with the Rock and/or Jazz bands, or even the ClassicalEnsemble.
Many arrangements will be tailored to our group as needed, and students have a strong voice in the repertoire we choose. In addition to the styles of music the Concordians sing, the Selects may also tackle challenging jazz arrangements, or original music from members of the group. Because it is a smaller group and admission is based on audition results, the expectation is that students take their role in Selects very seriously as each spot in the group is coveted. With great effort comes great reward, and membership in Selects is truly rewarding.
(full year; 1 credit: Prerequisite: Permission of the teacher)
AP Music Theory students learn the structures and logic behind music. Topics include major and minor scales, key signatures, intervals, harmony, notation, melodic dictation, harmonic dictation, score analysis, and sight singing. Students acquire aural skills such as identifying chord color, intervals, and accurately notating a melody or chordal passage by ear. A background in music using standard notation is highly recommended. This course is recommended for those who intend to participate in vocal or instrumental music or composition and arranging at the college level. (Additional fee for students who choose to sit the AP exam.)
For instrumentalists and singers who already have some playing ability, the Classical Ensemble explores the chamber repertoire of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods.The group also serves as chamber orchestra for concerted pieces of choral music with the Concordians. The class meets two times per week in sectional and full group rehearsals during H periods.
(fall, winter, and spring: 1/6 credit per trimester)
The Concordians is the foundation of KUA’s choral program. All members of the community are invited to join including students, faculty, staff, and their families. The ensemble generally meets twice per week and performs at the fall and spring concerts, as well as informal events on- and off-campus. The group also serves as the core musical offering for such community events as the Baccalaureate Service and Graduation.
The repertoire is eclectic and includes contemporary and classical pieces, modern and classic pop/rock pieces, modern and classic broadway pieces, and the Director is always open to suggestions from the hearts and minds of the singers. Emphasis is placed on improving vocal health and technique, cultivating a unified sound including musicianship, vowel/breath control, and diction. Soloists will be chosen as the need arises. The chorus is designed to be functional in the lives of the singers as a great source of pride, joy and stress relief. Membership is taken very seriously, but the tone of the rehearsals is lively and fun (and serious too). Membership in the Concordians is a co-requisite for membership in Selects.
Introduction to Guitar presents students with the rudiments of guitar playing as preparation for study with a private teacher.Topics include basic chords, picking and strumming techniques, clefs, staffs, meter, and note reading. Students must have their own guitars—help finding rentals is available.
This course is for the absolute beginner with no previous piano experience, or for those who wish to bring back skills they have lost from early childhood. It will address basic skills of reading music and understanding popular chord notation. Class time will be divided between discussion and lecture portions, practice time at the piano, and performing for each other. A portion of the course will involve duet playing.
This ensemble is open to instrumentalists and occasionally vocalists who can read music or chord charts on at least an intermediate level. The group plays arrangements from a variety of jazz styles and works on improvisation and understanding song forms. Emphasis is placed on rehearsal technique, group development, solo improvisation, and performance. The ensemble participates in fall and spring performances. This course may be repeated for credit.
This two-part, trimester elective focuses on performance technique for the musical stage. First, students will prepare and perform a selection of chosen and assigned music from classic musical theatre and contemporary shows on Broadway, for which they will analyze text, melody, and composition as it pertains to performance. Part audition technique and part performance study, students will focus on truthful storytelling through song.
In the second part of the trimester students will be assigned a scene from an established musical.They will perform the scene and coinciding song as if performing in the show.
The Rock Band is a collection of like-minded student musicians who seek to develop their skills in a safe, collaborative, and groovy setting. Instruction will be individualized to a certain extent, but the overriding goal of the Rock Band is to perform a varied repertoire of music chosen by the director in conjunction with and using input from the students in the class. Have a song you play really well on your instrument but would love to hear how it sounds with a full band? Maybe you love to sing but are more comfortable doing so when you’re able to accompany yourself yet still wish to benefit from a collaborate setting? Maybe you’ve just been taking lessons for a while and it’s time for the next step? If any of these scenarios sound at all like you, then the Rock Band is for you.
(fall, winter, and spring; 1/6 credit per trimester)
Participants receive one private lesson per week and otherwise practice independently. Singers perform on the “Singers’ Night” concert (in a jazz cabaret setting) and on other concert opportunities as available. Repertoire is primarily pop and jazz and is arrived at jointly between students and instructor. This course may be repeated for credit.
Using the Music Department's digital recording facility, students learn MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) and digital audio recording techniques focusing on composition. Projects include creating original pieces of music in various styles. Topics include use of studio hardware such as MIDI keyboards, microphones, mixing boards, and audio interfaces as well as use of audio sequencing and notation software such as Cubase and Sibelius.
Each student must accumulate 19 credits in order to be a candidate for graduation. In addition, seniors are required to earn a passing grade in each of their courses to qualify for graduation. Specific course requirements are below and constitute 17 credits of the 19 needed for graduation. The remaining two credits must be earned in advanced level courses in two departments.
English: 4 credits
Science: 3 credits from lab courses (one of which must be Biology)
Mathematics: 3 credits (through Algebra II and one year beyond Algebra II if possible)
World Languages: 3 credits in one language
History: 3 credits (one of which must be US History)
Art: 1 credit (which must include one trimester of Dance/Theatre and one trimester of Visual/Music)
Each year, all students must carry at least five year-long core classes.
Dalton joined the KUA Faculty in 2001. Affectionately known by students as "Doc," he directs the Jazz and Classical Ensembles, as well as Singers’ Night, which together yearly raise in excess of $3,000 for various good causes.
Dalton graduated from Amherst College magna cum laude with a BA in music composition in 1974. While at Amherst he was director/arranger for the Zumbyes a cappella group. After a year at the University of Colorado, Boulder, he taught at Moses Brown School for two years and at Deerfield Academy for six years. He completed his MM in composition at UNC in 1986, and a PhD in composition at the University of Minnesota in 1990. He taught at Cushing Academy for 11 years.
He has been an avid cyclist since 1976, racing, touring, and serving as assistant coach for the KUA road cycling team. In his younger years, he logged in excess of 25,000 miles in bicycle camping tours in destinations such as Montana, Newfoundland, Denmark, Greece, and most often France. Dalton and his wife, Leslie MacGregor, and their sons, Allen ‘12 and Owen ‘14, bicycle toured in Germany during July 2011. They live in Annie Duncan House and spend summers at their cottage on Prince Edward Island.
Kevin was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois, although his family has found themselves moving around the United States since he graduated high school. Following his years at Guilford High School, he attended Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in musical theater. After leaving Illinois, Kevin spent ten years living in New York City, where he found his love for teaching. He began his career at a studio in Brooklyn called “Acting Out!” where he coached middle school students who were auditioning for New York’s elite performing arts schools. A few years later, he found himself in a teaching and music directing position in the musical theatre conservatory at the New York Film Academy. As an actor, Kevin has performed in many shows around the United States as well as internationally. Most recently he was seen all over the world belting out the top hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons with a group called “Oh What a Night!” As music director, Kevin has worked professionally in several top theaters across the country including the Upper Valley’s own, “Northern Stage.” In February of 2017, Kevin served as musical director for the Kimball Union winter musical, “Rent,” and is thrilled to be back as full-time faculty having moved to KUA with his fiancé, Dallyn.
Founded in 1813, Kimball Union Academy is one of the oldest private boarding high schools in New Hampshire and the country. KUA blends the best of the New England boarding tradition with an innovative, modern educational program for a diverse group of day and boarding students from across the country and around the world. Located in Meriden, New Hampshire in the heart of the Upper Valley, Kimball Union is minutes from Dartmouth College and has direct access to Boston and New York.