An A Cappella and Jazz Morning Ex

Melodic vocal harmonies and the bebop stylings of Thelonious Monk were the order of the day at a recent Morning Ex when students in the Upper School choral ensemble Grape Jam shared the stage with Upper School jazz musicians for some toe-tapping fun.

Upper and Middle School music teacher Emma Castaldi first took the stage and led Upper School vocalists in a version of “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, which they learned from THUNK A Cappella during the group’s visit to the school earlier this year, as well as “O Nata Lux” by Morten Lauridsen, “Words” by Anders Edenroth and “Carol of the Bells” arranged by Peter J. Wilhousky.

Jazz Band director Stu Greenspan then provided a brief overview of Thelonious Monk and his impact on the jazz music scene. After encouraging all in attendance to join him in chanting the name of Thelonious “Sphere” Monk four times to awaken and welcome the spirit of this jazz maestro, student instrumentalists shared their renditions of Monk’s classics “Bemsha Swing”, “In Walked Bud” and “Straight No Chaser.”

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Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.