Instrumental Music

Blair's performing-arts classes are one-of-a-kind, and our teachers are really talented and passionate about their subjects. That enthusiasm, as well as the close bonds we build with faculty members who also coach us and live with us, create a learning environment that extends far beyond the classroom. The courses are very interactive, and there's really never a dull moment.

Siena, New Jersey

Blair’s instrumental musicians pursue a multifaceted study of music through academic-day courses, rehearsals and private lessons, as well as a range of performance opportunities, including spring and fall concerts, Christmas Vespers, and periodic tours in the U.S. and Europe. In addition, we offer a variety of academic electives that offer further study of music, including, in recent years, Advanced Placement (AP) music theory, song writing and audio engineering.

The Orchestra is our premiere instrumental ensemble, and these dedicated musicians practice a broad repertoire of classical-to-modern works during four, weekly class-day rehearsals. Students with three or more years’ playing experience audition for Orchestra membership, and the group performs regularly on Blair’s stage and enjoys touring opportunities as well. The String Orchestra, Wind Symphony and Chamber Ensembles give smaller, select groups of musicians the chance to pursue in-depth study of varied musical genres.

Musicians who wish to perform jazz at the highest level audition for Blair’s Jazz Ensemble. During academic-day rehearsals, these instrumentalists focus on improvisation, as well as understanding jazz scales, chords, theory and strong ensemble playing. The Jazz Ensemble is a mainstay at Blair concerts and performs at receptions and other events, too.

View a schedule of upcoming performances by Orchestra, String Orchestra, Wind Symphony, and Chamber and Jazz Ensemble performances.

Instrumental Music News

Sample Repertoire for Symphony & Chamber Orchestra

"Bolero" Maurice Ravel
Symphony No. 9, “New World,” mvt. I and II Antonin Dvorak
"An American In Paris" George Gershwin
"Capriol Suite" Peter Warlock 
"Finlandia" Jean Sibelius
Symphony No. 5, “Reformation” Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony No. 40 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
"West Side Story" selections for Orchestra Leonard Bernstein, ed. Jack Mason
"Academic Festival Overture" Johannes Brahms
"Variations on a Shaker Melody" Aaron Copland
“Hoedown” from "Rodeo" Aaron Copland
"The William Tell Overture" Giocchino Rossini, arr. Jerry Lehmeier
“In the Hall of the Mountain King” from Peer Gynt Suite  Edvard Grieg
"Firebird Suite," "Berceuse" and "Finale" Igor Stravinsky
"The Planets," "Mars" and "Jupiter" Gustav Holst, arr. Clark McAlister 
"English Folk Song Suite" Ralph Vaughan Williams, ed. Gordon Jacob
“Irish Tune from County Derry” Percy Aldridge Grainger, ed. Dana Perna
"Pirates of the Caribbean" Klaus Badelt, arr. Ted Ricketts
Selections from "Les Miserables" arr. Bob Lowden
Highlights from "Jurassic Park" John Williams, arr. Calvin Custer
"Star Wars" (Main Title) John Williams, arr. Robert W. Smith 
"The Greatest Showman Medley" arr. Sean O’Loughlin

Sample Repertoire for Jazz Ensemble

"Moment’s Notice" John Coltrane
"How High the Moon" Nancy Hamilton and Morgan Lewis
"Blue Bossa" Kenny Dorham
"Jumpin’ At The Woodside" Count Basie
"It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got that Swing)" Duke Ellington and Irving Mills
"A Child Is Born" Thad Jones
"Yardbird Suite" Charlie Parker
"Cantaloupe Island" Herbie Hancock 

Sample Repertoire for Orchestra & Singers

"Gloria in D," "RV 589" Antonio Vivaldi
"Ave Verum Corpus" Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
"Jerusalem" Charles Hubert Hastings Perry
"Spaseniye Sodelal" Pavel Chesnakov
"Duh Tvoy Blagiy" Pavel Chesnakov
"Carmina Burana," "I. O Fortuna" Carl Orff