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.

Sample Repertoire for Orchestra

English Folk Song Suite Ralph Vaughan Williams, arr. Gordon Jacob
Irish Tune from County Derry Percy Aldridge Grainger, ed. Dana Perna
Romeo & Juliet Overture Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, arr. Jerry Brubaker
Poeme Symphonique, "Les Preludes" Franz Liszt, arr. Rick England
Highlights from Jurassic Park John Williams, arr. Calvin Custer
Pirates of the Caribbean Klaus Badelt, arr. Ted Ricketts
Star Wars (Main Title) John Williams, arr. Robert W. Smith
Selections from Les Miserables arr. Bob Lowden
The William Tell Overture Giocchino Rossini, arr. Jerry Lehmeier
The Planets, Mars and Jupiter Gustav Holst, arr. Clark McAlister and Vernon Leidig
Firebird Suite, Berceuse and Finale Igor Stravinsky
Finlandia Jean Sibelius

Sample Repertoire for Jazz Ensemble

The Girl from Ipanema Antonio Carlos Jobim, arr. Frank Mantooth
Impressions John Coltrane, arr. Mike Tomaro
Stolen Moments Oliver Nelson, arr. Frank Mantooth
St. Thomas Sonny Rollins, arr. Mark Taylor
I Remember You Johnny Mercer and Victor Schertzinger, arr. Frank Mantooth
Four Miles Davis, arr. Mark Taylor
Dream a Little Dream of Me Kahn, Andre, Schwantd, arr. Matt Kolodzik '15
Song for My Father Horace Silver, arr. Frank Mantooth
A Night In Tunisia Dizzy Gillespie and Frank Paparelli, arr. Michael Philip Mossman
Call Me Irresponsible Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen, arr. Frank Mantooth

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