For many, afternoon practices at Deerfield have involved fields, rinks and courts; but for a group of dedicated musicians, it now calls for instruments, scales and arpeggios.
It can be difficult for musicians to find the time to practice their instruments while keeping up with the many demands of the day. Music Service is a co-curricular that offers students the opportunity to focus on music throughout the term and to share their talents with the community.
Meeting every weekday except Wednesday, students practice either independently or collaborate in groups for an hour and a half. At the end of the term, they share their hard work with both Deerfield and the surrounding community.
Former Music Director Dan Roihl launched the program last year with a focus on classical musicians. This year, new Director of Music Maaja Roos has taken over Music Service with the help of Visual and Performing Arts teacher John Van Eps. The biggest change, Mr. Van Eps said, is that rock, pop and jazz musicians have joined the program, giving musicians of all styles the opportunity to work together.
Maggie Yin ’16, who has participated in chamber music since her freshman year, explained why she chose this co-curricular: “I chose to do Music Service because I wanted to pursue a different style of music and collaborate with new people.”
Music Service is not only an opportunity to focus on music, but to explore unfamiliar and new music styles. While Music Service is open to all students, Mr. Van Eps stressed that it is demanding and time-consuming.
He is eager to get more students involved, but Mr. Van Eps also noted, “You need to play or sing at a level where you can work independently—there is really no time for instruction.”
Although very rewarding, Music Service requires dedication and a certain level of expertise. Yin said of the gratifying experience, “I’ve realized that it’s important as a musician to put your work out there for people to see, and to know that music is not about practicing by yourself for hours in a practice room.”
Ms. Roos encapsulated the purpose and spirit of Music Service as a co-curricular option by saying, “Music becomes alive once it is performed for others. It is a win-win situation in that students see their work come to fruition, while the people who hear it are nurtured and healed.”