Upper Darby Choral Fest

The Upper Darby High School Choral Music Association will host its annual invitational Choral Music Festival February 19th at 7:30 at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center.

Now in its 24th year, the festival brings together more than 750 singers from nine area schools who will take part in the concert.

Upper Darby High School Choral Director Barbara Benglian points out that the festival, the only one of its kind in the area, is a noncompetitive one that promotes continued friendships and fosters inter-district musical collaboration.

For students and choral directors, it is an opportunity to share repertoire and experience varied musical styles. For audiences, it is an upbeat evening of family entertainment.

In addition to the award-winning Haverford High School combined choir, the festival showcases groups from Upper Darby and Drexel Hill middle schools, as well as ensembles from Conestoga, Springfield, Sun Valley and Unionville high schools.

Choruses from each of the participating schools will be highlighted in performances of short pieces of their choosing.

The concert will conclude with the combined choirs performing “America, the Beautiful.”

This is a highly entertaining festival that anyone who enjoys choral music will want to attend.

All seating is general admission. The $3 per person admission fee will be taken at the door. Refreshments will be available for purchase during intermission. The Upper Darby Performing Arts Center is at 601 N. Lansdowne Ave., in the Drexel Hill section.



This summer Haverford High School’s chapter of the Tri M Music Honors Society is raising money to restore the school’s two grand pianos to their former glory: a Mason & Hamlin and a Lester Grand. The “Fund for the Keys” fundraiser will kick off with an alumni concert on Saturday, May 30th and will continue throughout the year with the goal of raising $25,000 to restore the pianos.  They can’t speak, but if they could they’d tell countless stories of musical triumphs. Of choirs that became families, and award winning orchestras that first lit a passion for music in young audience members who would one day grace the stage themselves.

Haverford’s music department is both renowned and beloved (boasting nationally and internationally recognized band, orchestra and choral ensembles), and the school’s Mason & Hamlin is at the heart of that program. A prized instrument of both pianists and music lovers alike, the BB model grand has given numerous generations of students the opportunity to perform with a true, concert worthy piano.

However, after 60 years of service, even pianos get a little worse for wear, and Haverford’s students are rallying togetherto give back to the program that first inspired their love of music. The repair costs sound steep, but they’re a small price to pay considering the school will have to switch to electric keyboards if these great instruments can’t be repaired. The pianos give students the opportunity to learn on inspirational instruments that reflect their own abilities, and electric keyboards are no substitution.  From competing in invitation only choral competitions in Veszprem Hungary, to working with the Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster, David Kim, Haverford music students are inspired to reach their full potential by a dedicated staff. It’s a tradition that brings communities together, and consistently turns out students who remember Haverford High School as the place where their love for music was first given a voice. Helping to restore the pianos is a way that students can say thank you to a program that has given so much to so many students over the years, and both current and former students are rising to the occasion.

Where  To  Send  Donations?
Checks  can  be  made  payable
to: Haverford  High  School  Piano  Fund
c/o  Marsha  Core
Haverford  High  School
200  Mill  Road
Havertown,  PA

Pittsburg Trip 2015

Returning from their trip last Sunday, the combined high school choirs (Chorale and Chamber Singers) made their way back to good ‘ole Havertown from Pittsburgh after attempts by winter to foil their trip. The choral trip was unexpectedly shortened due to inclement weather on Thursday which delayed the departure of the singers, and prevented them from performing at the state capital.

Yet, the choir prevailed under the leadership of music teacher extraordinaire Ms. Marsha Core and embarked west to commence the trip to the other side of the state, leaving Friday morning instead.

Jack Frost was the one in for a surprise when the choirs took off to Pittsburgh as they were not phased by such measly attempts to ruin their trip. Upon arrival in the city of steel, the choral students had a musical masterclass with one of the country’s top choral conductors and specialists, John Goldsmith. Other highlights of the excursion included a trip to the Andy Warhol Museum, shopping in downtown Pittsburgh, and when the singers put on their dancin’ shoes for a dinner and dancing cruise on the three rivers. They also went to a Pittsburgh theater to see the hilarious Mel Brook’s Musical, Young Frankenstein.

The trip concluded with a breath-taking concert in the beautiful space of the First English Evangelical Church  that featured musical selections from throughout time. One crowd and choir favorite was contemporary artist Eric Whitacre‘s popular piece, Leonardo Dreams of his Flying Machine as it sounded remarkable in the magnificent acoustical setting the church provided.

All of this would not be possible without the amazing work of the high school choral director and music teacher Ms. Marsha Core. Core worked tirelessly preparing, planning, and executing this fabulous trip which all of the choral students will remember for many years to come.

Videos from their concert:

ACDA Fall Conference

The Fourth Annual ACDA-PA Fall Conference, October 17 and 18 at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, featured interest sessions and performances by selected choirs from Fox Chapel High School, Temple University, Haverford High School, West Chester University, Penn State University, Seton Hill University and the ACDA-PA Elementary Honor Choir. In addition to all of these performances, your $45 registration fee included attendance at the Undergraduate Conducting Competition and Masterclass with Peggy Dettwiler, and an evening performance by Seton Hill Choirs.