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Jacobson Music Scholars Recitals a Rite of Spring for Some Top PDS Musicians
Jacobson Music Scholars Recitals a Rite of Spring for Some Top PDS Musicians

This Thursday March 28 at 3:45 in McAneny Theater, two virtuoso violinists will perform for the Princeton Day School community in the first of three Frank Jacobson Music Scholars Program recitals this spring.

Eric Chen '19 and Kaito Mimura '19 have prepared a stunning program, with classic sonatas by Bach and Brahms, along with three works from the early 20th century: Bartok's "Romanian Dances," a romantic opus by A.M. Beach and the luscious "Tzigane Rhapsodie" by Maurice Ravel. Talented pianist Yevgeny Morozov will accompany both Eric and Kaito.

PDS music teacher Tom Buckelew, who has been involved in the Jacobson Scholars Program for 12 years, is excited about this spring's lineup of musicians. "These are among the best music students in the School," he explains. "They include students involved in the most prestigious pre-college music programs and students who have auditioned at the highest levels nationwide as part of the application process for incredibly competitive college and university music programs."

Distinctive PDS Program Experience for Serious Student Musicians

The Jacobson Music Scholars Program was founded to honor the teaching career of Frank Jacobson, a passionately committed Princeton Day School music teacher whose service to the School spanned more than 30 years, from 1967-2000. Mr. Jacobson acutely appreciated that the college application process for a music major is vastly different than a strictly academic college application, with performance level, technical skills and artistic expression all playing a key role along with auditions and repertoire command. Consequently, the ideal Jacobson Scholar is a student who has shown a commitment to music study in vocal or instrumental performance or composition, has been actively involved in the PDS music program and intends to pursue music in college.

Chosen by application and audition, the intention of the Jacobson Music Scholars Program is for students to participate for junior and senior year. The Program gives the scholar a reprieve from one major academic requirement each year to allow them time to pursue musical growth and prepare for college auditions during the school day through independent study. Scholars receive credit for this course.

In addition to taking regular private instruction outside of School, Jacobson Music Program Scholars participate in the School's choral, orchestra or band music programs, connect regularly with a music faculty mentor, go through a jury assessment process in front of a faculty panel, and perform a culminating recital in the spring of each year they are in the program. If students are music composition Scholars, their focus is on composing content for their juries and recitals, which includes notating scores, writing parts, utilizing music technology if desired, assembling ensembles, rehearsing and recording the performances. Jacobson Scholars are also expected to dedicate community service hours assisting the Middle and Lower School musical directors with their ensembles and programs.

Two More Students Perform on April 3 and One in May

"The Princeton Day School music program, including this capstone experience, the Frank Jacobson Music Scholars Program, gives our student musicians exceptional resources, room and opportunities to grow as artists. I see the Jacobson recitals as a formal acknowledgment that the student is ready to enter the world as a burgeoning artist," notes Mr. Buckelew.

Beyond the March 28 recital featuring Eric and Kaito, the Jacobson Music Scholars recital series continues on Wednesday, April 3 at 3:45 in McAneny Theater with Robert Jiang '19 on flute, and Thomas Sarsfield '19 on violin. Charlotte Haggerty '20 will play piano in a half hour solo recital in the latter part of May. Stay tuned for more about the Jacobson Music Scholars recital series this spring!

-Melanie Shaw

Photo, above: Eric Chen '19 and Kaito Mimura '19 playing at a PDS art exhibit reception earlier this year. Below, the program for tomorrow's Jacobson Music Scholars recital featuring Kaito and Eric.