March 29, 2017: Like so many other alums I was distressed and heartbroken to read the report, commissioned by Pingry, into sexual abuse allegations at the school. The recordings on this site, I realize now, may revive awful memories for some listeners. For now, I’ll keep them posted, hoping the memories are instead ones of camaraderie with classmates and the joy of making music. But if you feel otherwise, please let me know via the email address below.
These recordings have languished over time as turntables and cassette players have been lost to the ages and as music has become digital. Putting them online will, hopefully, give them some new life.
If you took part in music at Pingry, consider this an invitation to go back and listen to you and your colleagues. Click on one of the years listed above (I am slowly adding to the list). It’s cheap time travel, a keyhole view of a time and place in our lives.
Even if you didn’t sing or play an instrument at Pingry, browse around and give a listen. There’s a LOT of good stuff here!
A few samples …
From 1958, an intimate recording of the Buttondowns (singing as a quartet here) with “Battle of Jericho”:
From 1962, “Laudate Nomen Domini” which would become an unofficial theme song at times over the years, performed by the Glee Club:
From 1974, the Brass Choir performs “Morgenmusik” by Paul Hindemith:
From 1988, the Jazz Ensemble leans into “Emancipation Blues”:
From 1996, the Balladeers’ ethereal performance of “Pueri Hebraenum” in Grace Church in Manhattan:
From 2002, the Orchestra’s Christmasy “Fugue”:
… And that’s just a small taste.
About these recordings: Du Bourg used reel-to-reel recorders, and used those master tapes to make these recordings, but he apparently threw out those tapes when he moved from Summit to Rhode Island after leaving Pingry. So I borrowed LPs, cassette tapes and CDs in the possession of the school. Ms. Eileen Hymas at the Pingry Library interrupted her summer vacation to unearth the “Music at Pingry” LPs in the library collection, and let me borrow them. Mr. Andrew Moore, Pingry’s director of music, kindly provided the cassette tapes and CDs in the music department’s collection.
The recordings vary in quality — both in terms of how they were made, and how well they have aged. Beyond that, despite some fairly effective software, I wasn’t able to remove all of the scratches, ticks and tape hiss. Still, a lot of the recordings have held up well and sound decent, if not great — intimate recordings of small groups, and grand, magisterial performances in churches.
Titles, credits and names: Titles and names are from the liner notes, and most likely include errors (especially due to my typing). Please drop me a line or leave a comment if you find an error, or even something that might be wrong. Just as important, let me know about an uncredited solo performances.
What do you remember? If a particular song jogs a memory, please leave a comment. Music is a group activity, but too often listening is not. The more we can share our recollections, the richer the experience.
The artwork: One of the pleasures of this project was seeing how the cover artwork of the albums, cassettes and CDs changed over the years. Usually, it was a student artist. Whenever it was noted, I have included the student’s name. If you have information about an uncredited artist, please let me know.
Who else was involved? During my years in the mid-70’s, Mr. Little was a great choral director; we also learned from Mrs. Kogan, Steav Congdon and Lance Vining. And now, Andrew Moore is Pingry’s director of music. I want to give credit, but my knowledge only goes so far. Please fill me in and provide me the names of teachers and directors who helped create this music.
Thanks for visiting.
Kevin Granville ’76