Music


At St. Catherine’s, music fuels creativity, community, and celebration. Our curriculum helps every student to develop the ability to express themselves artistically, connect with others and perform with confidence in any setting. Music provides a unique platform for learning about other cultures and connecting with people across the globe, and travel is integral to the musical mission of our school. Ensembles in the Lower, Middle and Upper schools regularly take part in trips that expand each student’s horizon and enrich her musical journey.  

Music Department Goals
1.   To help all students develop a positive relationship with music.
2.   To help our students to both speak and understand music as a language.
3.   To empower our students to communicate, collaborate, and perform with confidence.
4.   To develop our students' understanding of the ways in which music can impact themselves and those around them.
5.   To introduce our students to a wide variety of musical compositions and the context in which they were created.
6.   To enhance our school community through finding and encouraging opportunities for students to share their music.
7.   To make music at St. Catherine's accessible and welcoming for all, while creating a safe  environment for students to take risks.

Core Programs

List of 4 items.

  • Choral

    3 & 4 Choir
    MS Choir
    Grace Notes
    Chorale
    Censations
    Saints Singers
  • General Music

    K-8 classes
    US Songwriting
    A.P. Music Theory
  • Instrumental

    Grade 2 strings
    Grades 3 & 4 strings
    Grade 5 Strings
    MS Strings
    US String Ensemble
    Grade 4 Band
    Grade 5 Band
    MS Band
    US Band
    MS Handbells
    Beginning Guitar
    Advanced Guitar
  • Musical Theater

    Grade 1 Show
    Grade 2 Nutcracker
    Grade 4 Musical
    MS Musical
    US Musical

Private Music Lessons

In addition to age 3 to grade 12 classroom music, St. Catherine’s offers the opportunity for students to study specific instruments privately. Members of the music faculty, as well as adjunct instructors, offer private instruction within the school’s music department. Lessons are based on teacher availability and offered on a first come, first served basis. Lesson scheduling takes place at the beginning of the school year. Students and parents will be notified of placement and scheduling during the first week of school. Please contact Brian Evans (bevans@st.catherines.org) with any questions.

Private Music Lesson Offerings
Cello
Clarinet
Flute
Guitar
Piano
Saxophone
Trumpet
Percussion/Drums
Viola
Violin
Voice

Parents of current students please see the Registration link below


Fall Concert 360 video

  • Program information

  • Practice resources

    • Thoughts and Tips on Practicing
      Individual practice is at the heart of learning to play a musical instrument. Technique can be taught and demonstrated at a private lesson, and ensemble skills and musical ideas can be communicated at an orchestra rehearsal, but competency on and mastery of an instrument is accomplished only by regular dedicated individual practice sessions . Like most things in life, what you get out of your strings experience depends greatly upon what you put into it. 
    • A Better Way to Practice

List of 6 members.

  • Brian Evans 

    Co-Chair, Music Department, String Ensemble
    Bob Jones University - B.M.
    Bob Jones University - M.M.
  • Alana Carithers 

    Grade 2 String Ensemble, Oberon Quartet
    Bob Jones University - B.M.
    Northwestern University - M.M.
  • Kerry Court 

    Teacher, MS and US Choirs
    Bucknell University - B.M.
    University of Rochester - M.M.
  • Sharla Gordon 

    Teacher, Lower School Strings Ensemble Director
    University of North Texas - B.M.
  • Justin Huppmann 

    Teacher, Private Music Lessons and Guitar Ensemble
  • Jennifer Ivens 

    Teacher, Lower School Music

Oberon Quartet

After its formation in 1995 as part of the VCU Music Department, the Oberon Quartet began its residency at St. Catherine's and St. Christopher's Schools in 1996. Designed to be a quartet in residence, the quartet has become a valuable asset for education, culture and community enrichment. The quartet provides educational concerts and classroom observation to all the divisions of both schools, along with two full-length recitals at each school. The members of the quartet teach private lessons to many students in the Saints community, as well as coaching and support to the string program at both schools.
 
All of the current members are also part of the Richmond Symphony, influencing the greater Richmond area with exciting musical experiences. The quartet seeks to be innovative in its programming by performing music both old and new. For the past three years, each concert has featured a work by a living composer, including some newly commissioned works. This season promises to engage audiences in new and exciting ways.

2018-19 Dates:

  • Sept 24 - LS girls chapel - 8:15 a.m., St. Catherine's School, Bannard Chapel
  • Sept 25 - MS girls chapel - 7:55 a.m. St. Catherine's School, Bannard Chapel
  • Sept 26 - US girls chapel - 7:55 a.m. St. Catherine's School, Bannard Chapel
  • Oct 5 - US boys chapel - 8:00 a.m., St. Christopher's School, Chapel
  • Oct 5 - MS boys chapel, St. Christopher's School, Chapel
  • Recital Feb 25, 7:00 p.m., St. Catherine's School, Bannard chapel

Oberon Quartet Members

List of 5 items.

  • Alana Pritchard Carithers

    Alana Pritchard Carithers, violin, graduated in 1999 from Northwestern University with a double Master of Music degree in violin performance and pedagogy. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Bob Jones University in 1997. During her time at Northwestern, she served as Assistant Concertmaster and Principal Second Violin with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and Principal Second Violin of the Northwestern Symphony Orchestra. She also received her Suzuki Certification with the renowned Betty Haag of Chicago.

    She was one of the founding members of the MusiCorp program in Chicago, a grant funded chamber music program to take music into the inner city schools and churches of the Chicago area.

    In 2005, she began Vivace!, a great summer camp for students in the Richmond/ and Chesapeake areas.

    She began her orchestral career as the Associate Principal Second Violin of the Colorado Springs Symphony in 2000 and held that post until 2003. She played as a member of both the DaVinci String Quartet and the Hausmusik String Quartet, in addition to having a private teaching studio. She has appeared as a guest soloist with the Bob Jones University Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Masterworks Festival Orchestra and on the Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C.  She has participated in residencies at SIAS International University in Henan Province, CHINA and The University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii.

    She plays several solo and chamber recitals each year throughout Virginia. She is currently violinist with the Oberon Quartet in Residence at St. Catherines School, teaches in the Richmond area and has played as part of the Richmond Symphony since September 2003.
  • Molly Sharp (on Sabbatical for 2018-19)

    Molly is the coordinator and coach for the Chamber Music Program of the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Program, and teaches at the Richmond Symphony/VCU summer music camp.

    Molly received a Bachelor’s Degree from Vanderbilt University/Blair School of Music, studying with Kathryn Plummer. She received her Master’s Degree in 1992 from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Heidi Castleman and apprenticed with the Cavanni Quartet. Molly has also been a member of the Nashville Symphony and the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra. Molly has played chamber music with many different groups and festivals, including the Chamber Music Festival of Central Virginia, Richmond Chamber Players, and the Fulbright Summer Chamber Music Series. Most recently Molly performed on a recital at the International Double Reed Convention, and was a soloist in 2012 with the Richmond Philharmonic, performing Berlioz’s Harold in Italy.

    In addition to playing the viola, Molly plays fiddle and sings with the Trevillian Ramblers.
  • Ryan Lannan

    Ryan Lannan has been 3rd chair cellist with the Richmond Symphony since 1999 and from 2000-2004 was on the faculty of the Performing Arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary (PA) where he performed with the Catlin String Quartet and as soloist with the PAI Festival Orchestra.  
    He has also performed with and served on the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC.  Prior to living in Richmond, Mr. Lannan was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and assistant principal cellist of the Columbus, Indiana Philharmonic.  While earning a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University he formed the Arbor Trio which was a prize winner at the 1998 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.  Mr. Lannan’s primary teachers include Helga Winold, Janos Starker, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Hans Jorgen Jensen and Rostislav Dubinsky.  He has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, New York String Seminar, and Spoleto Festival, Italy. 
  • Stephen Schmidt

    Stephen Schmidt has been a full-time violist with the Richmond Symphony since 1996, and was the principal violist of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra from 2009-17.  He attended The Juilliard School from a young age and went on to earn Pre-College, Bachelor, and Master of Music degrees there.  Subsequently, he earned a Doctorate from Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University.  His teachers have included Paul Doktor, Paul Neubauer, Eugene Becker, Roberto Diaz, and Joseph De Pasquale.  As a performer he has participated in many music festivals, including Tanglewood, Spoleto (Italy), Bowdoin Chamber Music Festival, Kinhaven, and the National Repertory Orchestra.

    Dr. Schmidt teaches viola at Virginia Commonwealth University and is the Director as well as Chairman of the Board of VCU’s Mary-Anne Rennolds Chamber Concerts series.  In 2003 he joined the Richmond Chamber Players as their violist, adding the duty of Artistic Director in 2013.  His first teaching job was at the St. Catherine’s School (1997-2003), and he returns there for the 2018-19 school year as a member of the Oberon String Quartet.

    Stephen loves collecting vinyl records and dreaming about vintage instruments and automobiles.  He currently plays on a viola made in 1717 by Petrus Antonius Malvolti.
  • Susy Yim

    Susy Yim joined the Richmond Symphony in 2001 after completing her Master of Music degree at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. Ms. Yim earned her undergraduate degree from Boston Conservatory, where she received the Arthur B.Whitney award for highest scholastic achievement and was the winner of the Boston Conservatory Concerto competition. She has studied with Raphael Fliegel, Kenneth Goldsmith, Tatiana Dimitriades and David Kim. A native of Hong Kong, Ms. Yim started playing the violin at the age of four and attended the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts when she was nine. Competitions and summer festivals have brought her to countries including France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Scotland, and Japan.  Ms. Yim is also an active chamber musician and teacher, she is on the adjunct faculty at the University of Richmond and is currently a member of both the Richmond Chamber Players and the Oberon String Quartet which is in residence at St. Catherine's and St. Christopher's Schools.