A Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 12 co-educational independent day school in Westchester County, New York

The 29th Annual Festival Chorus Concert Features Intergenerational Choir of 100+ Voices

On January 21, the 29th annual Festival Chorus Concert delighted a packed house at Rye Presbyterian Church. 100+ voices sang a beautiful collection of pieces titled People Get Ready in a musical homage to compassion, kindness, and unity.

Directed by Music Department Chair Mary Marcell, the intergenerational choir featured the Upper School Concert Choir, alumni, parents/guardians, employees, community singers, and a full orchestra.

The concert showcased Jake Runestad's Into the Light, a sprawling, exquisite piece whose libretto is composed of inspirational quotes that call the listener away from fear and towards love and kindness. The rhythmically vibrant Song for Justice by Kim André Arnesen shared messages of compassion and unity. 

Highlighting musical versatility, the choir delivered soulful renditions of Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin’ and Curtis Mayfield’s People Get Ready, the show’s closing song. An exciting element of the concert was senior Ayush Maini’s spirited performance as arranger and conductor for Franz Schubert’s Erlkönig.

In a special RCDS moment, the choir debuted the world premiere of Do No Harm, a piece by alumnus Jamie Allen '80 that also reinforces the concert’s message about the power of collectively committing to care for one another.

Following the moving performance, a reception was hosted by the Parents Association.

Congratulations and many thanks to the 2024 Festival Chorus for a beautiful afternoon of music and community. Special thanks to Mary Marcell for founding, leading, and music directing this beloved Rye Country Day tradition.

“This concert inspires me to think about the power of community and what is possible if we make a collective effort toward a goal of empathy and kindness.” – Mary Marcell, Music Department Chair

2024 Festival Chorus Program

The Times They Are A-Changin’ (Bob Dylan)
Soloist: Daisy Stuart ’24

Do Not Harm (Jamie Allen ’80)
Soloists: Joaquín Gonzalez ’25, Dana DaCosta ’26, Lydia Sussman ’26 

Erlkönig (Franz Schubert)
Arranger and Conductor: Ayush Maini ’24

Song for Justice (Kim André Arnesen)
Soloist: Alexandra Lynch ’27

Into the Light (Jake Runestad)

1. The Universe of Light 
2. The Lightless Dark
3. The Warm Fogs of Fear
4. Flower Into Kindness 

  • Soloist: Rosie Isiyel
  • Octet: Dominique Alvarez, Brynn Coady, Nola Coady, Dana DaCosta, Jacob Fisch, Frank Zingg, Aiden Johnson, Chaim Sciamma

5. Into the Light 

People Get Ready (Curtis Mayfield, arr. Pederson)
Soloists: Catherine Assad ’27, Vreeland Tuncer ’26, Sorin Alexander ’24

Watch the full concert in the Family Portal Video Archive here.

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