A New Look for the Music Library

After a yearlong renovation project in the Forrestal Bowld Music Center, the Music Library has reopened with an entirely new look and feel. The Music Library is now a component of the Music Media and Technology Suite, which includes not only an extensive collection of study scores and sheet music but also an abundance of new technology tools housed in a glass-enclosed makerspace known as the Media Lab. Together, the Music Library and Media Lab offer students, faculty and staff a comfortable, state-of-the-art environment in which to discover and pursue their musical interests.

In order to accommodate the Music Library’s continued growth, the new facility has been outfitted with free-standing, double-sided shelving units whose total capacity will allow for a 30% increase in the size of the Music Library’s collection over the next 10 years. The space also features an array of soft seating and a large work table to encourage group collaboration. Those looking to utilize technology in the Music Library will find four Macintosh desktop computers which enable database access and contain software tools for school and personal use.

Incorporating a host of cutting-edge music production tools, the Media Lab consists of four Macintosh student workstations outfitted with keyboards, headphones and music production software programs including Logic Pro X and Ableton Live. The room also features an instructor console equipped with a 48” flat-screen monitor for displaying student production projects. The Media Lab has been designed to accommodate a small music technology course, yet can also be utilized by individual students working on their own projects.

The Music Media and Technology Suite is open on Monday from 1:30pm to 3:30pm, and from 9:00am until 1:00pm Tuesday through Friday during the fall term. Please stop by for a visit!

Reading for the Weekend

The books featured on this list are currently available in our New Books collection in Rockefeller Hall.


allamericanboysAll American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
“In this Coretta Scott King Honor Award–winning novel, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.” — from the publisher


anotherbrooklynAnother Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
“The acclaimed New York Times bestselling and National Book Award–winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming delivers her first adult novel in twenty years.

Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything—until it wasn’t. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant—a part of a future that belonged to them.

But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion.

Like Louise Meriwether’s Daddy Was a Number Runner and Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina, Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn heartbreakingly illuminates the formative time when childhood gives way to adulthood—the promise and peril of growing up—and exquisitely renders a powerful, indelible, and fleeting friendship that united four young lives.” — from the publisher

hotmilkHot Milk by Deborah Levy
“Sofia, a young anthropologist, has spent much of her life trying to solve the mystery of her mother’s unexplainable illness. She is frustrated with Rose and her constant complaints, but utterly relieved to be called to abandon her own disappointing fledgling adult life. She and her mother travel to the searing, arid coast of southern Spain to see a famous consultant–their very last chance–in the hope that he might cure her unpredictable limb paralysis.

But Dr. Gomez has strange methods that seem to have little to do with physical medicine, and as the treatment progresses, Sofia’s mother’s illness becomes increasingly baffling. Sofia’s role as detective–tracking her mother’s symptoms in an attempt to find the secret motivation for her pain–deepens as she discovers her own desires in this transient desert community.

Hot Milk is a profound exploration of the sting of sexuality, of unspoken female rage, of myth and modernity, the lure of hypochondria and big pharma, and, above all, the value of experimenting with life; of being curious, bewildered, and vitally alive to the world.” –from the publisher

unleashedJonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff
A new novel from National Book Award finalist and bestselling author Meg Rosoff.
“Jonathan Trefoil’s boss is unhinged, his relationship baffling and his apartment just the wrong side of legal. His girlfriend wants to marry someone just like him–only richer and more organised with a different sense of humour. On the plus side, his two flatmates are determined to fix his life–or possibly to destroy it altogether. It’s difficult to be certain as they only speak dog. Poor Jonathan. He doesn’t remember life being this confusing back in the good old days before everyone expected him to act like a person. But one thing he knows for sure: if he can make it in New York City, he can make it anywhere. Will he get out of advertising, meet the girl of his dreams and figure out the gender of his secret crush? Given how it’s going so far, probably not” — from the publisher

becomingnicoleBecoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt
“The inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family’s extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the uniqueness in us all, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning science reporter for The Washington Post.” — from the publisher


indexBut What if We’re Wrong by Chuck Klosterman
Klosterman “visualizes the contemporary world as it will appear to those who’ll perceive it as the distant past, [asking] questions that are profound in their simplicity: How certain are we about our understanding of gravity? How certain are we about our understanding of time? What will be the defining memory of rock music, five hundred years from today? How seriously should we view the content of our dreams? How seriously should we view the content of television? Are all sports destined for extinction?” –from the publisher

Constitution Day

The Class of 1945 Library is honoring Constitution Day with a mini-exhibit and pocket constitution giveaway.

According to the Library of Congress, Constitution Day “is observed each year on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787”, and “recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.”

The Library’s mini exhibit includes a replica of  the U.S. Constitution from the National Archives and related documents from our Special Collections.

This Friday September 16th, the Library will give away 200 pocket constitutions from the National Constitution Center in honor of Constitution Day.

Reading by Thomas W. Simpson

simpson_americanThe Friends of the Academy Library invite you to a Reading and Book Launch by Tom Simpson, Instructor in Religion and Philosophy, in celebration of his new book American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1867–1940.  The reading will be held on Wednesday September 14th from 7:00-8:00 pm in Rockefeller Hall.  The reading is free and open to the public.

Tom Simpson is an author and teacher focusing on the intersections of religion, race, gender, and human rights at Phillips Exeter Academy since 2008. Simpson is the author of two essays published in the magazine Numéro Cinq and is currently working on a collection of literary essays about religion, violence, and recovery in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Reviews for American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1867–1940 :

“An elegant, original contribution and a must-read for anyone interested in American religion and the life of the mind. Thomas W. Simpson’s scholarly heavy lifting–painstakingly tracing the Progressive Era Mormons who passed through American universities–forces a substantial reassessment of previous ‘Americanization’ theses. Simpson decenters polygamy (no
mean feat) and places intellectual history and education at the heart of LDS navigation of both modernity and national identity.”
–J. Spencer Fluhman, Brigham Young University

“American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonismtells an important story of the development of Mormon intellectual life. The risks experienced by young Mormons and church leaders alike as students departed the ‘kingdom’ for education in the early part of the twentieth century is an essential and necessary part of the history of the formation of an educated Mormon community and the creation of a true Mormon intellectual community.”
–Jan Shipps, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Pianists Jung Mi Lee and Jon Sakata to Close Academy Library’s Summer Concert Series


Pianists Jung Mi Lee and Jon Sakata.
Pianists Jung Mi Lee and Jon Sakata.

The Academy Library’s 2016 Summer Concert Series will conclude this Wednesday evening at 7pm with a performance by pianists Jung Mi Lee and Jon Sakata. The concert will feature a selection of orchestral works by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Igor Stravinsky transcribed by Lee and Sakata for piano four hands, allowing the artists to sit side by side at the keyboard.

Concert and trans-disciplinary artists Lee and Sakata have been featured in cultural capitals of Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland. A small sampling of the array of venues and institutions at which they have been featured offers a glimpse into the diverse are(n)as that they are engaged with: Radialsystem V in Berlin, Färgfabriken in Stockholm, the Exhibition Pavilion of the National Museum of Architecture in Oslo, Bagsværd Kirke in Copenhagen, Myyrmäki Kirkko in Vantaa, Gyllensbergsalen – Sandels Cultural Centre in Helsinki, St. Henry’s Ecumenical Art Chapel in Turku, Estonian History Museum in Tallinn; Beijing Central, Shanghai, China National, Wuhan and Xi’an Conservatories; Tsinghua, Tallinn, Porto Alegre, Montreal, Harvard Universities.

Their last appearance at the Class of ’45 Library was for the 40th Anniversary Celebration back in 2011 – Interventions in Memory: Exploring the Interstices between Architecture and Music – which involved a collaboration with architects John Stephen Ellis AIA, Rob Trumbour, Bruce MacNelly, and the Boston-based design collective artforming, transforming Rockefeller Hall through a large-scale installation of scrims, video-projections and live performance of J.S. Bach’s Art of Fugue and Robert Cogan’s Context/memories – Version C (see https://vimeo.com/user9504379 for videos of the event). Their last summer concert series appearance at the Library was an all-Mozart program to celebrate the composer’s 250th anniversary in 2006.

Lee and Sakata have taught at Phillips Exeter Academy since 1996 and 1994, respectively.



Faculty Jazz Sextet to Perform on July 27

The Faculty Jazz Sextet will perform a free public concert on Wednesday, July 27, at 7 p.m. as part of the Academy Library’s Summer Concert Series. Featuring Chris Humphrey on vocals, David Seiler on woodwinds, Charlie Jennison on saxophone, Ryan Parker on piano, Mark Carlsen on bass and Les Harris, Jr. on drums, the sextet will perform a program of jazz standards.

Humphrey is an improviser and composer as well as an interpreter of song. He is a veteran jazz singer, having worked with Denon recording artists The Ritz and vocal jazz quintet Vocalease. With The Ritz, he recorded the CD Almost Blue, which featured his singing, composing, and arranging work. As a soloist, Mr. Humphrey has been dubbed an “outstanding talent” (Sheila Jordan) and “a creative force” (Roberta Davis) by critics and performers who have heard his work. He has performed at Blue Note Jazz Clubs in New York, Tokyo, Jakarta, and Fukuoka, Japan. He has also appeared at numerous jazz festivals throughout the United States and abroad.

A native of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, Seiler received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and a Master’s Degree in clarinet performance from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is a founding member of both the University of Idaho and the University of New Hampshire Faculty Woodwind Quintets and has had an extensive career as a guest soloist at high schools, universities, and at jazz clubs and in concerts in the Boston area. Here on the Seacoast, he is well known as the moving force behind the Monday night Traditional Jazz Series at UNH and the annual Tommy Gallant Jazz Festival in Portsmouth’s Prescott Park, as well as for his leadership of the Seacoast Big Band. He is co-founder, along with colleague Robert Spevacek, of the University of Idaho-Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and is co-coordinator of the UNH Traditional Jazz Series and the UNH-Clark Terry Jazz Festival which he founded in 1974. Seiler was also coordinator of the UNH Summer Youth Music School for twelve years and is still active in the program.

Multi-instrumentalist Jennison began his jazz career in 1961, playing at rotary clubs and other local functions while still in junior high school. While attending UNH, he formed a jazz combo, graduating in 1961 with a degree in music education. The defining moment in his career came early when he met pianist Tommy Gallant, a teacher at Berklee and an alumnus of Woody Herman’s band. Jennison performed with Gallant for more than 30 years; and he shared the stage and recording studio with such jazz greats as Alan Dawson, Buddy DeFranco, Dizzy Gillespie and Marshal Royal. He has performed on several albums including as backing for vocalists Kathleen Kolman and Leila Percy, as well as with the New Age music group Do’ah, and Terry. In 1999, Jennison released his first album for Maine’s Invisible Music label, titled Iridescence, which features his tenor and soprano saxophone skills. Jennison teaches saxophone at PEA.

Carlsen began his musical training playing clarinet in the high school band, in his hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota. A few years later, he traded in his clarinet for bass guitar. Throughout those early years, Carlsen performed in local Top 40 bands. In 1977, he began attending Berklee College of Music, where he took up the double bass. In 1981, Carlsen started playing with the Tommy Dorsey Band, performing throughout the U.S., Canada, South America and Japan. He has also performed with the Ryles Jazz Orchestra, Bobby Shew and Arturo Sandoval. Carlsen has performed with many jazz legends including Calloway, Vic Damone, Herb Pomeroy, Jim Porcella, Phil Wilson and Jimmy Witherspoon. Carlsen teaches bass at PEA.

Parker is a pianist, recording artist, and educator and lives in Somersworth, N.H. He performs regularly as a leader and sideman in the New England area with such artists as Gray Sargent, Les Harris, Jr., Herb Pomeroy, and Dick Johnson. Parker received his Master’s degree from New England Conservatory and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire. He continues to perform and record actively, most notably at the Press Room in Portsmouth. In 2001 he was featured in an interview on the New Hampshire Public Radio program, “The Front Porch”, which recognized him for becoming the youngest recipient of an Artists Grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.

Harris, Jr. is a 1983 graduate of Berklee. He is a member of the music faculty at UNH, the University of Southern Maine, PEA, and the Amesbury Public Schools district — teaching drums and ensembles. Harris began playing the drums at a young age under the tutelage of his father, retired Berklee professor and jazz drummer Les Harris, Sr. He has been a stand-in performer with jazz greats John LaPorta, Dave McKenna and Herb Pomeroy. From 1983–95, Harris performed with the jazz vocal group The Ritz. He has also toured and performed with the Artie Shaw Orchestra; the Diana Krall Trio, at the Boston Harbor Hotel; the Jim Howe Trio, which is named for the late bassist; and the Tommy Gallant Trio. Over the years, Harris has also played with jazz greats Milt Jackson, Terry and Phil Woods. Harris teaches drums at PEA.

Library Summer Concert Series Continues with Halcyon Music Festival

Halcyon Music Festival Artistic Director Heng-Jin Park (photo by Kate Lemmon)
Halcyon Music Festival Artistic Director Heng-Jin Park (photo by Kate Lemmon)

On Wednesday, July 20, at 7 p.m., the Halcyon Music Festival will perform a program entitled “Bohemian Rhapsody” as part of the Library’s Summer Concert Series. Featuring works by Anton Reicha, Josef Suk, and Antonín Dvořák, the concert will be the third hosted inside the Academy Library on Front Street in Exeter this summer.

From the seacoast region of New Hampshire, the Halcyon Music Festival is composed of over twenty world-class musicians and talented young artists led by artistic director and pianist Heng-Jin Park. Featured musicians include Abel Pereira on horn; Tatjana Mead Chamis and Timothy Deighton on viola; Katherine Manker, Monica Pegis, Irina Muresanu, and Miki-Sophia Cloud on violin; Wendy Warner, David Hardy, and Brian Manker on cello; and Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich and Park on piano.

The Halcyon Music Festival aims to make chamber music inviting and accessible to everyone, regardless of age or musical interests. The musicians also spend time supporting the arts in the greater Portsmouth area.