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Performing Arts

The music program at Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School affords both academic and performance opportunities to our student body. In addition to private instrumental and vocal lessons offered during the school day, a variety of before and after-school music activities are available to all interested musicians. Opportunities for numerous service-oriented activities showcase the musical talents of our students while enabling them to share their gifts with others. All music students are exposed to quality musical experiences, bringing to life what is studied in the classroom. Live performances including concerts, recitals, operas and shows at premier venues such as the Kimmel Center and Academy of Music in Philadelphia, and the Metropolitan Opera and popular Broadway venues in New York City are offered throughout the year.

Our music activities and clubs:
· develop the musical skills, abilities and creative talents of our students
· contribute to the cultural life of the school and community
· add to the beauty and meaning of school worship

Our select choir has been invited to perform in prestigious venues including:
· The White House
· The Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg
· Longwood Gardens
· Citizens Bank Park (to perform the National Anthem for Phillies games)

Our students participate in highly competitive music festivals including:
· PMEA District, Region and State Chorus and Band and Orchestra
· All-Catholic Band and Orchestra
· Tri-County (Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware) Youth Festival

Glee Club

The Glee Club is our largest music activity open to any girl in grades 9-12 who enjoys singing. Membership in this group is mandatory for acceptance into any of our selective vocal organizations. Glee Club performs for our annual Candlelight and Arts Festival concerts.

Chorale

Chorale is our select chorus consisting of 30-35 auditioned members in grades 10-12. Students are required to participate in Glee Club for a minimum of 1 semester prior to auditioning for Chorale. This group performs in several outside venues throughout the community in addition to in-school concerts.

Orchestra

Orchestra is our instrumental performance ensemble open to any student with previous instruction on a musical instrument. Students must be receiving private instruction on their instrument either in or outside of school. This group performs for our annual Candlelight and Arts Festival concerts.

String Ensemble

Our chamber group is open to all string players who play at an intermediate level and who are currently receiving private instruction in or outside of school. Students must also participate in Orchestra in order to be a member of this group.The String Ensemble performs for school functions including: Open House, Christmas Candlelight Concert and the Spring Arts Festival as well as outside events in the surrounding community.

Mercy Melismatics

Mercy Melismatics is our highly selective 'a cappella' group consisting of 12-14 members.Singers who are active participants in Glee Club and Chorale are eligible to audition for this group in the spring. The Mercy Melismatics perform for special occasions and events in and out of school throughout the year and serve as school ambassadors to the outside community.

Girls with Guitars

Our very popular "rockband" is open to vocalists, guitar, drum and keyboard students selected through an audition. This group performs for many special events and occasions in and out of school and serves as an ambassador to the outside community.

Liturgical Music

The Liturgical Music Group, open to all interested students, provides singing and instrumental accompaniment to enhance our liturgies and prayer services. Members must be willing to assist with special masses on weekends.

School Show

GMAHS's annual music theater production held in November, provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their dramatic, vocal, artistic, dance and instrumental talents as well as the art of stagecraft. Auditions for current students are held in May of the previous year, and incoming freshmen audition during the first week of school. Interested instrumentalists are welcome to join the "pit orchestra" where they perform with professional musicians.

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Music Events

Music Curriculum


Girls with Guitars

PMEA District Chorus/PMEA District Orchestra/All Catholic Band & Orchestra.

Longwood Gardens 2015 from GMA-TV on Vimeo.


PMEA District Chorus/PMEA District Orchestra/All Catholic Band & Orchestra.

The Music Department at GMA has enjoyed a flurry of success this fall. Our talented students prepared auditions for District Chorus, District Orchestra, All Catholic Orchestra and All Catholic Band. We are so proud of juniors Amanda Hornig for taking 5th chair in the Alto 1 section of District Chorus, and Addie Olsen for winning 7th chair in the cello section in District Orchestra. Both of the girls will re-audition for Region Chorus and Orchestra in January and February 2017. The District Festivals encompass all public and private schools in Montgomery and Bucks Counties and are highly competitive! Congratulations also to sophomore Natalie Dolan who secured a violin chair in All Catholic Orchestra. Freshman Anna Ridenour, and juniors Emma Palermo and Paige Merlino successfully auditioned for All Catholic Band. Anna and Paige earned 1st chair in the flute and trumpet sections, respectively!

The month of December was a busy one for our vocalists and instrumentalists. Chorale, A Cappella, and the GMA String & Wind Ensemble drew large crowds this year at the Hotel Fiesole in Skippack village at one of their Friday pre-Christmas celebrations. The girls also shared their talents with the seniors in residence at Solana Horsham and Brittany Pointe Estates in Lansdale. Girls with Guitars stayed “at home” performing for our own Mercy Hospice dinner.

Longwood Gardens Performance

On December 17th, members of the Art and Music departments travelled to the Brandywine River Museum and Longwood Gardens. After touring the Museum, the GMA Chorale along with several members of the Orchestra provided an afternoon concert for visitors and staff. The group continued on to Longwood Gardens where the Chorale was booked for 2 evening performances (7 and 8 p.m.) in the magnificent Grand Ballroom. The Chorale presented works from their Candlelight performances, accompanied by cellists Manya Johnston-Ramirez and Addie Olsen, flautist Emma Palermo, and violinist and string ensemble director, Mrs. Deirdre Edgell, and pianists Emily Roberts, Alex Lyons, Julia Coakley and Miao Han. The program included stunning performances of O Holy Night by Caitlin Aloia, and some popular seasonal favorites by the Mercy Melismatics. Both concerts received enthusiastic applause by the large audiences in attendance!

Special Performances and Awards

Congratulations to our girls who were chosen for the following Festivals:
Caitlin Aloia ’16 and Amanda Hornig ’18 – PMEA District Chorus, Regional Chorus
Paige Merlino (trumpet) and Emma Palermo ’18 (flute) – All Catholic Band
Manya Johnston-Ramirez ’17 (cello), Addie Olsen ’18 (cello), Natalie Dolan ’19 (violin) – All Catholic Orchestra
Special congratulations to Caitlin Aloia who was selected to the Metropolitan Opera 2016 High School Opera Singers Intensive. The audition included an audio submission of two selections as well as recommendations from teachers and coaches. This four-day intensive is designed for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade outstanding students preparing to study vocal music in college, conservatory, and beyond. From February 16th to 19th, students participated in a variety of workshops and training sessions led by guest teachers and Met Opera artists.