A Singing School…and So Much More

by Yoonji Kim ’15

As Williston is noted as a “singing school,” our student and faculty musicians have a significant impact on the community. Ranging from singers to jazz band performers, our school musicians perform a wide variety of musical genres, and the beauty of the music brought to the community is very meaningful. Although music is not a regular part of our daily routine or as main stream as athletics, Williston shares and builds community around music through our always well-attended concerts.

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Greg Tuleja, who is the Dean of Academics, a 9th grade English teacher, and the Girls’ cross country coach, also serves a significant role in music at Williston. Since his father, a self-taught pianist, forced him to learn to play as well, music has been a big part of his life. Mr. Tuleja started playing the flute at the age of 10 and joined band at high school. After a brief pause in playing in college, he made a living in the music business in his 20s by teaching flute, which is what primarily hooked him on music. He even earned his masters degree in flute at 30. He noted, “Music is a rich addition to life and (it) certainly means a lot that I cannot go through a day without listening (to) or playing music.” As he considers music a great gift given to him, Mr. Tuleja loves and takes pride in teaching young people and working on musical ensembles.

Fall Music Concert - Practice Session

The musicians here at Williston make up a community that includes solo instrumentalists, smaller chamber music groups, singers, and jazz band performers. But within this community, we all interact, combining to help each other; one can accompany dance classes with the piano, or play in a chamber music group or with the chorus. The roles of the musicians here are quite different than they’d be in a music school, yet music serves an important role by challenging students mentally, and requiring a lot of mental acuteness and technical skill (so that one can be sharp regarding intellectual and emotional aspects). Without music, both our lives and the community would be dull, colorless, and empty. As humans are the only species able to play and feel music, it is a pure pleasure that we can appreciate what music brings to the Williston community.