Hackley School Welcomes Performing Artists-in-Residence Vince Cherico and Jeremy Harman

This spring, Hackley’s Performing Arts department welcomed Master Drummer Vince Cherico and Cellist Jeremy Harman as part of the Creative Residency Program.

Cherico’s five-day visit began in February and will conclude at the end of May. Harman’s visit took place in April. Creative Residencies support the school’s strategic plan—Redefining Excellence: Learning Beyond Boundaries, bringing teaching creators in performing arts, visual arts, and computer science to the Hilltop to further enhance creative instruction. 

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to invite these incredible artists to the Hilltop,” says Bettie-Ann Candelora, Director of Performing Arts. “Vince and Jeremy’s visits had a tremendous impact on our students. The Creative Residency program was designed to provide developmental and cultural benefits to the community, and these visits fulfill our Strategic Plan mission by engaging our students and linking them, as the plan states, “with the broader creative community.” Each artist brings a fresh approach and unique enrichment to our excellent classroom instruction and impacts our students’ artistic growth.”

Classically trained cellist Jeremy Harman worked with Middle and Upper School Orchestras and Chamber Ensembles, and Middle School music minor and Upper School jazz combo classes. Harman specializes in improvisation and performance in a wide variety of genres, including jazz and rock. During his visit, Jeremy brought students a diverse pool of stylistic influences to consider, with a focus on how to freely improvise. He worked with students on various levels of improvisation, starting by having them improvise simple melodies using particular scales. He also worked on non-traditional bow techniques and rhythms often heard in folk, jazz, and pop music. The more advanced students learned to improvise over different chords, combining rhythm with harmonic changes. The students were also treated to a beautiful performance by Jeremy of original music not typically heard by classical string players. 
Multi-Grammy Award winning master drummer Vince Cherico held a Performing Arts drumming and rhythm workshop for all drum students in grades five through twelve. Vince’s workshop focused on developing techniques to internalize and perform rhythmic and sonic nuance across various musical styles. During his visit, Mr. Cherico spoke with MS students about his experience as a professional musician, his aspirations, and his practice routine. Different styles of drumming from various genres and places around the world were demonstrated and discussed, and students had a chance to participate and play different parts of Afro-Cuban rhythms. Cherico listened to students playing,  discussed drumming techniques used in jazz and in Brazilian music, and demonstrated ways to split the different rhythmic parts between a few drummers. Students also worked on accompanying, improvisation, and functioning as a member of the rhythm section. The students in both MS and US were thrilled to work with him and were inspired by his playing and ideas. 
Creative Residencies support a key pillar of Hackley’s strategic plan—Redefining Excellence: Learning Beyond Boundaries—to promote the Hilltop as a learning hub. The program brings teaching artists in performing arts, visual arts, and computer science to campus, and is designed to further enhance creative arts instruction, providing developmental and cultural benefits to students, faculty, and community members. 

Click here to read about the inaugural creator-in-residence visit held in February 2020 and watch the video here.