On May 15, Oakcrest’s Harp Circle performed at the UN Headquarters in New York City for the 25th Observance of the International Day of Families and 25th Commemoration of the International Year of the Family.
Four Oakcrest harpists were led by Oakcrest’s Instrumental Music Director Alix Baldwin. The group got the chance to play several pieces including “The Chimes,” “The Grenadier and the Lady” , and “My Robin is to the Greenwood Gone.” Six other Oakcrest students were also present to speak for a portion of the event, delivering the “Declaration of Youth.”
Oakcrest’s Harp Circle is a club that welcomes students who want to sharpen their skills and those who have never played before. It meets in two different sessions a week—one for beginners and one for more advanced harpers. Besides regular meetings, Harp Circle participants perform at a variety of venues. These have included the Reston Farmer’s Market and the National Association of Secondary School Principals Reception in Washington, DC, and Oakcrest events such as the Mother-Daughter Alumnae Brunch.
The International Day of Families was first started in 1994, the year declared by the United Nations General Assembly as “The International Year of the Family.” This 25th observance featured speakers from around the world and included talks and a panel discussion. Representatives and officials from all over the world—from Egypt to Belarus to Bangladesh—had the chance to discuss best practices to protect and strengthen the family. Speakers included Msgr. Tomasz Grysa, First Counselor and Deputy Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, and Ms. Valerie Huber, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Global Affairs at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
While the Harp Circle is an extracurricular activity, music study in general is an important part of the Oakcrest curriculum and required of all students in Middle School. Upper School students take Music and Arts Appreciation in their sophomore year and can continue their music study by taking other elective offerings if they wish. Music courses include instruction in vocal or instrumental technique, performing music of various genres and time periods, and studying solfeggio and the fundamentals of music theory. Visit our Music page to learn more.