SPRING MUSICAL: SPAMALOT
Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy
Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot retold the
legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the very very
Round Table. This joyful production featured a 13-piece
orchestra under the musical direction of our new upper
school music teacher, Phillip Lenberg, extravagant song
and dance numbers and, of course, two hours of jokes,
parody and pure fun. Director Brad Cooreman not only
led this wonderful musical romp, but also oversaw
creation of an ambitious set (a castle with tower and
turrets). The gazillion costumes were designed by Martha
Stookey, in collaboration with senior, Cléo Charpentier.
FRENCH AMERICAN AND INTERNATIONAL WELCOME TWO NEW
MEMBERS TO THE MUSIC FACULTY
This year the Upper School welcomed two new faculty
members to the Arts Department teaching staff, who assumed the reins of the school’s Music Program.
Phillip Lenberg has enjoyed a successful career as
a classical guitarist and conductor. He has served as
Apprentice Conductor for the Las Vegas Philharmonic,
Assistant Conductor for the Henderson Symphony in Nevada, and an instructor in conducting at the University
of Nevada. Phillip received his Doctorate of Musical Arts
in orchestral conducting at the University of Nevada,
and studied classical guitar at the Royal Conservatory of
Music in Toronto, and SUNY Stony Brook in New York.
Melinda Becker received her Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Education at Santa Clara University, a Master
of Music in vocal performance at the San Francisco
Conservatory, and has studied in the Cycle de Spécialisa-tion Chant program at the Conservatoire of Strasbourg.
She has sung as a guest artist at Opera San Jose, served
Spring Concert, May 15, 2015 | Guitar Ensemble Spring Concert | Isabella Cooreman
as an adjunct professor of music at Marymont California University, and taught voice at Inspire Music in San
One of Mr. Lenberg’s most notable initiatives has been
the creation of several grade-level “Guitar Ensembles”
that incorporate as many as 15 or 20 students per
ensemble. The beauty of this approach is that it allows
virtually any student to participate in music-making, no
matter what skill level they’re at. The program teaches
students basic instrumental skills, as well as how to work
The January Winter Concert, presented at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, was the first official showcase for the new guitar ensembles. Performing unique
arrangements of classical works, and popular pieces
arranged by Mr. Lenberg, the various ensembles were
notable for their precision and discipline, and a remarkable level of engagement with the material. The formal
setting of the Conservatory auditorium lent a sense of occasion to the evening, and our student performers more
than rose to the challenge. Amongst various outstanding
solo moments was a stunning performance by 9th grader
Justin Melville of the notoriously difficult classical guitar
showpiece, Koyunbaba, by Carlo Domeniconi.
The Spring Concert was presented on May 15 as part
of the two-week Arts Festival that closes the school year.
Held in the school gymnasium, the informal atmosphere
was matched by the program, where the students performed favorite pieces of their own choosing. Even the
guitar ensembles got into the spirit with a memorable
performance of Mr. Lenberg’s elegant (but subversively
witty) arrangement of the T. Rex glam-rock classic Bang a
Gong. Other highlights included a lovely modern dance
solo by Isabella Cooreman, and a puckish love duet from
Lakmé by Gwyneth and Tess Luhmann, accompanied on
piano by 11th grader Thibault Irissou.