The Sound — and the Gift — of Musical Preeminence
Three Country Day Upper Schoolers won spots in festival ensembles after competitive auditions earlier this spring. In Pennsylvania, students begin the process by competing within the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association at the District Level, comprising 25 school districts within the South-Central Pa. From there, the top players in their instrument section advance to the Regional level and finally the All-State level, again through competitive auditions against their peers.
Caterina Manfrin, 11th grade flutist, won auditions through to the All-State level, and is ranked among the top 12 flutists in the Commonwealth. In addition to studying privately, Caterina is a member of the Allegretto Youth Chamber Orchestra and performs in our school orchestra as well.
Students who succeed to the All-State level have the chance to apply the following year to participate in the All-Eastern Festival, made up of the top students across 13 states, as well as the All-National Festival, sponsored by the National Association for Music Education (NAFME). As a result of their 2020 All-State wins, Florie Schaumann and Cecilia Wright applied for and were accepted into the All-East Festival. Florie, an 11th grade violinist, studies privately and is also a member of the Allegretto Youth Chamber Orchestra and our school’s orchestra.
Cecilia Wright, a 12th grade violist, also won a spot in the NAFME All-National Orchestra. Lia studies with a member of the New York Philharmonic and is a member of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra in addition to playing in our school’s orchestra.
Due to the pandemic, the festivals went on, but virtually. Rather than rehearsing in person with their peers and conductors who represent the best in their field, the students would Zoom into sectionals and be coached as to how to best play for the “performance.” Each student then recorded their individual parts against a background track as a guide. These were then stitched together to produce a virtual ensemble recording. Each of the girls remarked that while it could never replace rehearsing and performing live with other fantastic musicians, it was nonetheless a tremendous learning experience.
Said Country Day Orchestra Director Greg Woodbridge, “Of course I’m impressed by the level of musicianship these three young women demonstrated by winning these prestigious positions in these honors ensembles. But what impresses me most is that they share their talents with their peers and the school community by choosing to participate in their school’s ensemble. This is a true contribution — their gift, given for the benefit of others, not just themselves.”
Eighth-Graders Crush North Museum Science & Engineering Fair
This year’s North Museum Science & Engineering Fair may have been virtual, but the Class of 2025’s achievements make clear they weren’t phoning anything in.
Amelie Breuninger won the junior champion award for her project, “Analyzing the Impact of the Global COVID-19 Lockdown on Microplastics.” Her success had company. Raphael Andreae took second place in the engineering category, while Anna Grove placed third in earth science and classmate Emma Trout earned an Honorable Mention in Computer Science.
Robotics Students Are Winning Machines
At the Middle School First Lego League scrimmage hosted by LCDS in mid-March, Team Jade won the First Place Core Values Award, while Team Orange took top honors in Robot Design as well as Coding. Both squads went on to compete at the LCDS Qualifying Tournament March 27.
At the Qualifier, CougarBots Jade came in fifth out of 17 teams, earning the Breakthrough Award and a place in the championships. Team Jade is Wyatt Alexander ’25, Jack Burns ’28, Sonia Gallo ’25, Dalton Groff ’27, Zachariah Neff ’25, Jeremy Ouilikon ’25, Nehemiah Smith ’25, Caden Topper ’27, Nate Weiss ’27, Finn White ’27, and Andrew Yanero ’25.
Also at the Qualifier, CougarBots Orange ranked sixth out of 17 teams, earning the Motivate Award and a spot as an alternate in the championships. Team Orange is an all-Class of ’27 crew, made up of Andrew Carlisle, Lauren Cohen, Ruby Edwards, John Kelsey, Lucas McDevitt, Benjamin Yodfat, Samantha Zerbe, and Austin Zheng.
In Upper School robotics news, four students earned honors in the US Technology Student Association Regional Competition. They are:
Isa Marquez ’22 — First place, Extemporaneous Speech
Any Jaramillo ’22 — First place, Flight Endurance
Seth Meyer ’24 — Second place, Architectural Design
Eli Hurtt ’23 — Third place, CAD Engineering
Sparks de Triomphe in National French Contest
Three Upper Schoolers earned awards in the Grand Concours, a written exam organized by the American Association of Teachers of French and administered to students in all 50 states as well as abroad.
The Country Day standouts were:
Arielle Breuninger ’21, AP-Level 5, Silver, No. 7 nationally
Natalie Stuccio ’21, AP-Level 5, Honorable Mention, No. 19 nationally
George Warfel ’22, Level 4, Silver, No. 11 nationally
Said their teacher, Erin Myers, “I am so proud of all of my students for their hard work in French, especially considering that proficiency in French is just one of many scholarly and athletic pursuits for them.”
Warfel and Brantley Earn Chemistry Honors
Congratulations to George Warfel ’22 and Carson Brantley ’22, who, on March 27, finished in first and second place, respectively, out of 48 students from 13 area high schools across south-central Pennsylvania on the 2021 Chemistry Olympiad regional exam. The regional exam is the first stage of the national Chemistry Olympiad competition, which identifies top chemistry students throughout the United States.
Because of their top performance, George and Carson qualified to take the first portion of the 2021 National Chemistry Olympiad Exam, given to about 1,000 students across the country. On this test, Carson was the top performer of the 10 students from south-central Pa. who qualified for that level, and George placed second in that group. While neither student qualified for the final stage of the national exam, Carson missed the cut-off for the finals by just one point and both of their performances were outstanding.
Said chemistry teacher and Assistant Head of School Todd Trout, “Their achievements on both the local exam and the first stage of the national exam were highly commendable. I believe that this was the first time in my 22 years at LCDS that one of our students had the highest score on the local section exam. For Carson and George to earn first and second place on both that exam and also the first component of the national exam for students in our region of Pennsylvania was very impressive.” Both boys received special recognition for their achievements at the annual Chemistry Education Night hosted by the Southeastern Pa. section of the American Chemical Society on April 21.
Winning at Wall Street from Hamilton Road
Raafae Ayyaz ’25 finished in the top 10 of Pennsylvania middle schoolers in the PennCFL Stock Market Challenge. Raafae is a student in Trex Proffitt’s Money Matters class, and won thanks to his savvy investing and the performance of his stock portfolio over the duration of the competition. The Pennsylvania Council on Financial Literacy, or PennCFL, aims to provide students a solid foundation in financial management and foster entrepreneurial skills.