Top Student Musicians From Dwight Schools Around the World Gather at Carnegie Hall to Celebrate a Pioneer in Global Education
On Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 240 students from New York, London, Seoul, and Shanghai will unite in Carnegie Hall to honor the man whose exceptional career has made this moment, and countless others like it, possible. As Chancellor of the prestigious Dwight School for 50 years, Stephen Spahn is distinguished as the longest-serving head of school in the U.S. To celebrate his notable contributions to the world of education, students will perform "A Sky Full of Music," the largest annual concert in the school's 146-year history. The sold-out concert will take place in the iconic, 2,800-seat Stern Auditorium.
"Our community can think of no greater way to honor the man who has impacted thousands of lives around the world than with a cross-campus celebration that brings together Dwight students from three continents in the universal language of music," said Alistair Hamilton, Dwight's Head of Performing Arts. Mr. Hamilton conceived, and will conduct, the concert with music directors from Dwight's global campuses. "A Sky Full of Music" will feature classical, jazz, pop, and traditional Chinese and Korean pieces connected to the celestial theme performed by students in grades 4-12. A choir of faculty, staff, alumni, and parents will also perform.
"This concert will demonstrate Dwight's spark of genius educational philosophy, which has reached around the world, in action," said Chancellor Spahn. "Spark of genius is a talent or passion that I believe every student - every human being - has within and it is our job as educators to find and nurture that spark. Igniting a student's spark of genius engenders a sense of mastery and confidence, opening up pathways to all other learning. The students performing will share their musical sparks to light up Carnegie Hall."
Under Chancellor Spahn's visionary leadership and desire to bridge international boundaries, Dwight was the first independent school to establish a campus abroad in London in 1972. Additional firsts in global education followed: Dwight was the first school in the Americas to offer the comprehensive International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum for students in preschool-grade 12; the first model IB School in South Korea; and the first independent Chinese-foreign collaborative high school approved by the Ministry of Education. Dwight's first campus in the Middle East will open in Dubai this fall.
Dedicated to making an IB education accessible to students everywhere, Chancellor Spahn also launched Dwight Global Online School, a campus in the cloud for grades 7-12. "No matter where in the world a Dwight student lives, we personalize the educational journey for each one. This is a hallmark of a Dwight education, along with innovation. We equip students with the knowledge, entrepreneurial skills, and experiences needed to succeed in the rapidly changing world and collaborate to solve global challenges," said Chancellor Spahn.
More about Dwight School: Founded in 1872, Dwight is a leading international school located on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Dwight in New York is the flagship founding campus of a global network of schools in New York, London, Seoul, Shanghai, and Dubai (opening fall 2018). Graduates attend leading colleges and universities worldwide such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, Columbia, Brown, Oxford, and the University of Edinburgh, among others.
About Chancellor Stephen Spahn: Celebrating 50 years in education, Chancellor Spahn is the longest-serving head of an independent school in the U.S. He has been at since 1967, igniting the spark of genius in every child, mentoring generations of students, and educating them to become innovative global leaders. In recognition of his outstanding commitment to youth and leadership in the field of education, Chancellor Spahn received the prestigious Louis Hine Award for Distinguished Service in 2011. He also received a 2013 Blackboard Award with a Special Citation for Community and Citizenship for forging an innovative East Harlem community partnership with the 1199 Housing Corporation to create Dwight School Athletic Center. Chancellor Spahn was a founder of the Anglo-American International School, which joined forces with Dwight School in 1993. A pioneer in international education, he was a founding member of the Guild of IB Schools of the Northeast, served on the IB Board of Governors, and established Dwight's first campus abroad in London in 1972. Today, he spearheads the education of over 2,000 students through a global network of IB World Schools in New York, London, Seoul, Shanghai, and soon to open in Dubai. Under the Chancellor's leadership, Dwight became the first school in the Americas to offer the comprehensive IB curriculum from preschool-grade 12; established Dwight Global Online School, a campus in the cloud, to offer students around the world access to an IB education; and launched Spark Tank, an incubator to nurture entrepreneurial, innovation, and leadership skills in K-12 students. As an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, Chancellor Spahn was an All-American basketball player, member of Phi Beta Kappa, and a Senior Fellow at the United Nations under a 1926 Public Service Fellowship. After graduating with a BA, he attended Wadham College, Oxford University; and later completed coursework for a PhD at Columbia University, where he was an International Fellow and a Woodrow Wilson Scholar.
About Head of Performing Arts Alistair Hamilton: A native of Northern Ireland, Alistair Hamilton has conducted and produced concerts, tours, and events throughout the U.K., Asia, and the U.S. As a violist and singer, Mr. Hamilton has long been involved with the Apple Hill Center of Chamber Music, NH; and serves on the board of the New York Choral Consortium. Mr. Hamilton has a postgraduate degree in music education from Durham University, U.K., and a Masters in Choral Conducting from California State University, Los Angeles. He is the founder and Artistic Director of New York Chamber Choirs, which offer education and performance opportunities for youth and adults. Mr. Hamilton composes and arranges for a variety of instrumental and choral ensembles, and has arranged a number of pieces in the Dwight Carnegie Hall concert program.