Music

Making music the Mid-Pen Way gives you two life-long skills.

The first is to be able to make music with the people you encounter after leaving Mid-Pen. Whether playing in a dorm-room jam session or with a gigging band, you'll be able to make important human connections. The second is to have a large enough block of musical vocabulary and material to sculpt your own personal style.

Combined, these two skills help our music students feel confident that they can pick up and play with others when the opportunity presents itself. It also provides an outlet for self-expression—the ability to make something that is uniquely yours, that articulates your identity, and gives value to those things that make us essentially human.

The Mid-Pen music program serves more than 30 students each year, who perform in at least four different ensembles. A handful of students who are so energized by their success in music that they confidently take on every other challenge they encounter, no matter how daunting or formidable.

Listen: This is the Day

Released in December 2019, "This is the Day" contains seven cover songs that were selected, performed, recorded, and produced by the Mid-Pen's music ensembles under the direction of music instructor Jameson Swanagon. The album cover and artwork that come with the download were also created by students.

Songs covered include "Always Remember Us" by Lada Gaga and classics like "London Calling" by The Clash and "Little Lies" by Fleetwood Mac.

Now Available for Streaming and Download

Watch: The Mid-Pen Senior Ensemble

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020 and Mid-Pen switched to distance learning, our seniors were disappointed that they wouldn't be able to celebrate with a traditional in-person graduation. As part of our virtual graduation on Zoom, the Senior Ensemble put together this music video, a cover of the 80s song Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds. Students recorded their parts separately, then music teacher Jameson Swanagon mixed everything together in the Mid-Pen studio.

Music Under Quarantine

When Mid-Pen closed its campus and moved to distance learning in Spring 2020, students lost the in-person togetherness that was more than a daily class; it was a favorite part of their day. 

To help his students push through the separation and grief of being apart, Music Teacher Jameson Swanagon had them experiment with a different type of creative process—one that challenged them to learn how to use recording technology as well as reflect on methods that worked, and those that didn’t. 

Click here to listen to some of the creative work produced by working together alone.