Devon Prep Music Society
The Music Society includes the Jazz Band, Choral Tide and Choral Reef, as well as the cast of Devon Prep Broadway musicals. Participating in these groups gives students the opportunity to express themselves artistically and to develop poise, self-esteem, and teamwork skills.
The Jazz Band serves to instruct its members in the theory and practice of jazz performance. Numerous performances are given during the school year. Members of this group receive academic credit for their work.
The vocal groups, Choral Tide and Choral Reef, are open to all students who have an interest in vocal music. Members of these two groups receive academic credit for their work.
Each year the Music Society presents a Broadway Musical which includes students from Devon Prep as well as female students from area private, parochial and public schools. Performances are open to the public and usually take place in the spring.
Dr. Valentin Radu
Devon Prep’s Music Society is moderated by Dr. Valentin Radu who is also the school’s Music Director. Dr. Radu is a classically trained pianist and conductor.
Born in Romania he holds a bachelor’s of fine arts degree from the Bucharest Academy of Music and a master’s and doctorate degree in music from the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He frequently tours the U.S. and Europe as a conductor and recitalist. He is the founder and artistic director of the Philadelphia-based chorus and chamber orchestra, Vox Ama Deus. At the helm of Vox Ama Deus, Dr. Radu has recorded over a dozen CDs, including such works as Handel’s Messiah and Acis and Galatea, and Bach’s B Minor Mass.
In addition to being a classical music scholar and artist, Valentin Radu is equally accomplished in jazz performance as a conductor and a solo performer. In December 1998, he conducted the 97-member Bucharest Philharmonic in a Gershwin Centennial Gala concert, featuring the Rhapsody in Blue (Dan Grigore, soloist), An American in Paris, and Porgy and Bess. In November of 1999, Dr. Radu conducted the Arad Phiharmonic in a centennial concert featuring works by Duke Ellington and George Gershwin.
In May 1999, Dr. Radu participated in the historic visit to Romania of Pope John Paul II. In September 2004, he was invited to be the sole performer at a special U.N. gala in New York honoring the President of Romania.
In December 1997, Dr. Radu was awarded the Golden Apple by New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. In February 1999, the Romanian Music Critics’ Association named him “1998 Musician of the Year”. In April of 2003, Dr. Radu was bestowed the title of Honorary Citizen of the City of Bucharest by the mayor of his native town who is presently Romania’s President.
On December 20, 2005, Dr. Radu received the highest civil award of Romania: The Grand Officer of the Order of Cultural Merit (Romanian equivalent of The French Legion of Honor or British Knighthood), in recognition of his life achievement in the arts and his efforts as “Cultural Ambassador” of Romania. He became the seventh and youngest recipient of this most prestigious award in the history of Romania.