Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism.
The Dartmouth
April 15, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

The Knights’ residency includes student shows, class visits

In preparation for their Friday, Oct. 16 performance at the Hopkins Center, The Knights — a Brooklyn, New York-based orchestra collective — will have a five-day residency at the College, meeting with students, visiting classes and local schools and performing with student groups.

On Monday night, The Knights and the student band Ladies’ Night hosted a “Collis Cabaret” at Collis Common Ground.

In an interview before the show, The Knights’ artistic director and conductor Eric Jacobsen said that the group was excited to perform with Ladies’ Night. He said that the band did not know what the show would be like until they began to rehearse with Ladies’ Night on Monday afternoon.

“We were just kind of having a jam,” he said. “We went through the tunes and worked out little changes, and we were ready to go.”

Ladies’ Night band member Bean Crane ’16 said that Friday Night Rock reached out to them about the opportunity to play with The Knights. She said that the group was eager for the opportunity.

“We knew that we were going to be playing with them, so that was enticing,” she said.

Crane said that she saw Brooklyn Rider, a string quartet that is made up of four members of The Knights’ including Jacobsen, during her freshman year.

Ladies’ Night member Allison Steele ’16 said that having time to workshop their set with The Knights on Monday afternoon added to the band’s sound and energy.

Steele said that blending their sound with that of The Knights was an interesting but fun experience.

“They sort of just jumped on it, since we cover rap songs and we cover R&B,” Steele said. “Some of our little interludes that we have, they just brought us ideas and some nice riffs and licks.”

Reed Sturtevant ’16, member of new student bluegrass and folk band The Filthy Filthy Mountain Boys, said that he and band member Ned Darling ’19 were invited by FNR to back Ladies’ Night during the cabaret. He said that this was the first time the band played with Ladies’ Night.

“I think it’s super cool the kind of combined texture of Ladies’ Night with The Knights,” he said. “It kind of turns into this really big sound with a whole lot of stuff going on. It’s neat to throw me and [Darling] in there with a different sort of sound coming in.”

Hop outreach manager Stephanie Pacheco said that the cabaret was created through a partnership with the Collis Center that allows student groups to perform with visiting artists once a term.

In addition to Monday’s cabaret, The Knights will be visiting three classes in the music department on Wednesday and Thursday, hosting dinner discussions on Wednesday and visiting local schools on Thursday.

Pacheco said that this residency is on the longer side for visiting artists. She said the Hop looks for artists who are involved in outreach and want to work with students and faculty at the College.

Jacobson said the group is particularly excited to visit various classes.

“Being able to break through and talk in a real way quickly is so important,” he said. “Going into different classrooms is really fun because it feels like instantly we’re meeting on similar turf.”

Pacheco said that The Knights will bring their foundation in classical music and ability to cross genres to students to contextualize different aspects of music.

“They are able to go into a global music class or music theory classes and really have an ability to look at what the curriculum is and come at it from a real world perspective, as professional artists who are doing this day in and day out across a variety of different groups,” Pacheco said.

Jacobson said that the group has prepared specific discussions for each of the classes they plan to visit.

Pacheco said that the group will also bring their deep passion for music and the arts to the wider Upper Valley community.

“They have that deep passion for arts education and for music education and getting the arts and music out into schools and education centers in this day and age,” she said. “They are really seeking to find ways to teach but also make music come alive.”

Jacobson said that the group’s members believe it is important to bring music to schools, especially due to recent budget cuts that target arts education.

“Going around to different schools, the idea of teaching students or playing for students is great,” he said. “It’s very cool to be a part of these outreach programs and reaching kids who don’t really get to hear too much music live.”

He said that when the band is on the road, which can be up to nine months a year, they try to do some form of educational outreach at each of their stops.

“The goal is to have immediate interactions with people, talk to them, be a part of them, have them be a part of you and have a moment together,” he said.

Pacheco said that this is the second time The Knights have performed at the College — they visited in 2013, and Brooklyn Rider also performed at the College the same year. She said that the residency was supported by an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant that focuses on student and youth engagement in classical music.

The Knights will perform Friday at 8 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium. The band will play “Suite No. 2” from “The Soldier’s Tale” by Igor Stravinsky, pieces by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Robert Schumann and Giovanni Sollima, as well as a suite by singer Sufjan Stevens. Tickets will be $10 to $45 for students and $17 to $45 for community members.