We start each day at SEM with music.
Students and faculty gather for morning meeting each day, and each morning meeting begins with us singing. Most constantly sung are our own To Alma Mater, composed by an alumna, and perennial favorite Jerusalem, composed originally by William Blake. We also sing both the American and Canadian national anthems.
SEM hosts two major concerts each year: our traditional Winter Revel, the day before the holiday break begins in December and the Joan Kostik Andrews '48 spring concert.
SEM's ensemble, glee club, and the Semachords (a cappella group) also perform at school events including Grandparent Day, open houses, and the annual signing of our Social and Academic Honor Code in September. SEM musicians also perform in the community: in recent years at holiday concerts and tree lightings in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, the Twentieth Century Club and for various community partners like Canopy of Neighbors and the Red Cross.
Our musicians and singers are also active individually in regional orchestras, ensembles, and musical theatrical productions. They are advised by faculty member Kyle Hopkins.
Roland Martin directs SEM's ensemble and glee club. He also directs the (what might possibly be the only school for hundreds of miles') faculty glee club.
SEM boasts a large and talented ensemble, with gifted musicians who routinely win places in the Erie All-County Orchestra (more than 4000 students compete).
Buffalo Seminary is pleased to announce the new SEM-Steinway Scholarship first awarded to a girl entering the the Class of 2024.
The scholarship will make it possible for a girl who demonstrates exceptional ability in music (instrument or voice) to attend SEM.
Becoming a Steinway Select School
In the spring of 2019, SEM committed to becoming a Steinway Select School.
SEM will be one of a handful (currently 16) of K-12 schools in the U.S. to be a Steinway Select School. Our aim is to become a destination school for high school students who are serious musicians. Each purchase of a grand piano brings with it a scholarship from Steinway. Our goal is to have four new Steinway pianos – from practice pianos to a concert grand.
The first new Steinway, a Boston model which arrived in August, was made possible by the generosity of the 2019 reunion classes.
Head of School Helen Marlette said the gift acknowledges the unique and poignant place music has here for generations of students. "Music is SEM. Music is part of our heart and soul."