perspectives:

Artists

The Class of 2019's Jacob Egol shares his summer experience with the Interlochen Center for the Arts, including his role as principal cellist of the Interlochen Philharmonic, and how Ranney Performing Arts inspired his passion for music back in the third grade
 
I am writing this reflection from a bench overlooking Green Lake at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Northwestern Michigan. As I sit here on the beautiful central mall of Interlochen’s campus, I am thinking about the past six weeks that I have spent here as a cellist in the Interlochen’s high school summer music program. My experience at Interlochen has been the highlight of my musical journey so far - a journey began at Ranney School.

The first time I picked up a cello was in 2010, during the spring of third grade. Dr. Dorothy Sobieski, who had just arrived at Ranney that school year as the All-Division Orchestra Director, offered a new “Introduction to Strings” after-school program. We started from the very beginning, learning the names of the strings, how to pluck them, how to hold a bow, and the basics of reading music. Even when we were in the Lower School, Dr. Sobieski challenged and encouraged us. Beginning in fourth grade, orchestra was offered as an elective program that was part of our daily class schedule. Many of my fellow peers have remained in orchestra since the Lower School and we still play together in the Upper School Orchestra – this is a testament to the strength of our school’s music program and to Dr. Sobieski’s leadership. Each year, we grow and are joined by new musicians, and this makes the Ranney orchestra experience even more robust and diverse.

With Middle School came new musical opportunities. I looked forward to our regular school concerts, as well as to special experiences such as the annual Music in the Parks competition at Dorney Park. (We were particularly proud to have won Best Orchestra honors in our division for all three years that I was in Middle School, as well as to have won Best Overall Orchestra for two out of those three years!) Middle School also introduced us to membership in the Tri-M Music Honor Society, through which we bring music to Ranney as well as to the local community, through volunteer work and charitable events.

In Upper School, I am enjoying even more performing arts opportunities. In addition to being a member of the Upper School Orchestra and of Tri-M Music Honor Society, I am also a member of the Chamber Music Club and a volunteer assistant to Dr. Sobieski for the Lower School Orchestra. In addition, a memorable experience from ninth grade was playing in the pit orchestra for our Upper School musical, Carousel. It was so much fun for members of all areas of the Ranney Performing Arts Department to come together and present an incredible production, and I look forward to playing in the pit orchestra again during my junior and senior years.

By Middle School, cello had become a focus for me both inside and outside of school. Dr. Sobieski encouraged me to audition for the Central Jersey Music Educators’ Association’s New Jersey Region II Orchestra, and subsequently, for the New Jersey All-State Orchestra. I have been proud to represent Ranney at both the Region and All-State levels, both in Middle School and Upper School. Watch a video of Jacob playing with his quartet the third movement from Dmitri Shostakovich’s “String Quartet Number 3.”

And now I am at Interlochen, which is a dream come true. I auditioned in New York City over the winter of 2017 and was thrilled to have been accepted as one of 21 high school cellists. Interlochen is celebrating its 90th season this summer. Its mission is to “promote world friendship through the universal language of the arts.” I am here among artists from all 50 states, as well as more than over 40 different countries. Each day starts with a wakeup by bugle call (at 6:30 a.m.!), and my schedule includes more than seven hours of cello per day: three hours of orchestra rehearsal and two hours of string quartet rehearsal, plus individual practice time, sectional rehearsals, and weekly master classes and private lessons with distinguished faculty. In addition, every Sunday, we perform in concerts led by renowned guest conductors, and sometimes we are also joined by notable guest artists. I have been honored to be the principal cellist of the Interlochen Philharmonic, as well as to have earned a position in the cello section of the prestigious World Youth Symphony Orchestra. Our concerts reach a global audience as they are broadcasted around the world via livestream as well as regionally on Interlochen Public Radio. Even with such a rigorous and rewarding program, I still have time to enjoy recreation on and off campus, as well as to attend various performances and concerts.

There are banners at Interlochen which are emblazoned with the slogan “Art Lives Here.” Art also lives at Ranney School. Both places are environments where performing arts students are nurtured and inspired (and both places have dress codes!). I have found that both Interlochen and the Ranney Performing Arts Department are communities of artists who are supportive of one another – individuals who come together each day to create and share love for the arts, guided by incredible faculty. I am so grateful that Dr. Sobieski gave me the gift of music all those years ago. Today, she is not only my teacher and conductor, but she is my high school advisor, so she guides me both musically and academically through my years in the Upper School.

I will be returning home to New Jersey in just under a week. While I will miss being immersed in the artistic life of Interlochen, I am also excited to return to Ranney, my artistic home.
 
 
Read more about Jacob
 
Watch a video of Jacob playing with his quartet the third movement from Dmitri Shostakovich’s “String Quartet Number 3.”

Read a perspective by the Class of 2019's Samantha Riebesell on how Ranney Performing Arts inspired her acting and singing career.
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Perspectives

List of 24 news stories.

  • Artists

    Jacob E., Class of 2019, on becoming a principal cellist as a result of Ranney Performing Arts

    Jacob E.

    Class of 2019
  • Faculty

    Teacher Mark DiGiovanni on how advising a group of students over four years exemplified his own independent school experience

    Mr. Mark DiGiovanni

    History Department Chair/Upper School Faculty
  • Athletes

    Abby B., Class of 2018, and Alex K., Class of 2019, on being scholar-athletes

    Abby B.

    Class of 2018
  • Lifers

    Rebekah L., Class of 2017, on being a Ranney Lifer

    Rebekah L.

    Class of 2017

  • Students

    Saxon D., Class of 2021, on Ranney Middle School, from academics to athletics and the arts

    Saxon D.

    Class of 2021

  • Alumni

    Alumna Sheila Sahni on how Ranney provided her with the foundation to succeed

    Dr. Sheila Sahni

    Class of 2002
  • New Families

    Fadia Kruse, parent of Alexa and Lachlan, on joining the Ranney community and the value of a Ranney education.


    The Kruse Family

  • College Counseling

    Jared Rush, Class of 2017, and other students share their journey through the college search and application process.  

    Jared Rush

    Class of 2017

  • Faculty - Arts

    Music teacher & parent Dorothy Sobieski on how the Ranney community commits to developing and educating the whole child.

    Dr. Dorothy Sobieski

    All-Division Orchestra Director
  • Alumni

    Sid Sharma, Class of 2016, on how Ranney's teachers made him college-ready.

    Sid Sharma

    Class of 2016
  • Athletes

    Gabriella S., Class of 2018, on athletic and leadership opportunities at Ranney.

    Gabriella S.

    Class of 2018
  • Academic Leadership

    Middle School Assistant Head David Ketcham on how the leadership team approaches this delicate and most important period of adolescence.

    David Ketcham

    Middle School Assistant Head
  • Students

    Julianna P., Class of 2017, shares her Ranney experience through a letter to the Freshman class. 

    Julianna P.

    Class of 2017

  • Students

    Sixth-grader Nate on how Ranney can help you rule the world.

    Nate

    Class of 2023

  • Alumni

    Sophia Jackman, Class of 2016, on how Ranney's "ABCD's" of problem solving prepared her and her peers.

    Sophia Jackman

    Class of 2016

  • Faculty

    Robotics & Computer Science Teacher Chiara Shah on how inspiration and design thinking are leading the way in Ranney’s classrooms.

    Chiara Shah

    Robotics Advisor, Computer Science Faculty
  • Alumni

    George Timmins, Class of 2015, on how Ranney prepared him for college.

    George Timmins

    Class of 2015
  • Parents

    Parents provide insight into their families' experiences with Ranney.

    The Pepe Family

    Andrew '23, Desmond '25, Kyra '27 and Deegan '29
  • Artists

    Samantha R., Class of 2019, on how the arts at Ranney help to foster students' individual passions.

    Samantha R.

    Class of 2019
  • Students

    Thomas B., Class of 2022, on why your family should consider Ranney today. 

    Thomas B.

    Class of 2022
  • Students New to Ranney

    Katherine B., Class of 2018, on the changes she discovered in her education and student life experience after joining Ranney.

    Katherine B.

    Class of 2018
  • Academic Leadership

    Lower School Assistant Head Allison Reddington on how the leadership team and faculty nurture and guide our youngest students.

    Allison Reddington

    Lower School Assistant Head
  • The College Process

    In a series of essays, the Class of 2016's Tessa Payer provides an inside look at college interviews, the common application and the overall guidance experience.

    Tessa Payer

    Class of 2016
  • Faculty

    First-grade teacher JoAnn Petrantis on how Ranney is growing imaginations and problem solving, starting at Age 3.

    JoAnn Petrantis

    First-Grade Teacher
Perspectives Archive

Ranney School

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Tinton Falls, NJ 07724
Tel. 732.542.4777
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