Alumni Horae: Vol. 95, No. 1 Fall 2014 - page 5

Online Classes Underway
Last spring, St. Paul’s announced a col-
laboration with the Eight Schools Assoc-
iation, to offer two online courses to
Sixth Form students, beginning this fall.
With permission from the dean of studies
and the head of the Languages Department,
select Sixth Formers may enroll in the on-
line study of Arabic language. Also with
permission, Sixth Form students may
register for an interdisciplinary course
called Water and Humanity.
The pilot programs are team-taught by
educators from the Eight Schools, includ-
ing teachers from St. Paul’s, Choate, Deer-
field, Hotchkiss, Lawrenceville, Northfield
Mount Hermon, Phillips Andover, and
Phillips Exeter.
So far, three SPS Sixth Formers have
enrolled in the study of Arabic language,
taught by teachers from Choate and Deer-
field. This spring, three more students
will take the interdisciplinary Water and
Humanity class, which will be offered as a
full-year course in the fall of 2016. That
course will be taught by teachers in various
disciplines at each of the Eight Schools.
Think about this: 800 pages of music, 32
pieces, nine concerts, three years. These
are numbers that dominate the daily life
of SPS music teacher Gregg Pauley, who,
in 2013, endeavored to learn and perform
Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas.
“It is something I have thought about
doing since my early twenties,” says
Pauley, who has been teaching piano at
St. Paul’s since 1999. “But life gets in the
way and I got sidetracked. Now I know
that life doesn’t get any less busy, so I’d
better do it now.”
Pauley played his first concert in the
Beethoven series in September of last
year and will perform at least a few dozen
by the time he is finished. To accomplish
the “Beethoven Project,” Pauley has broken
up the composer’s 32 sonatas into nine
different concert programs, which he will
perform multiple times each. The plan
is to complete all of them by the end of
spring 2016.
There are many pianists who have
endeavored to accomplish the challenge
Pauley has set out to complete, but the
completion is not common, he says. Learn-
ing and playing the pieces is a milestone
in the career of any concert pianist.
“More often than not,” Pauley says,
“pianists do not perform all of these
sonatas. There are 800 pages of music
to commit to memory and Beethoven was
a superlative pianist, so the technical
challenge is very high. Compound that
with the intellectual and philosophical
challenges of trying to communicate
Beethoven through the instrument, and
it’s very difficult to achieve.”
Pauley has always been intrigued by the
artistry of Beethoven and the composer’s
ability to speak to the human condition
through his music. While hard-pressed to
pick favorites, Pauley points to the “Ham-
merklavier,” for its length and technical
challenge, and to “Opus 2,” for its technical
difficulty. He also favors, at the moment,
Beethoven’s final three sonatas, which he
compares, in terms of special quality, to
the Mona Lisa.
“The last sonatas are the summing up
of his entire life and what he learned
through his life as an artist,” says Pauley.
“The beauty is very deep and his thought
process is truly remarkable.”
Gregg Pauley’s concert schedule can be
found at
Healthy Cultures 
As part of the School’s leadership and com-
munity building efforts, St. Paul’s hosted
its second annual Challenge Day prior to
the beginning of classes. The September
event engaged the entire Sixth Form, plus
student leaders from the Fifth Form and
about 40 faculty members in a day of
sessions designed to build connection
and empathy.
Challenge Day (
was founded more than two decades ago
to “provide youth and their communities
with experiential programs that demon-
strate the possibility of love and connec-
tion through the celebration of diversity,
truth, and full expression.” The one-day
program is facilitated by professionals from
the organization, who use social activities,
music, and games to bring students out of
their comfort zones with the goal of creat-
ing a more inclusive environment.
“At its foundation, Challenge Day pro-
vides participating schools with a power-
ful daylong experience that ignites and
inspires students to become agents of
change,” says Dean of Students Chad
Green. “It engages participants in a series
of activities designed to help us recognize
the power that comes both from revealing
our authentic selves to others and from
genuinely accepting others as they are.”
Later in September, St. Paul’s welcomed
Seattle-based educator and diversity
trainer Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee, who spoke
to the entire student body about issues of
identity and inclusion. Her program was
the first of four scheduled school-wide
LINC (Living in Community) days. Third
Formers are enrolled in LINC classes once
a week for the entire school year, while
Fourth Formers take LINC classes three
times a week for one term.
LINC, explains Green, represents the
formal social/emotional and wellness
curriculum of the School. The curriculum
covers key topic areas over the course of
a student’s career at SPS, with the overall
objective of creating the healthiest pos-
sible student culture.
“I firmly believe that student culture
should be leveraged as a critical teaching
tool,” says Green, “LINC is one place in
our collective school life to delve deeply
into the question of how exactly we want
to live with one another.”
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