Photo Credits: Sydney Wills/Adobe InDesign/Achona Online
For many people, their music taste offers a lense into who they are as a person: humans tend to connect music with experiences, emotions, and even their faith. Whether you prefer classic rock, country, or the spiritual ballads on Spirit.fm, your music taste most likely reveals at least a small sliver of your personality. At Achona, we decided to interview the various teacher departments about the songs and artists they prefer in order to view them with a different perspective: through the lense of music.
The English department’s taste in music demonstrated significant quality and variety, and it proved challenging for many of the teachers to narrow down their list of favorites. Melissa Cox said, “This is a super hard question for me. I don’t just love music, I’m obsessed with it – any genre, any decade. I have a playlist on my Spotify that currently has 5, 739 songs and travelling for concerts and music festivals is one of my favorite things to do.”
Virginia Pendleton preferred iconic music community favorites such as the grunge, loud-quiet-loud sound of Nirvana and influential indie rock such as The Pixies and The Smiths. These old favorites paired nicely with some of the department’s more modern preferences, such as Empire of the Sun, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Coldplay.
The department’s appreciation of Frank Ocean and Hozier comes as no surprise, considering their revolutionary production styles and enigmatic, poetic lyrics. Similarly, Vampire Weekend, whose songs are often thought of as the anthems of prep-school intellect, is unsurprisingly a favorite of the department.
Additionally, the English department also expressed appreciation for street, hardcore, and alternative punk artists such as AFI and DON BROCO.
“This past October, I literally spent 24 hours in Chicago just to watch Bloc Party play at Riot Fest,” said Cox. Evidently, the English department is very appreciative of their music and are willing to go to great lengths to see their favorite artists live.
The Religion department leaned in favor of deeply poetic and spiritual music. Jaime Meyer cited favorite songs such as “How Great Art Thou,” which is based on a Swedish melody and poem by Carl Boberg. She said, “When I hear this song, its lyrics summarizes my faith journey and the last verse fills me with hope, ‘When Christ shall come with a shout of acclamation and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow in humble adoration and there proclaim ‘My God how great thou art.’”
She also chose favorite songs that connect her music taste to her heritage and sentimental familial experiences. The song “O Sole Mio,” by Luciano Pavarotti, reminds her of her Italian heritage and a trip that she took to Italy with her sisters, and “Tora Lora Lora” an is an Irish lullaby that her father sung her and her siblings when they were little.
Brian Butterly said, “I listen to Spirit.FM exclusively now,” mentioning favorites such as “You Say” by Lauren Daigle. However, Butterly also expressed appreciation towards classic rock artists such as The Eagles and The Beatles.
Kimberly Wiley also appreciated classic rock, specifically The Beatles, and grunge band Nirvana. Yet, her music taste was extremely diverse, expressing enjoyment towards classical music, classic rock, and modern pop hits such as “Old Town Road.” However, she said, “My all-time favorite has to be Paul McCartney. He was, is, and always will be my favorite artist.”
The History department’s taste was an eclectic yet charming blend of country, indie pop, and even podcasts. Stacy Filocco said, “I guess I listen to podcasts more than music,” and cited favorite podcasts such as “Planet Money” and “The Revisionist History.” However, Filocco said, “I usually listen to music when I’m getting ready for school in the morning so I like a relaxing feeling- I like Tristan Prettyman, Sarah Bareilles, and The Lumineers.”
Lori Kearney had too many favorite songs from a variety of genres and decided to focus on country, mentioning artists such as Mundy, Carrie Underwood, and Little Big Town. Dana Nazaretian leaned more towards iconic hits such as “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire, and “The Prayer” by Celine Dion.
The Science Department expressed most gratitude towards iconic classic rock bands, most notably The Eagles, AC/DC, and The Doors. Raymond Rodriguez in particular appreciated the head music of iconic bands such as Pink Floyd, and the feel good music of Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks’ songwriting prowess.
Additionally, Betsy Suskauer boasted diverse favorites such as Florida Georgia Line, Bruce Springsteen, and Michael Buble. Kimberly Quire’s music taste was also diverse, as she said, “I have a very eclectic taste in music so my favorites span a good bit of different genres.” Some of her favorites are classical music figures like Bach, new wave dance rock such as Duran Duran, classic rock such as AC/DC, Eagles, and Aerosmith, and even modern pop artists such as Bruno Mars and Imagine Dragons.
The Arts Department leaned towards a music taste that was very soothing and atmospheric, with Sr. Lisa Perkowski describing Lindsey Sterling, a contemporary violinist who plays pop and rock in addition to classical. She said, “since I’ve played violin since age 9, I appreciate that she brings new vitality to the instrument through pop music.” Perkowski also mentioned Jess Ray, an artist who blends folk with indie pop and deeply spiritual lyrics, and the classic favorite: “Oceans” by Hillsong Wonder.
Melissa Lima leaned towards pop such as Justin Bieber and Maggie Rogers, dispersed among the soothing, near-lullaby ballads of John Mayer. Mrs. Kimbler preferred iconic, orchestral songs such as “What A Wonderful World,” “Fly Me To The Moon,” and “The Shadow Of Your Smile.”
Robert Quinn represented the Math Department’s music taste well, expressing a deep gratitude for music, specifically classic and alternative rock. “I’ve probably been to over 25 Dave Matthews Band concerts,” he said, further developing his love for iconic jam bands.
David Bland also appreciated eclectic 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s music, citing hard rock such as AC/DC and Guns N Roses, along with some more soft rock like Queen and Billy Joel.
The rest of the department enjoyed folk such as Mumford and Sons and the Avett Brothers, pop figures such as Maroon 5 and Jason Mraz, and country.
The Language Department leaned in favor of pop, with a bit of pop punk dispersed throughout. Micky Stagg cited favorites such as U2, Imagine Dragons, and Billie Eilish, expressing gratitude for pop figures from all generations.
Ariana Newman’s favorites were more on the versatile side- she said, “My taste in music hasn’t really progressed since middle school and high school,” and mentioned favorites such as Blink-182 and The Doors.
Each department demonstrated a very versatile and unique taste with some common favorites in classic rock. Viewing our teachers through a lens of music offered an interesting perspective into their lives, faith, and important memories.