World-Renowned Composer Jim Papoulis visits RPCS as 2017 CJC Artist-in-Residence

Jim Papoulis firmly believes that “music can heal, educate, celebrate, and empower the lives of children.” As our 2017 CJC Artist-in-Residence, we welcomed Jim to campus this spring and saw firsthand the powerful influence his passion for music had on our students. From the Preschool to our Semiquavers and AP Music Theory class, Jim engaged with students of all ages, in all three divisions. 

“Jim Papoulis brought us closer to his music and the incredible message that it conveys.” – Doug Forbes, Lower School Music Teacher
During his week on campus, Jim led classes on drumming and songwriting, and workshopped his compositions with Middle and Upper School Choruses. He took the time to teach his song “Music Can Change The World” to all three divisions, and he even helped second graders spontaneously write two full songs complete with their own lyrics.

For Performing Arts Department Head Lisa Diver, 2006, it was an especially unique opportunity to invite Jim to be our Artist-in-Residence. “I first met Jim Papoulis in 2003 when I performed one of his pieces with my choir (Children's Chorus of Maryland) at a Choral festival at Carnegie Hall,” says Ms. Diver. “Jim’s music is quite prominent in the world of music, and our choirs have sung many of his pieces throughout the years. When we began planning our Artist-in-Residence over a year ago, I took a chance to see if Jim was available and interested in coming to RPCS. Luckily for us, he was!”
Jim’s presence as Artist-in-Residence was not limited to the music classrooms. He made a strong impact on our entire School community. “Jim truly immersed himself within our community during his residency by not only working with our music classes, but also attending Middle and Upper School athletic games as well,” says Ms. Diver. “He connected with our students on so many different levels to such a point that he was able to commend our student-athletes at our Upper School morning meeting. Jim was committed to learning ‘our story,’ and it was quite evident how this experience meant a great deal to him as well.
Jim commented on his time at RPCS, describing our community as “something unique. There’s a spirit of encouragement here that is absolutely beautiful.”
Jim is inspired by the work he does with the Foundation for Small Voices (FSV), a not-for-profit organization he co-founded. Through FSV, Jim has traveled the world conducting songwriting workshops in countries including China, Japan, Kenya, Haiti, Norway, Uganda, Ireland, Jordan, Dubai and Greece – just to name a few. His music has been featured at the Beijing Olympics, 2008 Presidential Inauguration, World Cup South Africa 2010, and 9/11 10th Anniversary Concerts around the world. He has also worked with Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, the Chicago Symphony, the London Boys Choir, the Beijing Children’s Choir, the Tokyo String Quartet, and the New World Symphony. Click here to read more about Jim Papoulis.

Leah Inger, Jim Papoulis, Lisa Diver and Doug Forbes

To bring an artist with such world experience to RPCS was very meaningful for the Performing Arts Department.
“I hope it shows our students how there are no limits to what we are able to provide. That music is truly universal. The breadth and depth of what Jim Papoulis was able to discuss with our students was astonishing.”
– Lisa Diver, 2006, Performing Arts Department Head
Through the CJC Artist-in-Residence Program, RPCS has brought leading visual and performing artists to campus for almost 20 years. We are so honored to have had the opportunity to welcome Jim Papoulis to RPCS through the generous CJC Artist-in-Residence Endowment that was established in 1998 and endowed by the Caplan Family Foundation, Inc. of Baltimore and Catherine R. Caplan, 1978 of New York in memory of her father, the late Caswell J. Caplan.
Click here to read more about the CJC Artist-in-Residence Endowment.