Singers in the Upper School Glee Club along with their Director Greg Vick spent the past year working closely with musician and alumnus Wells Hanley '93, the School’s 2022-2023 Artist-In-Residence.
Through research conducted in collaboration with The Center for the Study of Boys, students in the Middle and Upper Schools shared insight into the pressures they feel in their own journey from boyhood to manhood.
Hanley synthesized these perspectives through the lens of the mythic “Hero’s Journey” and composed “The Call”, which he premiered with the ensemble in Louis F. Ryan Recital Hall in May 2023. His talk and the final performance were a wonderful example of how research into the lived experiences of our boys can inform the creation of a powerful piece of art.
Pianist and St. Christopher's graduate Wells Hanley '93 is a seasoned veteran of the jazz, rock, folk and musical theater scenes, having performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Spoleto Festival and other major clubs and festivals all over the United States and Europe. His performance and recording credits include collaborations with artists across varying genres, including Dave Matthews, Wynton Marsalis, David Liebman, Bob Moses and Tom Wopat.
Hanley’s nearly 30 years of meditative experience coupled with his interest in psychology and Jungian studies have informed his intentional use of music for healing and inspired his gradual movement from the stage into more intimate one-on-one environments.
He marries his two passions of music and healing through private coaching sessions, collaborative songwriting, and public workshops such as “healing trauma through song” which was offered at the Psychology Networker National Convention. A sought after teacher and creative coach, Wells has taught at The New School in New York, The University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University where he currently leads classes on jazz piano and improvisation.
Hamilton Glass' Biography: Hamilton Glass is a renowned muralist celebrated for his vibrant and thought-provoking artwork. With a unique ability to merge social commentary and visual storytelling, Glass has become a prominent figure in the contemporary street art scene. His murals, characterized by bold colors, intricate patterns and captivating detail, grace buildings and public spaces worldwide, leaving a lasting impact on viewers. Through his art, Glass explores themes of cultural identity, social justice and human connection, aiming to spark dialogue and inspire change. He extends his artistic vision beyond walls, engaging in community projects and workshops, empowering others through creativity. With his dedication to art as a catalyst for social transformation, Glass continues to break boundaries and contribute to the dynamic tapestry of the global street art movement.
Inspired by his critically acclaimed Mending Walls and All In Together initiatives, St. Christopher's invited muralist Hamilton Glass to be the first Sisk Artist in Residence during the 2021-2022 school year. With leadership from Lower School Art Teacher Meg Foster and Assistant Head of School for Community Engagement Ed Cowell, Lower School students from St. Christopher's spent time together with Lower School students from the Anna Julia Cooper School, discussing shared community values and creating artwork that Hamilton incorporated into two collaborative murals, one for each school to display. The experience and the finished products reinforce that art holds significant power as a tool for building connections within our broader community.