St. Martin’s sings Pride, outdoor music serenades in Germantown 

by Michael Caruso
Posted 6/20/24

Plymouth Meeting’s Kris Rudzinski, director of the Germantown Branch of Settlement Music School, has announced a full schedule.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

St. Martin’s sings Pride, outdoor music serenades in Germantown 


Plymouth Meeting’s Kris Rudzinski, director of the Germantown Branch of Settlement Music School, has announced a full schedule of concerts and instruction for its summer semester, running from June 26 through August 22 and beyond. The Germantown Branch is located at 6128 Germantown Avenue.

Rudzinski explained, “The Germantown Branch will be offering individual instruction during our summer session in piano, guitar, drums/percussion, violin, viola, cello, voice, flute, saxophone and clarinet.”

The concert season opened June 18 with a recital performed by trumpeter El-Bakar. The season continues July 16 with a performance by saxophonist Fostina Dixon; Aug. 20 with vocalist and trumpeter John Dimase; and concludes Sept. 17 with drummer/percussionist Kimpedro Rodriguez. 

“All the performances will be held outdoors, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., in the Germantown Playformance Park at the school,” Rudzinski said. “In the event of inclement weather, the outdoor concerts will be moved indoors to the Branch’s spacious auditorium.”

Settlement Music School was founded in 1908 as an outgrowth of the “Settlement House” movement in the late 19th century that strove to help recent immigrants assimilate into American life. It first occupied several row houses along the south side of the 400 block of Christian Street in the Queen Village section of South Philadelphia. 

The name “Queen Village” was given to the original neighborhood by the first settlers along the Delaware River – Swedes whose queen was named Christina. They arrived decades before William Penn and his Quakers.

In 1917, Mary Louise Curtis provided the money to construct the school’s first originally intended building, named after her and still located (although substantially expanded) at 416 Queen Street – literally across the street. In 1924, Curtis subsequently donated the money to establish the Curtis Institute of Music at 18th and Locust Streets, just east of Rittenhouse Square in Center City. Now celebrating its centenary, Curtis remains the world’s most elite music conservatory.

The Germantown Branch was Settlement’s first expansion outside South Philadelphia. The current building was originally built in 1854 as the family home of Charles Magarge. Following financial “embarrassments,” the mansion was abandoned in 1883 through 1885. It was used as the home of the Franklin School for Boys from 1885-90, the Young Republicans Club from 1893-1913, and the African American YWCA from 1917-1958.

Settlement Music School purchased the property in 1958 and opened its doors in 1959. It is the second largest branch in the five-school system, following in size the central Mary Louise Curtis Branch. 

For more information about all activities at the Germantown Branch of Settlement Music School, call 215-320-2610 or visit

‘Pride Evensong’ at St. Martin’s Church

For the third year in a row, the Episcopal Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Chestnut Hill, hosted a “Pride Evensong'' to celebrate the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community to the parish, the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, the Episcopal Church USA, and the 85-million-member strong Anglican Communion, of which it is a member. The parish’s director of music and arts, Tyrone Whiting, conducted stirring performances of music coming from the LGBTQ+ community. Featured performers were the members of the Church Choir, guest organist Gabriel Benton, and the Fairmount String Quartet, the parish’s artists-in-residence.

 The musical roster got underway with a lovely reading of Audrey Snyder’s choral arrangement of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The pop standard was sung by Judy Garland in the classic 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz.” For many generations, Garland – along with Marilyn Monroe – was an inspirational icon within the LGBTQ+ community.

The two traditional choral pieces of Anglican Choral Evensong – the “Magnificat” and “Nunc Dimittis” – were heard in settings by Sarah MacDonald. The liturgy’s anthem was Calvin Hampton’s “A Repeating Alleluia” while the Responses were composed by James Paul Buonemani. All were sung with heartfelt passion.

You can contact NOTEWORTHY at