Reverend Mulligan clarifies announcement about future Music Chapels


Laney Chang

Karli Fisher performs a mashup of “Stand by Me” and “Lean on Me.”

The music that reverberated through the church was not the soothing piano or organ of traditional chapels. Instead, the room was filled with the metallic sound of electric guitars and the beat of drum sets as students took the stage to perform at Music Chapel on April 2.

Music Chapel is a unique way for students to showcase their musical talents on their own, with a partner or with their bands. Before the performance began, Director of Spiritual Life Ned Mulligan announced that Music Chapel will not take place next year.

The members of Claremont Heir, who performed in Music Chapel, were surprised by this announcement. Drummer Lily Pesikoff recalls feeling upset at the comment because she interpreted it as a permanent decision not to continue Music Chapel.

“It’s always a struggle to find nights when [the members of Claremont Heir] are all available [to perform],” Pesikoff said. “Music Chapel is an event we were all going to be at, and it’s fun to play as a band for people.”

Next year, the musical performance will not be called Music Chapel, and it will not be organized by Chapel Guild. If it is organized and approved by the Dean’s Office, the performance will be held in the VST, where it has been held for past three years.

According to Mulligan, when administrators implemented the seven-day rotation schedule, they reserved the chapel period exclusively for chapels in the church. Other Upper School gatherings, such as Affinity Group presentations and performances, were scheduled during the Assembly period in the VST.

“Music Chapel has historically been a musical performance and assembly in the VST,” Mulligan said. “With the rotation change, the events which we had called chapels but had held in the VST were removed from the chapel calendar and renamed.”

According to Mulligan, this year’s Music Chapel is the only one that will ever be held in the church. He suggests that if students would like to have a Music Chapel, they should reserve the VST before the upcoming school year with the Dean’s Office.

“Chapel Guild is not responsible for scheduling this performance, but if they choose to do so outside of their Guild responsibilities for next year, they are certainly entitled to,” Mulligan said.

Although Music Chapel was supposed to be in the VST, scheduling this year’s Music Chapel did not align with the VST’s schedule.

According to Special Events Chair of Chapel Guild senior Juliette Draper, Chapel Guild assumed that Music Chapel was reserved for the VST. However, Mulligan claims that the event was never scheduled on the Chapel Guild Calendar. Originally, there was a request to have a talent show, yet the Dean’s Office denied it because there was not available time in the VST.

Later, Mulligan was asked to hold the performance during the chapel period. After students approached the administration again about the event, the Dean’s Office decided that there would be a performance in the church with student readings from the podium.

“I was told what the conditions would be, and, under the circumstances, I agreed,” Mulligan said.   

According to Draper, Chapel Guild will attempt to schedule next year’s Music Chapel in an assembly period or chapel period in the VST.

“[Chapel Guild is] trying to rebrand the idea from what Music Chapel has been in years past because people are being more strict about how we can use the church, or even the term chapel,” Draper said. “There are a couple days when we overlap who has what jurisdiction, but Music Chapel will continue in the future.”