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Italian Artist Paolo Schianchi Hits Just the Right Note as 2024 Dillon Moran Musician in Residence

Emily Leach '24
This January, Severn School welcomed famed Italian musician Paolo Schianchi as the 2024 Dillon Moran Musician in Residence.
Since 2012, the Dillion Moran Musician in Residence program has honored Dillon Moran, Severn School Class of 2013, for his exemplary musicianship and dedication to Severn School’s music program.
Each year, through the Dillon Moran Musician in Residence program, Severn honors the late Moran by inviting outside musicians to spend time at Severn, inspiring students, faculty, and the community by showcasing different genres of music. This year, Severn School students were mentored by a one-of-a-kind musician, Paolo Schianchi. An accomplished guitarist from Parma, Italy, Schniachi is most well-known for his ability to play and perform with a 49-string guitar.
Not only is Schianchi a world-class guitarist, but he is also a composer, arranger, researcher, and inventor. Schianchi specializes in different guitar variations, including the Renaissance lute, the electric guitar, and various instruments he designed and created himself. His most recent innovation, The Octopus, is an electro-acoustic system that allows him to play several guitars simultaneously with both his hands and feet. This unique system can alter and create live new sounds due to Schianchi’s new state-of-the-art technology.
From January 18-20, Severn students had the unique opportunity to see Schianchi perform and learn from him individually in the classroom. For example, students in Severn's Vocal Ensemble and Treble Choir worked with Schianchi during the school day to prepare for a performance of "Flow My Tears" at the annual Musician in Residence concert on January 20.
"Flow my Tears" is a beautiful but powerful lute piece written in 1596 by John Dowland. With Schianchi directing and instructing students for this piece, both choirs benefited from the acclaimed musician’s critiques and feedback during rehearsals leading up to the show.
Additionally, students in the Instrumental Ensemble and Jam Band prepared Renaissance pieces, collaborating with Schniachi to showcase these at the concert as well. During Schianchi’s time in residence, each student had the opportunity to have one-on-one discussions and receive feedback while continuing to grow their knowledge of Renaissance music. The entire experience of working with and learning from a seasonal professional allowed for abundant musical growth across Severn's music program, as students received distinctive insight into performance and music during the Renaissance.
Over the years, Severn School's Musician in Residence program has allowed students to learn and become inspired personally by various musicians and cultures worldwide. Working alongside world-renowned musicians such as Paolo Schianchi allows students to explore different genres and improve their skills. This musical educational opportunity has provided students with an innovative and unique perspective, all while continuing to honor Dillon Moran's legacy.

About the Dillon Moran Musician in Residence Program
The Dillon Moran Musician in Residence program was created to commemorate the passion, exuberance, and solid musicianship exemplified by Dillon Moran, a Severn student whose life was tragically cut short in the fall of 2011 as the result of an accident at his home in Davidsonville, Maryland. The purpose of the program is to invite outside musicians to spend a defined period of time at Severn working with students, faculty, and the entire community to inspire, create, and perform great music. Past performers include pianist Julian Gargiulo, local band Super City, and singer-songwriter Mackenzie Shivers. To learn more about the Dillon Moran Musician in Residence program, visit our website.  

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