Student Life

Helena Raskob Arts Institute

Music and Fine Arts Education at Archmere

Archmere Academy is home to the Helena Raskob Arts Institute. Founded in 2021, the Institute educates members of the Archmere community and beyond in music and the fine arts in a historic setting. Led by Mary Ellen Schauber, the Helena Raskob Arts Institute encompasses several groups, each with specific objectives and interests, but all related to the preservation and understanding of music and the fine arts. 

Music Studios at Archmere

The Institute offers individual music lessons to Archmere students on campus in the Patio. Students can take private lessons in piano, voice, and organ. For students with a specific interest in other instrumental lessons, the Institute Director will work to identify a teacher who might be available to join the studio at Archmere. Parents and students interested in music lessons through the Helena Raskob Arts Institute may contact the director, Mary Ellen Schauber.

The studio program includes chamber music, enabling orchestra students to have an on-campus opportunity to develop chamber music skills through The Institute. Interested students already taking lessons in strings, woodwinds, and brass instruments will receive coaching for various chamber ensembles and be offered performance opportunities at Archmere.

Summer 2022 Offerings

This summer, the Helena Raskob Arts Institute is offering four workshops that take place over three days from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. All students will have a performance showcase on July 28 with a rehearsal on July 27. 

Sight Singing Boot Camp — June 15–17
This is a great class for choral singers and anyone looking to improve the very useful skill of sightreading. Beginners and musicians of all levels are welcome!

Those 24 Italian Arias — June 22–24
Explore the famous 24 arias and more while building good techniques for your voice.

Overview of Mozart Operas — July 13–15
Learn about and perform songs and ensembles from some of Mozart's famous operas: Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, and more. 

Golden Age of Broadway — July 20–22
Learn to perform in the style of great masters of Broadway: Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lorenz, Kern, Gershwin, Porter, Berlin, and more! 

Students who are interested in any workshop should contact Mary Ellen Schauber. The cost for attending each three-day workshop is $240, which includes all materials. The discounted cost for the full four-workshop package is $900. 

Private Lessons This Summer
Lessons in organ, piano, and voice are currently offered at the Institute. Requests for teachers of other instruments may be submitted, for which the student will be directed to a teacher outside of the Institute, if the teacher is not able to come to campus. Schedules and lesson fees are determined by and paid directly to the teacher.

Friends of the Patio & The Green Concert and Lecture Series

Established in 2011, The Helena Springer Green Raskob Concert and Lecture Series began first, as a venue for musical performances by local and regional talent and student groups. In 2018, it evolved to include lectures on aspects of the Patio, as more in-depth research began about the estate, which is presented in Archmere: An American Country Estate, written by a former faculty member, Thomas Manerchia ‘61. Funds from sponsorships and ticket sales help offset the expenses of the programming, with the remaining proceeds supporting the Stanley Praiss ‘57 Memorial Restoration Fund.

The Archmere Academy Organ Society

In 2014, Mark and Carol Dresden gifted Archmere Academy with a historic 1913 Kimball Theater Organ. The console was initially installed in the State Theater in Philadelphia and traveled to several other places before landing in the John Wanamaker Department Store in Philadelphia. Mark and Carol Dresden restored and modernized the organ with the help of philanthropist Bill Church.

Since that time, the organ has been expanded with additional ranks (pipes) and a second classical console. All of the labor and materials were donated through the benefactions of Bill Church and other local organ enthusiasts. The Organ Society was formed in 2019 to ensure the maintenance of the organ and ensure its regular use for concert work and organ study. The organ debut is planned for Spring 2023.

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  • Photo of Mary Ellen Schauber

    Mary Ellen Schauber 

    Director of the Helena Raskob Arts Institute
    302-798-6632 Ext 305

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Archmere Academy is a private, Catholic, college preparatory co-educational academy,
grades 9-12 founded in 1932 by the Norbertine Fathers.