In the place where life and mission resonate

SUNDAY SNAPSHOTS

Evelyn...

October 29, 1995|By Morit Chatlynne

In the place where life and mission resonate; Evelyn Flory: Headmistress at St. Paul's School for Girls praises academic and social opportunities.

Evelyn Flory, the new headmistress of St. Paul's School for Girls, knew that she wanted to return to the East Coast from the San Francisco Bay Area to be closer to her family and friends in New Jersey and just because she missed it.

When she arrived at the Baltimore County private school in July, Dr. Flory realized her decision to return provided other benefits. "One of the reasons, perhaps the most important reason, that I am so strongly attracted by St. Paul's School for Girls [is that] the school philosophy and mission resonate so deeply with the interests that have developed throughout my career -- in fact, throughout my life."

Dr. Flory thinks it is important that, in an environment like St. Paul's School, the students get a chance to assert themselves in the classroom in a way that girls do not seem to learn how to do as well in a co-educational environment.

However, she does add, "It's not like we're imposing a monastic lifestyle here." The school is on the same campus and shares a dining hall and arts programs with the St. Paul's School for Boys.

When Dr. Flory, who lives in Mays Chapel, isn't teaching classes or supervising activities at her school, she likes to swim, cross-country ski and sing in the faculty choir. She also loves the arts and foreign travel and enjoys both whenever she has the chance. But always the place she spends the most time is her school.

A few days ago, one of the young students from St. Paul's School for Girls gave Dr. Flory an unsolicited hug after an assembly. Dr. Flory was very touched.

"I'm thrilled to be at the school. It's hard to love a new place right away, but I love this place," says Dr. Flory.

@ In a sunny apartment in Roland Park, Forrest Tobey and his wife, Lynnell Lewis, weave a compelling tapestry of sound from traditions of the West and of the East, innovative music that invites you to reconsider assumptions about jazz, folk and the rightful place of the sitar.

Their group, Off Chants, has just released "Sketches of India," a CD that Washington Post reviewer Mike Joyce calls "an unusual harmonic, melodic and rhythmic convergence, . . . an accessible yet wonderfully evocative view of Indian culture and spiritual life."

On the CD, Ms. Lewis sings and Mr. Tobey plays piano, guitar and synthesizer. Guest musician John Protopapas, trained in classical Indian music, plays sitar and tabla. Other guest musicians perform on saxophone, recorder and clarinet. With the help of Mr. Protopapas, Ms. Lewis and Mr. Tobey began erasing the cultural bound aries of music five years ago when all three were living in India.

"Much of our music grew out of sitting in living rooms, making music together and letting our musical conversations grow into compositions," Mr. Tobey says.

Off Chants represents quite a musical odyssey. Mr. Tobey and Ms. Lewis began musical life together as the Chanterelles, a folk-jazz duo who played the Seattle music scene in the days before people could distinguish gourmet mushrooms from girl groups of the '60s. Next, they taught music at the Woodstock School, an international school in the Himalayan foothills. Then they resettled in Baltimore so that Mr. Tobey could attend graduate school at the Peabody Conservatory.

"Sketches of India" was recorded at Peabody, where Mr. Tobey is finishing his doctorate in conducting; he also serves as music director of Mount Vernon Unitarian Church in Alexandria, Va. Ms. Lewis teaches music to elementary students at Park School.

The couple say their recording explores the commingling of cultures, a phenomenon they believe informs turn-of-the-century

life.

"Music is the best way to express many worlds that are really becoming one world," Ms. Lewis says. "That may sound idealistic -- but that's who we are."

Linell Smith

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