A  coed Friends school, pre-K to 12, on 47 acres in East Falls, Philadelphia


Celebrating the Arts & Head of School Darryl J. Ford

Kurt Elling sings into a microphone

Celebrating the Arts & Darryl J. Ford

The Penn Charter community celebrated the school’s commitment to the arts and the leadership of Head of School Darryl J. Ford, who is in his final year at PC, at a special concert performance by jazz vocalist Kurt Elling on Tuesday, February 28 at Penn Charter's David L. Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts.

The concert ended a day of events featuring the two-time Grammy Award-winning Elling, including a school-day session with Upper School jazz vocalists and ensembles, and a meet-and-greet with students.

The concert was an arts-themed evening celebration for Darryl, who counts Elling among his favorite musicians. Darryl has served PC for 26 years, first as the director of the Middle School then, for the last 16, as head of school. A robust arts program has been a focal point during his tenure, along with strong academics and athletics offerings. In 2010, the David L. Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts opened on campus. In the years since, thousands of students have showcased their musical, vocal and performing talents on the Kurtz Center stage, and thousands more have learned to play a range of instruments and pursue other passions through their exposure to the arts at PC.

About Kurt Elling

Renowned for his combination of robust swing and poetic insight, Kurt Elling is among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. The New York Times called him “the standout male vocalist of our time” and The Guardian (UK) has named him “one of jazz’s all-time great vocalists.”

Over a 25-year career of touring and recording, Elling has won three Prix du Jazz Vocal (France), two German Echo Awards, two Dutch Edison Awards, and has been nominated for a Grammy Award 15 times. He has had a 14-year run atop the DownBeat Critics and Readers polls, and has won 12 Jazz Journalists Awards for “Male Vocalist of the Year.”

Elling has recorded and toured with Branford Marsalis, Danilo Perez, Stefon Harris, Fred Hersch, James Morrison and Charlie Hunter, and has performed extensively with larger ensembles like the Clayton/Hamilton Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra, the BBC Concert Symphony and the Irish Radio and Television Orchestra.

Elling’s tours have included UNESCO-sponsored “International Jazz Day” performances in Havana, Cuba; St. Petersburg, Russia; Melbourne, Australia; and Washington, D.C. He has twice performed at the White House, including in collaboration with the late Marvin Hamlisch and the National Symphony Orchestra for President Obama’s first state dinner.