By Emma Drzala (V)

    As the 2020-2021 school year comes to a close, Ms. Patty Finn has announced her retirement from the Lower School. After teaching at Pingry for thirty-seven years, Ms. Finn describes the Short Hills music room as her “happy place.” She has worked with students ranging from Kindergarten to Grade 3, as well as with Grade 4 students learning the flute and Grade 5 handbell players. During her years at Pingry, Ms. Finn has worked with numerous colleagues in the Arts Department, including fellow lower school music teachers Mr. Thomas Berdos and Ms. Emma Liu, and high school teachers Dr. Andrew Moore and Mr. Jay Winston. 

    Prior to working at Pingry, Ms. Finn studied at both Douglass College and Rutgers Graduate School for a degree in musical education. Her studies were augmented by multiple Orff workshops, a session at the College of Piping on Prince Edward Island, and additional classes at the Gaelic College in Nova Scotia. These additional courses serve as proof to her students that a person’s education is not limited to just college and graduate school: there is always more to learn. This past year, Ms. Finn has played the flute in her church, as well as continuing to teach music in her local library. She has found herself giving private lessons to those looking to explore and expand their musical capabilities. 

    Looking back, Ms. Finn found it hard to choose a single moment that defined her time at Pingry, but she said she will always think back fondly to the annual performance of “This Day of Peace” during the holiday concert. Ms. Finn explained her love for this performance, expressing that “there is nothing better than the voices of 300 children raised in song.” She will forever cherish the relationships she forged with the students and faculty at Pingry and considers herself fortunate to “have spent [her] life making music.” As a former student of Ms. Finn’s, I will say that she will be greatly missed as a valued member of the Pingry community, and we all wish her well in her future endeavors!