Upper School Arts Program
Within the performing arts, there are yearlong music and singing groups as well semester-based acting, dance, music recording, and podcasting classes. Some classes are limited to certain grades or have prerequisites. Within the visual arts, most classes are semester based, with options in sewing, drawing, photography, and woodworking. Ceramics is a yearlong course.
Music: Chamber Music, Choir, Jazz Band, Rock Band; Recording and Production; Native American Flute; Music: Social Commentary.
Theater: Acting, Improvisational Theater, Players Troupe; Musical Theater: Dance Intensive, Technical Theater; Costume Design.
Visual Arts: Drawing, Design Studio, Portfolio; Ceramics, Woodworking; Sewing, Jewelry; Interactive Multimedia, Podcasting, Photography, Video Production.
Students in chamber music take part in various combinations of chamber ensembles, such as string quartet, piano quintet, or saxophone choir. Repertoire is chosen based on the combination of groups that can be made. Students will have input about repertoire and design a concert based on their interests. The class prepares students for performances that take place on and off campus. This course can be taken more than once for credit with instructor approval.
Introduction & History of the Native American Flute
Study the history and origin of the native flute and its impact on native cultures. Learn how the flute is made and be able to play with basic techniques.
Jazz Band is a great vehicle to find your own identity and make music with others. Students learn how to use the necessary tools to comfortably express themselves through their instrument in the tradition of jazz. These tools include improvisation, an understanding of music theory, instrument technique, jazz history, and transcriptions. We will put our own fingerprints on this historic yet innovative art form. This ensemble performs live throughout the year. The Jazz Band class can be taken more than once for credit. Auditions are held in June.
Students in choir participate in a performing (vocal) ensemble. Students learn and study a variety of pieces of choral literature, ranging in style from the common practice era (1600-1900) to today. Through the study of such a broad range of repertoire, students become versatile performers who exhibit proper technique relevant to a particular style or era. While the class takes place before the start of the school, singing is a great way to start the day!
Music Recording & Production
If you’re a musician or music enthusiast looking to record and produce music, this class is for you. Students work with musicians in both live and studio settings as they develop their skill in the art of recording. This class covers all aspects of the recording studio workflow, from how to properly mic singers and instruments to mixing and producing a professional track. Having some background in music is highly recommended, but not required.
This class is geared toward students who have little to no experience recording audio and want to use the podcast medium to tell and curate immersive stories, hold conversations or interviews on relevant topics, and dive into the world of broadcast audio. We’ll learn the essentials of using audio recording equipment, studio and field recording techniques, interview strategies, and explore the possibilities of telling stories with sound.
Rock Band is open to all Upper School musicians and non-musicians who want to play music in a collaborative and supportive setting. We are looking for a variety of instruments, including but not limited to, guitar, bass, drums, percussionists, vocalists, wind, brass, horns, piano, and keyboards. This course can be taken more than once for credit.
Students learn how to take a song from an idea to a finished product that is ready to share with the world. We will cover lyrical strategies and the essentials of music theory to help build your writing skills. We’ll learn how to collaborate with other musicians and creatives to take your music to the next level whether it’s on stage or in the studio.
This class teaches the fundamentals of acting, drawing on multiple techniques and disciplines to provide students with a broad grounding in performance skills. Students explore scene study and selected texts, as well as the physical, vocal, and emotional aspects of their actor instruments. This class culminates with in-class scenes and monologues that are presented to an invited audience.
Students build on their existing performance skills to pursue more nuanced acting techniques. Drawing on physical theater, character analysis and genre specific techniques, students hone their skills while exploring various styles of performance. The class culminates in a public performance.
This class is for experienced acting students looking to deepen their skills. Students perform in-depth script analysis and focus on nuanced and specific character creation. Students are asked to read full plays for analysis, as well as engage with in-class acting exercises. Improvisation work will include long-form scenes and narrative storytelling.
CG Players Troupe
Based on a small-troupe model, this class focuses on the production of one of the year’s main stage productions. Class meets after school; students are assigned roles after an audition process. All interested students are guaranteed a role. In addition to honing acting technique and character creation, students will focus on communication and ensemble-building skills. This course can be taken more than once for credit with instructor approval. Auditions held before the start of each play.
CG Theater Tech
If you enjoy working with your hands, problem solving and becoming part of a team, this is the class for you. Students learn by doing in the areas of lighting, sound, costumes, props and sets. This course is open to all Upper School students.
CG Theater Tech II
This course allows advanced theater tech students to deepen their technical and design skills in the areas of carpentry, scenic painting, prop building, sound, and lighting design. This class may require after-school and weekend commitments.
Musical Theater: Dance Intensive
This course focuses on dance for musical theater. There is a strong tap focus, in addition to jazz and other styles for musical theater. Dance skill development will take priority, along with exploring dance history in musical theater and choreography for musical theater. This class can be taken for either Arts or PE credit.
This class teaches the basics of jewelry making with individualized projects for students. We will do projects in bead stringing, bead weaving and chainmail. Students who enjoy working with their hands and creating will enjoy this class.
This class teaches the basics of hand and machine sewing with individualized projects for students. Students who enjoy working with their hands and creating will enjoy this class. students.
Students work with clay and glazes in both functional and sculptural projects. They acquire the basic skills required to throw simple forms on the potter’s wheel and work with slabs and coils to construct hand-built forms. Many specific projects are assigned, but time will be available for students to work on projects of their own design.
Design Studio is an opportunity to explore a wide variety of 2-D and 3-D art-making materials and processes. We will brainstorm, draw, paint, prototype, design, and build several individual projects. We will learn major design concepts and engineering principles and apply them to your own unique art projects. We will also have the opportunity to focus on an area of particular interest such as architecture, fashion design, graphic design, and more!
Students explore a wide variety of drawing materials and processes. We will challenge a number of preconceptions and expectations of what a “drawing” can be. You will explore mark-making in 2-D, 3-D and Mixed Media. So, you may begin your semester as someone experienced creating pencil drawings on paper, but then you may start using ball point pen on wood, acrylic paint on a discarded coffee table, stringing wire across a public space to divide it up, or making a self-portrait with a sewing machine.
Using a mixture of digital and analog media, we’ll create art that can only be fully experienced when the audience interacts with it through touch, motion, or other means. Through video, images, audio, and some simple computer programming, we’ll build immersive art installations like haunted houses, escape rooms, and other interactive exhibits. Previous arts experience in some area (painting, drawing, set design, carpentry, costume design, audio, graphics, photo, video, etc.) is recommended.
Intro to Photography & Video
Students learn foundational skills in photography and videography, including strategies and techniques for taking great photos with any camera, how to use various types of professional camera equipment, and the basics of lighting, photo and video editing. We’ll capture portraits, still life, architecture, interviews, landscapes, and more to build a portfolio of our best work.
Portfolio is a studio-intensive course where advanced students experienced in fine arts (drawing, painting, sculpture) and design (fashion, industrial, and product design) can develop portfolios for college admission. Students are given creative prompts to work through based on trends in contemporary and historical artistic practice, but the primary emphasis of the course is for students to develop an independent studio practice. Each artist is expected to conceptualize and produce a concentration, consisting of a series of pieces linked by materials, process, and thematic connections. Artists collaborate and critique one another’s work and meet one-on-one with their teacher for instruction in technique, as well as focus on crafting thematically honed portfolios. Students dedicate themselves to their individual studio practice, in-depth inquiry, and fully commit to developing ongoing work outside of assigned class meeting times. This course can be taken more than once for credit with instructor approval. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor is required prior to registration.
Studio Explorations is for students who are looking to expand their technical skill sets and broaden their conceptual thinking. Students of all skill levels are welcome. Students engage in a variety of materials and processes including painting, printmaking, mixed media, etc.
Students work on a variety of projects, using both hand and power tools. Examples include bowls, plates, and lamps (lathe work), tables and chairs, jewelry, mask, tools, and sculpture. Some techniques to be explored are lamination, steam bending, jig design and construction, and hand-cut joinery. Interest, imagination, and perseverance are the essential ingredients needed.