Band is open to all students who wish to learn a musical instrument, regardless of playing level. The instruments students play include flute, clarinet, oboe, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone, tuba or percussion. Band students learn to play a variety of musical genres and cultures.
Students from all three grades in the Middle School are eligible to participate in chorus. Here students study a variety of music from various styles and different cultures, and learn proper singing technique, harmony singing and basic music theory. The Middle School chorus performs at two concerts each school year.
Students from all three grades in Middle School are able to choose dance as a year-long option for their performing arts class. In dance, students learn a variety of dance styles including jazz, musical theater, modern, ballet, tap and hip hop. They also explore doing their own choreography and setting dances on their fellow classmates. Students learn the health benefits of dance as well as social awareness with dance. The dance class presents two evening performances during the year.
In 6th grade, students explore different theatrical techniques including mime, improvisation and vocal training. They create stories that explore traditional structures—introduction, building, action, problem and resolution. The primary focus is on self-exploration—students use storytelling to better understand their world and how they fit into it. Performance is limited to the class for the purpose of feedback on clarity and story structure.
Eighth grade drama is dedicated to bridging creative drama, which is more play based, to a more structured introduction to communication techniques and basic acting skills. The course explores areas of ensemble building, communicating with words and sounds, basic improvisation, basic stage terminology, storytelling, reader's theatre, comedic and dramatic scenes, and monologues.
Seventh grade music is an opportunity for students to learn the basics of music theory including note and rhythm reading, chords and chord progressions, then learn to play the above ideas in MIDI keyboards. Students also learn to utilize a computerized composition program called Sibelius in which they play their musical ideas on the keyboards, and it is electronically scored directly to a music score on a computer.
Eighth grade music centers around music appreciation and music history covering over a thousand years. Students learn about the development of music, what was happening in the world at the time and music's effect on social change. Students also experience music through activities involving their own creativity—listening to a variety of musical literature, singing, playing, analyzing and composing music. Students build on their previous year's work with the Sibelius computer composition program to create their own musical compositions.
Theater Arts (7th and 8th Grade)
The Theater Arts program is available to all 7th and 8th grade students, and was developed to expose our students to more direct involvement aspects of theater arts. Students choose either acting or technical theater.