Middle School Fine & Performing Arts
Middle School students pursue their interests in the fine arts through participation in a selection of quarterly, semesterly, and year-long art classes. Fourth and fifth graders rotate through quarterly arts courses while sixth, seventh, and eighth graders rotate through semester-long and select year-long arts courses.
Throughout Middle School, students will focus on one or two concepts per year and explore a wide range of materials, such as graphite, paint, papier-mâché, printmaking, oil pastels, fabric, charcoal, photography, and stop-motion film. In addition to the classic skills of perspective, composition, and color, areas of study include scale and proportion, Renaissance architecture and history, installation art, the mobiles of Alexander Calder, and figure drawing.
In sixth, seventh, and eighth grade, there is an additional semester-long elective in media art that focuses on digital design and composition through Photoshop. Two additional year-long classes offered in seventh and eighth grade are film production, which focuses on storytelling through both live-action and stop-motion animation, and a selective year-long studio art course. Across all of our campuses, there are ongoing artwork displays and rotating exhibitions showcasing student work to the general public. There is also an annual gallery night each spring featuring select student works.
2020 -2021 Middle School Performance Schedule
Live performances are currently on hold.
Along with visual art, Middle School students in fourth and fifth grades explore the performing arts of dance, music, and theater through rotating quarterly classes. In addition to quarterly classes in fourth and fifth grade, and the semester-long classes in sixth-through-eighth-grade, students in all grades may elect to hone their skills in the performing arts through participation in the year-long performance groups of chorus, band, or strings.
In addition to visual art and media art semester classes, sixth-through-eighth-grade Middle School students have the option to select a semester-long class in dance, music, and theatre arts. In grades six through eight, there are also opportunities to participate in the selective groups of Jazz Band, Chamber Singers, and Selected Strings Orchestra. All of these musical groups perform several times a year at concerts, assemblies, and other school functions. Each school year concludes for these groups with participation in the national Music in the Parks Festival, where they have consistently received awards of excellence in every category.
In grades six through eight, students are also afforded the opportunity to participate in fully staged theatrical productions, either as performers or backstage as members of the crew. There are three annual productions: the sixth-grade play, the seventh-grade Shakespeare production (done in conjunction with the seventh-grade English department), and the selective eighth-grade Performance Ensemble.
Students throughout all the Middle School grades are offered performance opportunities in dance. Instruction and performances include a wide variety of techniques and cultural styles, from traditional to current-day. This diversity is highlighted in the annual dance performance celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and at the spring dance assembly.