All Middle School students take arts classes. In sixth and seventh grade, they study two of the three departments: visual arts, music (chorus, orchestra, band), or theater, dance, and film. In eighth grade, they concentrate on a full-year course in one of these departments. In the after-school program, they can join Art Squad, Maker Alliance, Rock N Jazz Band, and Ceramics, which are led by the arts faculty. Dance is offered during an activity period.
Sixth and seventh graders with an interest in beginning a musical instrument or continuing their study may enroll in a string ensemble or concert band. They also may choose chorus. In eighth grade, the music program has longer and more frequent class meetings. Students may take part in Arioso (the eighth grade choral ensemble), orchestra, the wind ensemble, and concert band.
Students learn a variety of techniques and mediums. During Middle School Project Week, a group takes on a large-scale collaboration that has become part of the school’s permanent collection, including a model of a life-size woolly mammoth, a series of multimedia collages inspired by The Odyssey, and the multimedia collage, “Lindyscape,” (above) inspired by the arts building and its surroundings.
Theater, Dance, Film
The Middle School puts on two productions a year, a musical and a drama or comedy. In 2018-2019, the students performed Lion King JR, and “The American Revolution or #nothamilton,” a takeoff on the Broadway show. Middle Schoolers also may study dance as a class and as an optional activity.