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Upper School
Upper School

Arts

The philosophy of the Art, Dance, Music, and Theatre Departments is to engage and enlighten students in the arts and allow them to discover a vehicle to develop the expressive aspects of their lives. Elective courses allow students choices in which to pursue their artistic spirit. Recitals, concerts, gallery showings, dance performances, and theatre productions engage the entire community in a process of creative comprehension. The Arts are a vital part of Walker's curriculum. 

All students are required to take at least 1.5 credits (three semesters) in the Arts – at least one, preferably two, in freshman or sophomore year and at least one in the junior or senior year from two of the following areas: music, visual arts or theatre. Studio art courses may be repeated with departmental permission for more in-depth work. Students are encouraged to enroll in Choir throughout their years at Walker’s.

Courses in this department:

Dance

Dance Workshop

Open to Grades: 9-12
(Fall and Winter Commitment) By Audition
Fulfills Team Sport Requirement 


Dance Workshop is the advanced level dance company at Walker’s. Students are selected by audition and must commit to dance for the fall and winter seasons. Dance Workshop members take daily advanced level technique classes in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Character, and Stretch & Strengthen. These classes are supplemented with weekly rehearsals for student, faculty, and guest artist choreography. Senior members of Dance Workshop take choreography classes and run their own rehearsals. Dance Workshop performs in the annual Winter Dance Concert.

Dance Ensemble

Open to Grades: 9-12
(Fall and Winter Commitment) by Audition 
Fulfills Team Sport Requirement 


Dance Ensemble is the high intermediate level dance company at Walker’s. Students are selected by audition and must commit to dance for the fall and winter seasons. Dance Ensemble members take daily intermediate level technique classes in Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Character. This group also has the opportunity to work with guest artists and they perform in the annual Winter Dance Concert.

Dance Corps

Open to Grades: 9-12
(Fall and Winter Commitment) by Audition 
Fulfills Team Sport Requirement 


Dance Corps is for students who would like to commit to dance for the fall and winter seasons and participate in the annual Winter Dance Concert. These students participate in weekly technique classes at their appropriate level in Ballet, Modern, and Jazz. This group also has the opportunity to work with guest artists and they perform in the annual Winter Dance Concert.

General Enrollment Dance

Open to Grades: 9-12
Open registration: Fall, Winter, and Spring 


These classes are open to students at any level of dance from beginner-advanced. Students participating in the general enrollment classes have exposure to ballet, modern, jazz and cultural dance forms. In the spring, students are placed in classes by level (beginner-advanced).

Theatre

Playwriting and Performance (Semester)

Credit: .5

Goal: To write a one-act play. Students will learn about the unique qualities of playwriting through the writing of their own original work.  The class as a whole will compile and write the play together and perform a staged reading for evaluation by a forum of faculty. Students will learn specific techniques including the use of conflict, game playing, relationships, and a sense of mystery. This course will combine writing and theatrical performance.

Acting Techniques (Semester)

Credit: .5

This one-semester class introduces students to basic acting techniques, including effective use of the voice, principles of stage movement, building a character, and improvisation. The course is designed for students interested in exploring theatre as a means of personal development and expression, as well as for those who wish to begin to study the craft of acting. Students are expected to memorize lines, write journals, and be evaluated on their performances.

Acting Values (Semester)

Prerequisite: Acting Techniques, Collaborative Arts Project, Participation in the Winter Play or Spring Music, or Permission of the Department
Credit: .5


The goal of this course is to develop self-awareness, master acting guideposts, and build on previous knowledge of stage acting through the use of scenes, improvisation, and monologues. Acting Values will use a text, A Challenge for the Actor by Uta Hagen, but it will not be limited to the activities and skills outlined by Hagen. Students will study techniques including Imaginary If, Substitution, The Moment Before, Subtext, Communication vs. Competition, and Importance among others.  Students will leave with a solid understanding of acting technique with an emphasis toward performing.

Winter Play

Open to Grades: 9-12
Offered: Nov.-Feb.
Prerequisite: Audition in November 
Credit: Winter Season Athletics 


During the winter months, cast members rehearse a play which is presented to the community in mid-February. Past productions have included Good Help is so Hard to Murder, Haiku, Animal Farm, All in the Timing, Rope, and an original Shakespearean adaptation, The Food of Love.

Spring Musical

Open to Grades: 9-12
Offered: Feb-May
Prerequisite: Audition in February 
Credit: Spring Season Athletics 


The Theatre, Music, and Dance Departments collaborate on a full-scale musical that goes up in May. Recent productions include Seussical, The Boyfriend, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Godspell, Illyria, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, Noises Off!, and Beauty and the Beast.

Music

Choir

Open to Grades: 9-12, open without audition 
Credit: 1 


A full Arts credit is given for this course; it will fulfill the graduation requirement but is not figured into GPA. Choir is a full–year course and the group performs regularly at many school functions and presents two major choral concerts.

Music Theory

Open to Grades: 9-12
Credit: 1 


A two–semester course that can be taken as a lesson or a credited course. The course is taught at the level of the student and progresses according to her capacity. It presents the basics of music theory, dictation and notation, and ear training. The advanced student may study composition and musical analysis.

Music Major Program

Open to Grades: 9-12
Credit: 1 


Credit is given to students who wish to take two private lessons a week or two music disciplines, not including Choir. A half credit is given along with grades and comments for each semester. Music Majors are expected to perform during the school year.

Music Lessons

Open to Grades: 6-12; Additional Fee
Extra-Curricular Activity 


Private lessons are offered on many instruments. There are many recitals and chapels that involve the Music Program, and public performance in these events is encouraged. 
 

Financial Commitment: Private lessons are billed through the Business Office. Please refer to the booklet that contains all financial agreements and return the completed information form. The Music Instruction Agreement must be returned before lessons can be given to a student.

Chamber Ensembles

Open to Grades: 9-12, by audition only
Extra-curricular Activity 


The chamber ensembles afford the serious musician the opportunity to perform fine works. Students must be proficient on their instrument and enjoy working in a focused, musical environment. These ensembles are called upon to perform at many functions throughout the school year. 

Gospel Choir

Open to Grades: 7-12, Without Audition

The Gospel Choir is a lively vocal ensemble that incorporates musical styles from the spiritual, blues and gospel genres. This ensemble demands a willingness to participate in the appropriate style that this music commands. 

Grapes

Open to Grades: 9-12, by audition only

This vocal ensemble is an a cappella singing group. Only members of the Choir may audition. Singers perform off campus to earn community service credits required for graduation. This ensemble performs music from the folk, pop, jazz and Broadway genres. Auditions take place at the beginning of the school year and include a simple sight-singing exercise, presentation of a piece that best shows the singer's voice and a group piece that determines vocal blend and intonation.

Group Keyboard

Open to Grades: 9-12, without audition
Extra-curricular Activity 


This course provides beginner to intermediate piano students with an opportunity to improve their keyboard skills. The classes allow each student to progress at her own pace. Students are invited to participate in recitals at the end of the year.

Group Voice

Open to Grades: 6-12, Without Audition

This course provides students with an opportunity to learn and improve vocal technique and to experience a repertoire of various styles. Enrollment in choir is not required. A fine vocal ensemble, Voce Felice, is formed from members of this class. Individual singers have the opportunity to perform as soloists at the close of the year.

Harmonious Bells

Open to Grades: 9-12, without audition

The bell choir performs for many events on campus and can be taken as a music discipline for Music Majors. This course teaches a basic understanding of rhythm and note reading and allows students of all levels to perform in an ensemble. 

Orchestra

Open to Grades: 9-12

Open to instrumentalists who are capable of individual preparation and working toward a standard of musical excellence in a group setting. Rehearsals are not frequent and attendance is crucial. This is a wonderful environment to develop technique and broaden the musical experience.

Visual Art

Ceramics

Open to Grades: 9-12
Credit: .5

There is no limit to the number of semesters for which you may register for this course.

The Ceramics class will provide an opportunity for students to develop a body of work that is both conceptually valid and reflective of their artistic style. Sculpture techniques, the science of glazing, and wheel skills are taught to all levels of students, and they will be encouraged to experiment at all times. In addition to developing technique, students will design their own multi-part construction based on exploration of pottery around the world. Each student will be expected to produce work that portrays her creative powers and technical abilities.

Drawing

Open to Grades: 9-12
Credit: .5 

There is no limit to the number of semesters for which you may register for this course.

Students will use a variety of media to learn the technical skills necessary to accurately draw objects from our environment, as well as how to create the illusion of a 3-D form on a 2-D surface. Beyond representational drawing, students are provided with the opportunity to explore personal ideas about life in imaginative compositions.

Graphic Publication

Open to Grades: 9-12
Fall Semester
Credit: .5 


This course allows 6-8 students to develop the photographic and compositional skills needed to create a graphic essay on the life of the school, the official school yearbook, Pepperpot. Students will receive additional responsibilities and take greater leadership roles each time the course is taken.

Painting

Open to Grades: 9-12
Credit: .5

There is no limit to the number of semesters for which you may register for this course.

Students will begin by exploring the expressiveness of color, mixing paint, and paint application techniques. They will learn about scale and composition and how these are instrumental elements in the development of a visionary concept. Works of varying sizes and media will be emphasized.

Painting: "Painting Without a Brush" and "Is It Paint or Food"?

Open to Grades: 9-12
Credit: .5


In the first quarter of this class, students will paint without a brush while learning the basics of color mixing and painting compositions. During the following quarter, students will learn how to make their own paint using food products and pigments: milk paint, egg tempera, watercolor and oil paints.

Photography

Open to Grades: 9-12
Credit: .5

There is no limit to the number of semesters for which you may register for this course.

Students will learn the artistic elements essential to photography – composition, color, contrast, and others – by using digital cameras and Photoshop techniques to enhance their work. They will find and develop their artistic voices through a variety of thematic units that may vary depending on level of experience. Over the course of the semester, independent shooting, collaborative peer critiques, and historical research will contribute to each student’s final portfolio that exhibits her photographic expression.

Teaching Assistant - Middle School Art

Open to Grades: 11-12
Credit: .5

This position is open to juniors and seniors in good academic standing who have completed two US Art Classes; either Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, or Photography. Students will assist in day-to-day activities. They will also develop a lesson on a topic of interest and present it to the class. In addition to their involvement during class time, assistants will meet weekly with the teacher to review, assess, and preview important concepts and units of study. They will keep a log, to be submitted weekly, and also do an in-depth evaluation of their performance at the end of the term. Interested students must apply in the spring prior to their junior or senior year. The Department will notify students by the end of the year about whether or not their applications have been approved.

Independent Art Studio

Open to Grades: 9-12; Full Year or Single Semester
Credit: .5 per semester 


Independent Art Studio is designed for the student who has completed at least one visual art course and will set personal goals that stretch them beyond their previous art experiences. Students may work in a variety of techniques and media and processes and need to be self-starters.

The below options are offered during the Independent Art Studio block:

  • Printmaking: Learn relief block, collograph and intaglio printmaking to create prints for note cards, framed prints and posters. 
  • Sewing: Learn how to sew pillows and simple clothing garments from your own patterns. 
  • Knitting: Learn the basic stitches, knit and purl, for more interesting knitting patterns like ribbing and stockinette. Make blankets for premature babies, scarves and ear warmers. 
  • Portfolio Development: If you're planning on entering an art program after high school, spend two semesters developing a strong portfolio of 15-24 pieces of art. During the fall, visit college representatives at the University of Hartford for portfolio reviews.
  • Mini House Models: Follow Tiny House Nation on FYI? Want to design your own tiny house? Then this is the course for you! You'll make a miniature house model during this class.
 
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Commencement 2015