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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

Collaborative Arts Project

Offered every semester. All levels of experience are welcome. There is no limit to the number of semesters for which you may register for this course.
Credit: .5 per semester 

This innovative new course provides a venue for performing artists to expand their repertoire and skills to encompass many different aspects of theater, improvisation, writing, acting, music, technical theater and film. In the model of a seminar, the Collaborative Arts Project (CAP) will focus on a different project each semester, allowing students to participate in the course multiple times while still learning new skills. The class will work collaboratively to develop and perform their project for the community, both on campus and beyond.  The course depends on the varied talents and interests of the class. Due to the fluid nature of this course, students of all levels participate together, and much of the course is student directed. There is no pre-requisite to this course, and the instructor will support students to realize and develop their individual interests and talents, whether they are a beginner or a seasoned performer. Students have the opportunity to learn about all facets of the performing arts. Possible CAP projects include an improv comedy show, a mystery dinner theater, a silent film or children’s theater.

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, and Noises Off.

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

Grades 6-12, additional fee
Extra-curricular Activity 


Private lessons, as well as ensemble and duet lessons, are offered on many instruments. Group lessons create chamber groups that perform regularly on campus. 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
Extra-curricular Activity 


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
Extra-curricular Activity 


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
Extra-curricular Activity 


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
Extra-curricular Activity 


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
Extra-curricular Activity


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
All levels of experience are welcome. There is no limit to the number of semesters for which you may register for this course.
Credit: .5 per semester 

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
All levels of experience are welcome. There is no limit to the number of semesters for which you may register for this course.
Credit: .5 per semester 

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
All levels of experience are welcome. There is no limit to the number of semesters for which you may register for this course.
Credit: .5 per semester 

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.

Photography

Open to Grades: 9-12
All levels of experience are welcome. There is no limit to the number of semesters for which you may register for this course.
Credit: .5 per semester 

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

Grades 11-12
Fall and/or Spring Semester 

This position is open to juniors and seniors in good academic standing who have completed two US Art Classes; either Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, or Digital Photo. 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.

Empty Bowls Project - Art for a Cause

Walker's collaborates with Avon Old Farms School in the Empty Bowls Project, a program in which students, faculty, parents, alumnae, and friends of the School create hundreds of handcrafted bowls on the pottery wheel. Finished pieces are are then offered for sale, and proceeds from this annual event benefit the Food Share and the Connecticut Humane Society.

Advanced Studio

Open to Grades: 10-12
May Enroll Multiple Semesters
Prerequisite: One art course and Teacher Recommendation 
Credit: .5 per semester 


Advanced 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, from dress making, printmaking to wire sculpture. Students planning on taking either AP 2D Design or 3D Design during Advanced Studio can begin building a portfolio for the AP Studio Art portfolio.

AP 2-D Design

Open to Grades: 11-12
Prerequisite: Departmental approval and Advanced Studio or a portfolio of 5 pieces of art 
Credit: 1 


The body of work required for AP submission in this course includes a wide variety of 2D images including collage, prints, drawings, paintings and a variety of digital media. Students are expected to work with a high level of independence with the support of an instructor. 

AP Drawing

Open to Grades 11-12
Credit: 1 


A variety of 2-Dimensional, hand drawing techniques are reinforced through the creation of an extensive portfolio of images as required by the national AP Drawing curriculum. Printmaking, collage and other forms of 2-D art are required for inclusion in this portfolio produced by students who are able to work independently with the guide of an instructor. 

 
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