The Path of the Artist

Participation in and appreciation of the visual and performing arts is a vital aspect of a student’s St. Andrew’s experience, and of our campus culture in general. We provide our students with an environment in which they can explore their artistic interests and passions within a master-apprentice system of teaching, and without fear of judgment from peers. Indeed, the student community prides itself on its genuine and intense support, without regard for typical social expectations or level of expertise, of the artistic efforts of all its members.

Visual and performing arts courses provide both formal training, and instruction in the theoretical, historical, and cultural background of each discipline. Our students develop their abilities while working in close contact with arts faculty, all of whom are established artists in their own right, as each pursues his or her own artistic practices and creates and performs works within and for our community. This master-apprentice system allow the student to grow in his artistic understanding, creative capabilities, and facility for free expression. Whatever a student’s initial interest or abilities upon arriving at St. Andrew’s, the end goal is for that student to leave St. Andrew’s with the habit of engaging with the arts as a means for investigating and celebrating the world in which she lives.

The Path of the Artist

All III Form students take Introduction to the Arts, a survey course team-taught by visual and performing arts faculty that introduces new students to each of the arts disciplines offered at St. Andrew’s. Students rotate through six-week long workshops in dance, music, theatre, and art, and also attend and write reflections upon both peer and professional arts performances and exhibits offered at the School throughout the year. In the III Form year, students may also take Dance and Music courses, but may not take Studio Arts or Theatre courses until the IV Form year or later.

Students are then required participate in some aspect (beyond the Introduction to the Arts course) of the School’s arts program before graduation. Students can complete this Arts requirement in a variety of ways:

  • successful completion of any of our for-credit courses in the Arts;
  • participation in Choral Scholars, Noxontones (our acapella group), Orchestra, or Jazz Ensemble for a full academic year; or
  • participation in the theatre or afternoon dance program for at least two terms (not necessarily consecutively).

Students who complete introductory coursework in certain disciplines—drawing & painting, ceramics, photography, or film— may choose to further their study of that discipline by “majoring” in that discipline in the senior year. Majors take a full-credit Advanced Study course in their discipline that requires extensive, independent work and artistic production outside the classroom.

Frequent recitals, exhibitions, and drama productions on campus allow students to share their artistic efforts with the entire St. Andrew’s community. Arts students in all disciplines also take off-campus excursions to give or attend performances, collaborate with other artists, and visit arts institutions and workshops. For example, our Choral Scholars have performed throughout the country and world, including in Havana, Cuba; at the White House; at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Austria; and at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. Concurrently, we bring the larger art world to St. Andrew’s through exhibitions by professional artists in our Warner Gallery, concerts by internationally recognized musicians and ensembles in Engelhard Hall, and regular talks, classroom visits, and workshops by visiting artists who are invited to campus throughout the year.

Arts Disciplines

St. Andrew’s for me is a place and a community that dared me to experiment, asked for me to rise to every challenge, and expected me to be no one else but myself. It taught me that if you’re open and honest and work hard every day, that you will inherently do the work you are called to do, and that itself has the power to change the world.

-Maggie Rogers ’12, musician

Arts Facilities

O'Brien Arts Center

  • Engelhard Hall, a 340 seat performance hall
  • Warner Gallery—a professional gallery space that houses four visiting artists exhibitions each year, as well as shows of student, faculty, and alumni work
  • Multiple studio spaces
  • Kilns & pottery wheels
  • A photography lab & dark room
  • Graphic design, film & music production labs
  • Rehearsal rooms for instrumental & orchestral music
  • A dance studio

Forbes Theatre

A technologically sophisticated dramatic production space, home to our theatre program, which puts on two plays, numerous one-act plays, and a musical with a live pit orchestra each year.

Cameron Dance Studio

A 1000 square-foot dance studio space (separate from the smaller studio space in the Arts Center).

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