When it comes to their performances, St. Michael’s students are held to the same high expectations as their arts teachers who are working professionals in their field. Beginning as early as prekindergarten, our students are exposed to life both behind and onstage, and having their works exhibited either around the school or online. While the annual ArtsFest serves as a culminating point each year, the bands, chorus, classes, and ensembles take the stage beginning in October with the annual Grandparents & Special Friends Day assembly.
Halloween marks the first dramatic production of the school year with the annual showing of Spooky Stories, in which the middle school’s full-year drama students recreate vintage radio broadcasts in order to re-tell ghost stories. After that, they begin to gear up for the annual holiday play. Previous shows have included The Grinch, The Velveteen Rabbit, and A Christmas Carol. From November through February, as an extracurricular activity, students have the option to participate in after-school drama; rehersing four days per week in preparation for the big show. In 2013, the middle school ensemble performed Cinderella. Previous performances have included Grease, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Our Town, The Little Prince and Alice in Wonderland.
Drama is introduced into the curriculum beginning in the first grade. In addition to weekly dramatic exercises, the students also learn how to rehearse and perform in front of a larger audience of parents and peers as they prepare for their annual on stage production. Typically, these plays tie thematically into the curriculum. For example, the fourth graders perform African folk tales in conjunction with their study of Africa.
The Technical Theatre program is a unique experience for St. Michael’s students. As part of the middle school arts program, students can choose to take either full or half-year tech. Through this course, they learn to be wardrobe, makeup, and stage crews. All of the sets for our drama productions are built and painted by the students. During the shows, student techies run the sound and light boards as well as handle moving the sets. This is a unique experience that few other schools offer.
Band and Choir
Even our three year-olds have the opportunity to sing on stage! The music, chorus, and band curricula all prepare our students for a variety of performances throughout the year. Beginning with the Grandparents & Special Friends assembly in the fall, different student groups and classes have the chance to show off their musical talents.
In the middle school, during arts periods, students can take either A-Band, B-Band, or Chorus to gain more experience with music performances. The B-Band, typically comprised of fifth and sixth graders, introduces students to playing music as a group. In contrast, the A-Band takes on more complicated pieces, and also starts to provide students with solo opportunities. Both bands, as well as the chorus, have concerts both at school and outside events.