Our fine and performing arts department had an exciting week, with the official opening of the newly renovated arts and music spaces on Tuesday, November 5. We were thrilled to showcase these beautiful spaces to our community, who were treated to artwork and musical performances from junior and senior school students (more than 200 students performed!) as well as culinary delights from Chef Jeff and his team.
The spaces were designed to foster student growth and an appreciation for the arts across all disciplines. Thanks to everyone who attended the open house to show their enthusiasm and support for our student performers and our programs.
See below a review of what we’ve been up to this fall in the junior school fine and performing arts department.
Ms. Danielle Unger, Department Head
Our theme and inspiration this fall is nature. For example, grade 1 students have been painting sunflowers inspired by Van Gogh, grade 2s have been working on fall tree reflections, grade 3s created overlapping painted pumpkins, and grade 4s have been making leaf rubbings mounted on acrylic paintings. In November, we will host workshops with guest instructors, including Katarina Thorsen, who will lead a drawing workshop (large-scale owls) for grade 6 students, and fibre artist Ana Vojnovic, who will show grade 7 students how to wet-felt by creating felted vessels/bowls. Our grade 7 students will also do a workshop on the Shibori technique (indigo dyeing) with Caroline Ballhorn of Tin Can Studios.
Mr. Kevin Jackson, Drama Teacher
In grades 3 to 5 drama, we have been focusing on learning about archetypes through the understanding of stock characters. Now that students have learned about these basic character traits, they have the opportunity to create their own character with back story and many other detailed descriptors, which they will embody in various scenes. We like to have fun in class and work on our improve/quick thinking skills through games that focus on different characters.
Ms. Laura Bates, Music Teacher
As we continue to settle into our brand new spaces, the band, strings and choral departments have been a bustle of activity!
This year our kindergarten classes have moved into the enchanting world of the primary music room, which also received a summer facelift. Students are discovering different voices and instruments (timbres) as they experience music through stationary and locomotor movement. In grade 1 music, students have been singing songs to celebrate the fall season and have recently been introduced to the Orff xylophones. Grade 2 students are learning to read, say and play more advanced rhythms and are exploring storytelling through music. Grade 3s are enjoying their recent moves into band and strings, and our grade 4 students in band have begun exploring the flute, clarinet and trumpet before their instrument fitting in March.
On Wednesday, November 13, the grade 5 classes will attend a performance by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Grades 6 and 7 students continue to work on team-building and community through ensemble playing.
Our first-ever Musical Soirée will take place on Tuesday, December 10, 6pm at St. Helen's Church. This concert will feature our cocurricular ensembles in a festive evening of music. Grades 3 to 7 music classes look forward to their Winter Sharing Sessions at the end of January, when they will share even more beautiful music with you!