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Rigorous Academics

The Dance Department offers professional training while encouraging the student's personal development and artistic expression. The primary focus of the program is ballet and modern dance.This department offers comprehensive studies in ballet, modern dance and jazz techniques as well as dance history, music theory, dance composition, character, partnering, somatics & Pilates conditioning, pointe, with areas of focus in contemporary repertory and contemporary & classical ballet repertory. The program is designed to prepare students for auditions to prestigious colleges and dance repertory schools for the career-minded dancer.

The Instrumental Music Department offers professional training in a variety of individualized, jazz and orchestral instrumental music. Opportunities in the department include: private instruction, chamber music / jazz combos, orchestral performances, big band performances, concert and cultural tours throughout the United States and abroad, music in medicine study and collaboration, formal recitals for individuals and small ensembles, ear training, sight reading, yoga, eurhythmics, keyboard skills, literature, improvisation, theory and audio engineering. The program is designed to provide the greatest benefits of passionate, disciplined and individualized music education for students with a variety of career interests.

The Department of Theatre and Film is designed to offer students a strong foundation in all aspects of the art of theatre and of film. Emphasis is placed on the rich cultural history of the art forms as well as practical applications in performance techniques for those on the Performance Track and design techniques for those on the Design/Tech Track. All students gain a strong background in theatre history and dramatic literature. Performance track students will study many performance techniques including classic acting styles as well as modern stage and film techniques. Design/Tech students will use state of the art equipment to explore stage lighting, scenic and sound design as well as costuming and stage projections. Students from both tracks are eligible to have a secondary focus on playwriting or filmmaking. Filmmaking students will learn all aspects of filmmaking including writing a screenplay, using cameras, light and sound equipment as well as editing. All filmmaking students will have several opportunities to create short films. Instructors include area professionals as well as visiting artists. Advanced students have the opportunity for internships with the Virginia Stage Company.

The goal for the Musical Theatre Department is to provide a challenging, intensive program of study designed to develop performance skills in voice, dance and acting to the advanced level necessary to compete in today's complex and ever-changing entertainment industry.

The goal of the Visual Arts Department is to provide a venue where students can explore their artistic interests and potential in various mediums of visual arts to ultimately find their own vision. The program provides intensive and challenging instruction and experiences designed to help students develop a strong conceptual basis as well as the technical skills necessary for creating and evaluating their own style and sophisticated works of art. The program is designed to prepare students for college and a career in their chosen visual art medium.

The Visual Arts department encourages in-depth exploration and research in an array of studio courses in the field of printmaking, painting, photography, computer imaging, video imaging additive, subtractive, and constructed sculpture (as well as welding), design, and other areas such as medical illustration and fashion design. Additionally, students take continuing drawing and art history classes as well as classes which focus on conceptualization, analysis, and criticism.

The schedule for Visual Arts students is based around two-hour elective studios which are taken daily, along with either art history, concepts and criticism. Each student chooses two elective studios from a variety offered each nine weeks. Portfolio development is an integral part of the visual arts program. With guidance from the department chair, students select two electives for each of the four nine week grading periods. In addition to the typical electives, advanced students may apply for independent study in a particular area.

The Vocal Music Department is opera and classically based and is designed on pre-conservatory standards. The Vocal Music Department offers in-depth, comprehensive training in Voice, Theory, Sight Singing, and Diction. Classes include: Music History, Art Song Literature, Vocal Music Survey, Opera Workshop and Directing Opera Productions. The program is designed to prepare students for college and professional careers in singing opera and classical repetoire.