The arts are woven into Asheville School's curriculum through course offerings, afternoon activities and extracurricular opportunities, and through integrating elements of the arts throughout humanities courses.
Students learn and hone their skills in a wide variety of areas including drama, dance, music and visual arts. Our faculty works with students at every level--whether they are learning the basics or building a serious portfolio.
Students elect to take drama as an afternoon activity so they practice the dramatic arts every weekday for two hours. Shows are staged in the Graham Theater of the Walker Arts Center and begin at 7:15 p.m. Asheville School's Drama Department produces two shows a year. With each production, the director explores works that will both challenge and inspire the cast and crew. When appropriate, Asheville School productions participate in regional dramatic competitions.
Applied Music is a course designed for students who have a strong desire and ability to pursue music at the post secondary level. The course is designed to allow Sixth Form students a daily opportunity to work on mastering their chosen instrument. It is understood that a student accepted into Applied Music intends to major or minor in music at the college level. Students must meet rigorous guidelines in order to qualify for this course. Their growth throughout the year is measured through private lessons and graded public performances.
Previous students who have taken this course have used their fall semester to prepare for college auditions or in the production of a supplemental recording for college applications. The second semester culminates in a public recital or a private juried performance before a panel of qualified adjudicators.
Music Theory (AP)
In this Advanced Placement course on the elements of musical structure, students are taught pitch, duration, intervals and dynamics. An in-depth study of four-part harmony, form and analysis is also included in the course. More challenging aspects of the course require students to master melodic and harmonic dictation as well as the ability to sing a melody at sight.
Chorus is Asheville School’s largest choral group. Anyone who enjoys singing is welcome. In addition to performing at our annual Thanksgiving Service, Christmas Candlelight Services and Spring Concert, this organization also learns about choral singing and the voice. Repertoire ranges from sacred to secular. Members have the opportunity to audition for and attend several regional choral festivals as well. Membership in this group is required for membership consideration in our other smaller choral groups.
Chorale is a select mixed group of eight members who perform not only at school functions but also at off-campus venues in conjunction with the Handbell Ensemble. Much of their repertoire is a capella and ranges from sacred to secular.
Chamber Choir is a mixed group of between twelve and sixteen members who perform a weekly selection for our chapel program. Their repertoire is predominately sacred in nature.
Handbell Ensemble is a five octave handbell and handchime group that performs both on and off campus at various venues and for a variety of functions. This auditioned group performs a wide variety of music from sacred to secular and is often joined by instrumentalists as well as choral groups. Membership is limited to fifteen ringers.
Instrumental Ensemble is open to anyone with instrumental experience. In addition to playing as a larger ensemble including all members, instrumental ensemble members also work in small chamber music groups. Members are often featured soloists with both the Handbell Ensemble and our choral groups. They also provide music for our chapel program. Advanced instrumentalists also have the opportunity to audition for and perform with the Asheville- Buncombe Youth Orchestra.
For more information about the school's music offerings, contact Music Director John Crawley.
Dance is offered as an afternoon activity in winter and spring. All students are welcome to participate, as the experience levels range from beginner to advanced.
We teach various styles of dance, including ballet, modern and others from around the world. Our dance instructor combines the varying talents of our dancers to craft a performance for our school community in late February and again in May. Dancers may also play an integral role in our semi-annual school musical.
For more information about the school's dance program, contact Kathy Leiner.
Asheville School students excel in the visual arts. Students may take art courses for credit, or they may take art instruction as an afternoon activity.
Studio Art I
As part of the humanities curriculum, Studio Art I offers a unique learning experience focusing on exposure to historical and cultural traditions. This course introduces Fourth Form students to visual arts from around the world through cross-curricular lessons. While developing an appreciation for art and understanding of fundamental art principles, students work with a wide range of media like graphite, paint, charcoal, mixed media, photography and ceramics. Above all, this course focuses on creative problem solving, effective communication and building visual awareness.
Studio Art II
This course is designed for a studio experience filled with personal initiative, perseverance and solid work ethic. Students are encouraged to work independently, participate in critique and learn from failure. Building upon the idea of art as a problem-solving discipline, students develop increasingly sophisticated critical thinking skills as they study and create art.
Students explore new visual concepts and more advanced presentations. Students are taught to examine their surroundings closely, analyze artwork insightfully and develop their artistic voice. Innovation is essential as students pursue a concentrated study of art including ceramics, painting, illustration, mixed media, and more.
Studio Art III - IV
These courses are intensive studio classes tailored to individual students. These advanced courses refine artistic skills and theories while continuing to investigate advanced methods and concepts integral in the arts.
Students prepare portfolios, present their work, participate in critiques and research aesthetic theory and art history. Through the continuing development of technique and perspective--as well as patience and discipline--students learn to effectively communicate through their art.
Studio Art: 2-D Portfolio (AP)
Advanced Placement Studio Art is for highly motivated students who are seriously interested in the study of art. The program demands significant time, commitment to deadlines and dedication to the quality of work. Students address a broad interpretation of two-dimensional media. They demonstrate mastery of the elements and principles of two-dimensional design through varied mediums. The purpose of the course is to create and a culminating portfolio, which is submitted for unbiased adjudication based on use of elements and principles, quality of craftsmanship, variety of media and theme.
Visual Art Afternoon Activity
Students participating in the afternoon art program work for approximately 90 minutes each weekday afternoon, planning and executing individual projects in a variety of mediums.
In spring, the Crawford Art Gallery showcases the best in student work through an annual show. During the remaining months, the gallery displays diverse collections from artists of local, regional and national reputation.
For more information about the school's art department, contact Casey Arbor.