Fine and Performing Arts

The areas available in fine and performing arts are studio art, art history, music (both vocal and instrumental), dance, and theater. A wide array of performance opportunities are offered through extra-curricular programs, liturgies, and assemblies. Art shows and competitions with other schools are opportunities available for students interested in the visual arts. The band, orchestra, and chorus are co-ed and meet before school.

Julie Chilton
Laura Costa, Art Department Chair
Carol Dahse
Terry Suprean
Jewell Handy, Theater Arts Department
Art Buckley, Performing Arts Department Chair
Kimberly Mendoza
Jeremy Wood

Fine and Performing Arts Courses


801 ART HISTORY A (1/2 credit)
Art History A transports students back in time through the drawing, painting and architecture of ancient cultures, from Paleolithic cave paintings to Gothic Cathedrals. The study of ancient art serves as a window into the past. There is no more reliable way to understand lost cultures than through the contemplation of their creations. Discerning significance and relevance of art to the lost cultures or distant societies that created it is a continual focus of the class. Students examine shifts and trends in art and architecture and correlate them with events from history. Stories that are more fantastic than fiction make the art come alive. Art is even more wondrous when we study the factors that surround the creation of such marvels as Stonehenge, the Egyptian pyramids, Minoan frescoes or Greek sculpture. The art history student is more intimately connected to the world and better equipped to fully appreciate travel and museum experiences.
Offered in the fall.

802 ART HISTORY B (1/2 credit)
This class was created for students who foster a love of art and wish to have a greater understanding of art movements, styles, and the passion that motivates artists. Every painting tells a story but we sometimes we need a little background information to appreciate that story! Art History B students travel from the Italian Renaissance through the eras, movements, genres, isms and styles to Picasso. Lovers of contemporary art will enjoy this course but it is also beneficial to the student who hopes to more fully understand art and the various motivators for art. Greater appreciation of formerly alien styles of art is engendered through study of the culture, religion, historical events and personal experiences that inspired artists to try something new or controversial. This class is guaranteed to enrich the student's next museum or gallery experience. Students may take Art History B without previously taking Art History A.
Offered in the spring.

805 BEGINNING DRAWING (1/2 credit)
Anyone can learn to draw! This course is ideal for timid beginners and experienced artists. For the novice, Beginning Drawing equips the student with the skills to sensitively represent whatever they see. Beginning Drawing students start with fundamental skills and gradually build upon those basic skills until anything is possible. The accomplished artist will gain greater confidence, speed, and sensitivity to aid in the full realization of their own inspirations. Beginning Drawing students explore their own potential in experimenting with pencil, charcoal, conte, ink and a variety of application methods through a series of technical and creative assignments. Gradually, the student develops the ability to render real and imagined imagery through the mastery of sensitive observation, sketching skills, value and texture reproduction, perspective application, and design principles. Beginning Drawing also equips the artist with methodological and conceptual skills that are essential for success in intermediate and advanced drawing and painting classes.
Open to Strake Jesuit students.
Course fee: $40

810 ADVANCED DRAWING (1/2 credit)
Advanced Drawing students explore a wide range of drawing materials and techniques such as charcoal, pencil, ink, and mixed-media. Students develop the technical skills to replicate what they see and the intuitive practice to communicate what they feel. Art historical examples and technical demonstrations are presented for each new project. The practice of concise language is encouraged during the critique process. This one-semester course encourages serious students to develop personal expression as well as creative thinking.
Prerequisite: Beginning Drawing. Open to Strake Jesuit students.
Course fee: $60

820 ADVANCED STUDIO ART (1/2 credit)
This one-semester course provides students with the opportunity to concentrate on portfolio-building and competition. Students employ a variety of drawing, painting, and mixed media to create professional quality work. The course is designed to challenge the art student creatively and technically and to encourage independent problem-solving. As the basic language of art is explored in 2D and 3D mediums, students are encouraged to develop an individual style of expression. Sketchbook assignments and classwork allow students strengthen creative thinking skills as they learn new art making techniques.   
Prerequisite: Beginning Drawing and Beginning Painting.  Open to Strake Jesuit students.
Course fee: $80

Students employ digital photography and video media to create professional quality work. The course is designed to challenge the art student creatively, intellectually, and technically and to encourage independent problem-solving. Research and outside preparations are an integral part of the course work. Advanced Studio students enjoy a full day field trip to museums and galleries and visits from guest artists. The course ends in a group showing of work curated by the students.
Prerequisites: Digital Photography or Video Production, and any other art course.  Open to Strake Jesuit students.
Course fee: $80

830 FUNDAMENTALS OF ART (1/2 credit)
Fundamentals of Art provides students with a working knowledge of the basic principles, theories, and concepts of two-dimensional and three-dimensional image-making. This course explores creative thinking skills and develops artistic awareness. Students practice the basic skills and techniques necessary for creating traditional and contemporary artwork. This course provides students with an opportunity to build a creative foundation through the understanding of the visual language of art and a basic knowledge of art materials and mediums.
Open to Strake Jesuit students.
Course fee: $50

832 BEGINNING PAINTING (1/2 credit)
This is an excellent one-semester course for ambitious students who wish to explore self-expression using various painting mediums. Students build on Beginning Drawing skills in combination with color theory instruction to create original paintings. Introduction to Prisma pencil, watercolor, acrylic and oil paint, as well as the history of painting, is offered. The semester encompasses demonstrations of new techniques, presentations on how artists have historically approached painting, critiques and working time in the studio. 
Prerequisite: Beginning Drawing. Open to Strake Jesuit students.
Course fee: $80

835 ADVANCED PAINTING (1/2 credit)
Advanced Painting is designed for the artist who enjoyed our Beginning Painting class and can't wait to smell paint again! Skills acquired in previous classes such as Drawing and Beginning Painting equip the Advanced Painting student to create more personally motivated and ambitious art. The ultimate priority for each student is to use this class as an opportunity to make the art that she is passionately motivated to create. Each student is encouraged to customize assignments to her liking so that her art is uniquely representative of the artist and reflective of concepts and issues that are important to her. Like all advanced art students Advanced Painting students are required to participate in our end-of-year advanced art show. They are also given multiple opportunities to show and compete. This class also serves as an excellent portfolio building venue.
Prerequisite: Beginning Painting or Advanced Studio Art.  Open to Strake Jesuit students.
Course fee: $80

840 GRAPHIC ARTS (1/2 credit)
Students in this course will work with various forms of digital media in the creation of  digital art, and graphic and commercial arts projects. Students will learn the graphic side of Adobe Photoshop and design techniques. Projects revolve around creating graphic art campaigns for many different commercial purposes, as well as more abstract forms of digital art. Students will also delve into the rich history and theory of graphic design as it has evolved over the years into the digital era.
Course fee: $50

857 DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY (1/2 credit)
The Digital Photography student will gain a mastery of the principals of digital photography; from camera operation, to the us of Adobe Photoshop as darkroom, to professional printing practices.  Students in this course are also exposed to the history and theory of contemporary art and photography through lectures and media.  Photography students are expected to master the fundamental principals of visual composition and design. Digital Photography is a hands-on course and demands a substantial time commitment beyond class time.
Prerequisite: Student must provide a digital camera. Digital SLRs are recommended but not required. Preference is given to students in upper levels and students who have completed other courses in the department.
Course fee: $50

871 VIDEO PRODUCTION (1/2 credit)
This course will teach students the fundamentals of video production using digital video cameras and state-of-the-art film editing software. This class is hands-on and will require students to apply and improve their creative, technical, critical thinking, writing, and visual communication skills. Working in teams, students will produce public service announcements, documentaries, music videos, and a short film.
Sophomore, junior, and senior level elective.
Course fee: $20


World Cinema is a film history course covering films from around the world and providing the student a global perspective on film history. The three-week course covers 14 films from around the world, representing different time periods, and almost every genre with a focus on responding to the current interests of the students within the class. Projects in the class revolve around student critiques of films through traditional film criticism and creative projects.
Offered in Summer only.

This is a class for the beginning actor, or for the student who has had some acting or stage experience. This class is driven by participation and the student will be graded on their improvement from beginning to end. The student will receive a condensed version of Theater and Acting History; Drama Terms & Lingo; while also learning about the techniques of acting and how to improve on them, thereby gaining more experience on stage and in front of an audience. Each student will perform monologs and be part of a short scene with dialog. Students learn by critiquing each other's performances in class.
Open to Strake Jesuit students.

888 ADVANCED ACTING (1/2 credit)
This is the follow-up class to Introduction to Acting, or simply an advanced acting class. The student will learn advanced acting techniques; Stanislavski's "method acting;" pantomime, voice, stage blocking, and also concentrate on the different forms of drama-comedy, tragedy, and melodrama. Students will then perform scenes on stage in order to utilize the techniques that they have learned.
Prerequisite: Course 887 or approval from Ms. Handy.
Open to Strake Jesuit students.

890 TECHNICAL THEATER (1/2 credit)
This class is designed for students who want to work with stage lighting and sound. Theater safety, set construction, use of lights in theater, proper setting of lights, development of sound cues, proper use of sound equipment and theater maintenance is covered in the course. The course requires participation in at least one production during the semester.
Taken at Strake Jesuit.

This is a performance-based course. The members of Theater Production are chosen by an application, audition, and interview process. The class is responsible for a majority of the production work done by the Southwell Players and Thespians. It explores audition, rehearsal, and production schedules. It provides students with opportunities to learn techniques in acting, directing, stage-management, costuming, designing and other theater production areas. Students are expected to actively contribute to current and upcoming productions as well as maintain academic eligibility to do so. This course meets after school, during production.
Taken at Strake Jesuit.

893 STAGE PRODUCTION (1 credit)
This class will meet every day after school from 3:15 p.m. until 4 p.m. The class concentrates on on-stage and backstage safety; building, designing, and producing set pieces, backgrounds, and flats; adjusting and directing stage lighting; and producing the necessary set pieces for the St. Agnes main stage Fall play, Spring Musical, Greek Theatre, and one-act/student-directed plays throughout the year. Students are expected to participate in all main stage productions at St. Agnes Academy.
Offered all year; each semester is ½ credit. Open to Strake Jesuit students.

895 STAGE PRODUCTION (1 credit)
This class will meet during the 7 period day. The class concentrates on on-stage and backstage safety; building, designing, and producing set pieces, backgrounds, and flats; adjusting and directing stage lighting; and producing the necessary set pieces for the St. Agnes main stage Fall play, Spring Musical, Greek Theatre, and one-act/student-directed plays throughout the year. Students are expected to participate in all main stage productions at St. Agnes Academy. Therefore, in addition to the class period, there is a significant time commitment beyond the regular school day.

This course will train students in several areas of acting, directing and writing for theater.  It will help students understand and appreciate different performance and acting techniques as well as master all basic dramatic performance skills.  It will also introduce students to the drama production process and to the techniques needed for theater writing.  The class will require numerous activities involving public performances and participation at evening and weekend theatrical events.  All major grades are project oriented and may include several acting performances, development of competition level interpretation pieces, participation in weekend dramatic competitions, a researched essay, composition of a short scene, and a public performance in the theater.  An understanding of the historical place of theater in social structures will be emphasized.
Taken at Strake Jesuit.


Mixed Chorus, Treble Chorus, Band, Orchestra, Orchestral Winds, and Applied Music may be taken all four years. A student can gain most by taking part in a performing organization for four years. The group benefits also from the student's growing maturity and skill.

900 MUSIC THEORY I (1/2 credit)
This course is designed to give the student a background in the fundamentals of the language of music. It focuses on the mechanics of music as well as basics of music analysis. Students should have some prior experience with music.
Prerequisite: approval of Mr. Hernandez-Ching. Taken at Strake Jesuit.

904 MUSIC THEORY II (1/2 credit)
This course continues the music theory background offered in the first semester course. It also has added emphasis on music analysis, as well as the fundamentals of music arranging and composing.
Prerequisite: Music Theory 1 and the approval of Mr. Hernandez-Ching. Taken at Strake Jesuit.

905 HONORS AP MUSIC THEORY (1/2 credit)
This course is designed to develop musical skills that will lead to a thorough understanding of music composition and music theory. Students are prepared to take the AP Music Theory Exam when they have completed the course.
Prerequisite: approval of Mr. Hernandez-Ching. Taken at Strake Jesuit. AP Course fee (includes AP exam): $92 

This course is designed for the student who wants to learn how to sing, but does not have time for individual, private voice lessons. The course will cover all the basics of rudimentary singing instruction: breathing, posture, tone production, vowel production, diction, phrasing, and basic music theory. Students will learn vocal literature ranging from Broadway to Art Songs. The course will provide excellent preparation for Choir auditions.

Private Vocal Instruction allows students an opportunity to receive instruction on a one-to-one basis. In coordination with the St. Agnes Academy Choral program, this course provides a total instructional program in music. Students will study vocal technique, posture, breathing, diction, foreign language and basic music theory, as well as performance and audition techniques and opportunities. Students will perform a classical vocal recital at the conclusion of the spring semester and will also have the opportunity to attend and participate in master classes with professional artists. Students meet with the instructor for 45 minutes every 6-day cycle.
Cost is $350.00 per semester. Non-credit course. See music department for further information.

922 VOCAL PEFORMANCE (1/2 credit)
Do you enjoy singing with the radio, in the shower or in the church congregation? Have you ever wanted to have a place and people to sing with just for fun while at the same time improving your vocal skills? This course is geared towards the student who desires to gain an appreciation for music by singing within a group setting. It incorporates the teaching of music fundamentals and their application to all kinds of music. A wide range of vocal styles, including musical theatre, popular, jazz and classical, will be explored.
Open to Strake Jesuit students.

925 MIXED CHORUS (1 credit)
Mixed Chorus is composed of both St. Agnes and Strake Jesuit students from grades 9-12. Selected by audition in April of the previous year, chorus members meet daily, Monday through Friday from 7:10 a.m. to 7:50 a.m. Chorus members learn basic breathing and vocal focus and basic music theory. All members learn to sight read and are exposed to a variety of vocal styles, from Renaissance to Broadway. Every student is evaluated at least once a year by an individual jury, during which they perform chorus music in front of the music faculty. All students have the opportunity to perform at least three times a year, to audition for All-State chorus, and to participate in the annual Chorus Tour.
Fee and uniforms are required. Audition required. Individual jury required at least once a year.

Performance Workshop is the premiere show choir offered by the St. Agnes Academy Department of Music. This ensemble is open to students in grades 10-12, by audition. A group of approximately 12-16 students will be selected by audition in vocal skills and will be required to enroll in the course. Performance Workshop will present a broad spectrum of musical styles, including popular, jazz, rhythm and blues, rock, country, Broadway and contemporary. This show choir is a vocal ensemble that will facilitate continued development of vocal skills to enhance students' musical growth.
Audition required. Concurrent enrollment in Mixed Chorus required.
Out-of-school rehearsals and performances are a part of the instructional program and are required. Entry fees, travel, and apparel expenses are borne by the student.

934 SJ/SAA SYMPHONIC BAND (1 credit)
The Strake Jesuit Symphonic Band performs at all home football and basketball games as well as Christmas and spring concerts. The group affords instrumentalists the opportunity for both solo and ensemble performance. The band is open to St. Agnes students by audition and can accommodate players from moderate to advanced experience levels. Within the Symphonic Band is the Strake Jesuit Jazz Ensemble which offers a more intense and individualistic approach to jazz. The ensemble performs at Open House, Christmas, and spring concerts, as well as some basketball games and is open to all band members by audition.
Audition required. Taken at Strake Jesuit. Meets before school from 7-7:45 a.m.

936 JAZZ ENSEMBLE (1/2 credit)
This select ensemble is made up of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and rhythm section. This ensemble performs the music of the foremost big band composers, past and present. This ensemble meets each Monday and Wednesday afternoon from 3:15 pm-4:00 pm in the Parsley Center in both the fall and spring semesters. The ensemble performs two concerts each semester. Students must audition for placement in the Jazz Ensemble. Only members of the Symphonic Band may audition for the ensemble, with the exception of guitar, bass, and piano, which is open to any student. Auditions take place at the beginning of the fall semester.
Audition required. Taken at Strake Jesuit. Meets after school on Mondays and Wednesdays. The student must be in the class for a full year to receive 1/2 credit.

The Strake Jesuit St. Agnes Chamber Orchestra offers string players a chance to develop their talents by performing music from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods. Concerts are given in the fall and spring and smaller ensembles afford individuals more intricate and advanced music. Players of all levels of experience are welcome.
Taken at Strake Jesuit. Meets before school from 7-7:45 a.m.

939 ORCHESTRAL WINDS (1/2 credit)
This class is designed to give the top wind players in the symphonic band credit for playing with the string orchestra. Full symphony orchestra literature is covered and rigid performance standards are expected. It meets two afternoons per week in both the fall and spring semesters and is open to Symphonic Band members by audition only.
Taken at Strake Jesuit. See orchestra director for further information.
The student must be in the class for a full year to receive 1/2 credit.


950 ADVANCED JAZZ DANCE (1 credit)
This advanced jazz dance class is for REMIX dancers by audition only. Remix is the elite performance group within the Tiger Girls dance team. Remix is open to students on Tiger Girls in grades 10-12. A group of approximately 10-15 students will be selected based on proficiency in advanced jazz technique and choreography. Remix will attend summer camp to obtain a bid to compete at NDA Nationals in the spring semester.
Audition required. Concurrent membership on Tiger Girls is required.
Out-of-school rehearsals and performances are a part of the instructional program and are required. Entry fees, travel, and apparel expenses are borne by the student.

This advanced hip hop dance class is for SHOCK dancers by audition only. Shock is an elite performance group within the Tiger Girls dance team. Shock is open to students entering grades 10-12. A group of approximately 10-15 students will be selected based on proficiency in advanced hip hop dance technique and choreography. Shock will attend summer camp and compete in the spring semester.
Offered after school on Monday and Wednesday from 3:00 to 4:15 P.M. Students earn 1/2 credit per semester.
Audition required. Concurrent membership on Tiger Girls is required.
Out-of-school rehearsals and performances are a part of the instructional program and are required. Entry fees, travel, and apparel expenses are borne by the student.

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