Performing Arts Course Descriptions

Theatre: One Act

(Grade 9, 10, 11, 12)
Semester

During fall semester, students in this class rehearse and perform a one-act play.  The play is chosen to fit and to challenge the entire class.  Plays may be adaptations, original student works, or class collaborative works.  Most students choose to perform; however, they can choose to serve as stage managers or tech crew.  The one-act is performed at the North Carolina Theatre Conference Annual One-Act Festival and at CDS as well.  While working on the play, students focus on ensemble acting technique, individual craft, and on freeing the creative impulse.  This course may be repeated for credit.

 

Theatre: Technical and Production

(Grade 9, 10, 11, 12)
Semester

Students develop the skills to conceive of and execute theatrical lighting design, sound design and stage management.  During the fall semester,  the class collaborates on the set and lighting design for the Upper School One-Act, the lighting design for the Lower School musical, and the lighting design for the Middle School winter concert.  When taking the course in the spring semester, the class collaborates on the execution of the lighting design for the Middle School production, the lighting design of the spring Upper School theatre production, and the lighting, sound, and stage management of the Arts Day performing showcase.  This course may be repeated for credit.


Theatre: Stage Combat

(Grade 9, 10, 11, 12)
Semester

Stage Combat is a combination of martial art, dance, and acting technique.  In this class students develop the skills necessary to safely and effectively perform unarmed and armed stage fight choreography.  Techniques include single rapier, rapier and dagger, smallsword, quarterstaff and unarmed.  In addition to the partnering skills of the choreography, students learn care and maintenance of theatrical weapons, choreography notation, and physical storytelling.  

 

Theatre: Advanced Stage Combat

(Grade 9, 10, 11, 12)
Semester


Students in this class will continue to build and hone their skills as they learn additional weapon forms and advanced techniques and choreography.  
Students who have completed Stage Combat and would like to continue their study may take this course, which will meet with the Stage Combat class.

Theatre: Mainstage Production

(Grade 9, 10, 11, 12)
Semester


Students who audition for the main stage play and those who take on technical and staff roles may register for Theatre: Mainstage Production and can earn 0.5  Elective credit or 1 full Elective credit for this class, depending on the size of their role or their contact hours.  This is a mastery lab class with all the work culminating in the spring production.  Grading is pass/fail.  This course may be repeated for credit.

Vocal Arts

(Grade 9, 10, 11, 12)
Year-long

Students in the Vocal Arts class are the core of the Carolina Day Upper School Chorus. This is a performance-based choral ensemble. Students sing and perform ensemble works in school performances, with opportunities for solo performances, as well. They develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the connection between word and music, and between the work of art and the larger context in which it was written. Developing and maintaining vocal health is very important, so we also work on posture, sound production, diction, breathing, support, and technique throughout the year. Teamwork, cooperation, and self-confidence through performing are emphasized, as are individual and group vocal techniques. No audition is required.  This course may be repeated for credit.


Instrumental Ensemble

(Grade 9, 10, 11, 12)
Year-long

Students in Instrumental Ensemble rehearse, practice, and perform in ensembles of various sizes and instrumentation throughout the semester: duos, trios, quartets and others. Pianists, as well as Wind, Brass, and String players are welcome and invited to participate. All students  play an audition for placement with appropriate works for their level and reading ability. We work on score reading, rhythm, ensemble playing, and intonation, as well as skills such as cueing and playing in balance with other musicians. Performances are an important part of this class, and students are thus expected to perform each semester with their ensemble(s).  This course may be repeated for credit.

Music History/Appreciation

(Grade 10, 11, 12)
Year-long

Students examine musical elements such as melody, rhythm, harmony, texture, form, and expression. Families of musical instruments and voices, the framework of musical ensembles, and the style and function of music in society are studied. Beginning with the Middle Ages, students trace the development of music from first-printed form to the present, looking at many of the major composers and the various styles of music these composers created. Throughout the year, illustrative pieces representing a range of styles (Western, non-Western, jazz, and pop) are utilized, although a focus will be placed on Western classical music. Students grow in their ability to critically listen, discuss, analyze, aesthetically respond, and appreciate music.


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