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Performing Arts

Educate the whole child and you teach lessons that last a whole lifetime.

In all grades, our school’s emphasis on interdisciplinary study includes the performing arts.

Glen Urquhart values the special joy of making music together and strives to inspire students to become lifelong music-makers. All students become active musicians who sing, play the recorder, and participate in instrumental and choral ensembles; literate musicians who understand, read, and write the written language of music; listening musicians who discern, understand, and respond to the music they hear; and world musicians who understand and appreciate music and the role of music in our own and other cultures.

Special music ensembles include the GUS Chorus, in which all 4th and 5th grade students participate, and the GUS Band, an elective before-school activity, open to students, grades 5-8. A Beginner Band prepares 4th Graders to participate the following year. In the GUS Chorus, all fourth and fifth graders: perform vocal warm-ups, follow a choral score, and follow a conductor; develop and perform a repertoire of rounds, partner songs, and songs with simple harmonies; learn and perform arrangements of several spirituals and explore their historical backgrounds. In addition to performing in all-school events, the GUS Chorus performs in the local Gordon College “Community of Song” concert, they perform a Valentine Caroling program for local seniors, and they perform a culminating spring Chorus concert jointly with the Gordon College Choir.  

Every student studies dance in the lower school and again in sixth and eighth grade. In the lower school, dance is taught through a system developed by Rudolf Laban. Instead of only learning steps, students learn to move through exploring the different elements of movement: space, timing and rhythm, effort, and flow. These are taught in grades K-3 through improvisational exercises and dramatic play. As students grow older, they participate in more involved choreography. In eighth grade, the dance program culminates in a performance in which all students perform individual or small group pieces that they have choreographed, and a large group piece which is choreographed for them.

Classes may prepare skits that will accompany an area of study and individual students may create projects that involve dramatic performance. Perhaps a young student will perform a monologue as part of his book report; maybe another will write a skit in the style of a playwright studied in English class.

Our formal drama program links the elements of dance and drama. Students see the commonality between the two art forms and use what they have learned in dance to develop their theater skills. Use of the imagination is stressed while developing characterization, projection and diction, confidence and concentration. Performance is the focus of the seventh and eighth grades with seventh graders producing both comedic and serious works. Additionally, students are given the benefit of learning how to direct their own work when working on scripts. Shakespeare and poetry are often included and coordinated with the language arts department. Eighth graders have produced Guys and Dolls;  Aladdin; Bye, Bye Birdie; and Fiddler on the Roof.