Performing Arts

Chorus is Darrow’s vocal ensemble, which explores music from the Renaissance to modern pop, and from world music to original songs. Each member of the Chorus learns to read music and develop his or her voice for choral singing. Chorus members sing at Open House, special concerts including at Miss Hall’s School, and Coffee House. The final concert, the Music Showcase, features the Chorus and may be accompanied by various instruments including strings, jazz horns, and rock music instruments.

Performance Group is designed for musicians to prepare for concerts on and off campus. Rehearsals are held multiple times a week with ensembles and individual meetings. The emphasis of this course is to develop performance skills, however, music theory, recording techniques, and composition will also be implemented throughout the year. Participation in on-campus concerts (Winter & Spring concerts, Coffeehouse) is required.

History of Jazz is a one-semester course studying the music and its impact on American history from its origins to the present. Musical styles that will be covered include the blues, dixieland, ragtime, swing, be-bop, cool, hard-bop and fusion. We will also investigate how jazz has influenced and affected modern music such as R&B and hip-hop. The class will be led by lecture with the addition of audio and video examples and project based learning. Attending a live jazz performance(s) will be required depending on the logistics of travel. No musical experience is necessary for this course.

This course is designed to explore the medium of film from an artistic standpoint, studying the different ways we can use film to create a feeling, tell a story, and explore a concept. Students will be watching and analyzing film and exploring concepts to better understand the how and why of a movie. The production element of the class has students participating in exercises to use time, image, and sound to create their works. Students will learn how to watch film going forward with a critical eye, and gain a basic understanding of the technical aspect of filmmaking.

Music Theory is a fast-paced course in music notation and ear training designed to provide the basic skills necessary to write songs. Learn how to hear the exact notes of the melodies you compose in your head, recognize complex rhythms, and write lead sheets for your songs that others can play.

This course is designed to immerse students in writing, shooting, and editing narrative films. Students will be tasked with regular assignments to gain an understanding of every aspect of this medium. Skills to be covered include basic screenwriting (Final Draft), pre-production, storyboards, camera operations, lighting, sound, and non-linear editing (Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro.) There will be several large independent projects for each student, as well as one long form film the class will write and complete as a group. Collaboration and communication are key. The students will also continue the work from the previous semester examining contemporary films, now through the eyes of filmmakers.

Prerequisites: Algebra II

In Theater & Performance Studies we will revisit 3 areas of theater: Theater as an art form-Theater as a social force-Theater as a personal force. Students will gain exposure to a broad spectrum of performance modes. Students will be examining performance behaviors in, ritual, play, spectacle, identity, everyday life, the arts, and performance history. Additionally students will study, through individual and group projects, different areas of performance studies (including storytelling, performance art, film, music, and dramaturgy), design/technology, and/or musical theatre. No theater experience is necessary for this course.

In this course students will be introduced to writing for performance. Each week students will be exploring writing for performance tools through a workshop style classroom setting culminating each final class in a table reading of that week’s work. Students will choose to focus on their favorite piece to present in a “staged reading” style for their final exam. Students will be encouraged to invite members outside of the class to be a part of the audience. We will analyze and explore a variety of performance writers, styles, and contents. No prior performance writing experience is necessary for this course.