The arts are an essential piece of the Upper School curriculum and community life. Students are required to take at least three semesters in the fine arts, choosing from a robust selection of electives in the visual arts, music, and theater. Student artwork is showcased in the Harry M. Drake Gallery, and the Upper School's two concerts and three theatrical productions are highly-anticipated community events, all of which take place in the Huss Center for Performing Arts, the school's state-of-the-art, 650-seat auditorium.
Upper School music courses are ensemble-based and include two orchestral ensembles, two choral ensembles, a jazz ensemble, and the Honors Music Seminar. All ensembles perform in two concerts every year, and the extracurricular a cappella singing group also performs at school events. Private music lessons are also available through the school, with instructors who specialize in teaching high school students.
Visual arts coursework is offered in ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, and the video arts. The Honors Art Seminar is designed for the most advanced students, who exhibit their work in a dedicated show in the Harry M. Drake Gallery at the end of the year.
Topic-based theater courses focus on Theatrical Arts, Acting, Design, Directing, and Production. Three audition-based theatrical performances each year include the Fall Play, the Winter One-Acts, and the Spring Musical.
2020-21 Upper School Arts Calendar
Due to COVID-19, there will be no live performances with audiences during the 2020-21 school year. See below for links to recordings of this year's fantastic Upper School musical and theatrical performances.
May 21, 2021: upper school spring showcase
Friday, May 21, 2021 was the livestream debut of the 2021 Upper School Spring Showcase, featuring performances by the Academy Symphony, Honors Sinfonia, Summit Singers, Academy Chorale, Jazz Band, Orchestra Winds, and the Community Chorale. View the performance program or view the livestream. Congratulations to all our Upper School musicians and singers!
The 2021 Senior Art Seminar Exhibition is the creation of students enrolled in the Honors Art Seminar, the Upper School's most advanced art seminar. This year, seminar students worked hard to curate two exhibitions of their work. "The Observer Effect" is on display in the Harry M. Drake Gallery on the Randolph Campus through June 6, 2021; and "Atmospheric Pressure," a virtual exhibition, is accessible online here.
On Friday, April 16, 2021, SPA livestreamed this year's Upper School One-Acts. View the program from the performance.
In Fall 2020, the Upper School presented Under Milk Wood, a 1954 radio drama by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas that was commissioned by the BBC and later adapted for the stage. Due to in-person performance limitations, the fall play was shared digitally with the SPA community on December 11-12, 2020.
View a performance slideshow on the right or see more photos of the performance on SmugMug.
Upper School Jazz Band: "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square"
Upper School Orchestra Winds: "March" by Bach
Honors Sinfonia: "All I Want for Christmas"
Upper School Jazz Band: "Ain't Misbehavin'"
Summit Singers: "Let the Mystery Be"
Academy Symphony: "Hallelujah"
Academy Chorale: "Wonderwall"
Upper School Orchestras: "Neesun Dorma"
Summit Singers: "Like A Girl"
Academy Chorale: "When the Party's Over"