An independent day school serving grades K-12 | St. Paul, MN


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

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.

april 16, 2021: upper school one-acts

Please join us on Friday, April 16, 2021, at 7 p.m. for the livestream debut of this year's Upper School One-Acts. View the program or tune in to the livestream.

Upper School studio art class

Upper School ceramics class

2020 Winter Music Showcase

In December 2020, in lieu of the annual Pops Concert, this year's Upper School Winter Music Showcase featured all of our Grade 9-12 music students in virtual performances. You may view the Showcase at any time via on-demand streaming, or view the Winter Showcase program.

Fall Play: Under Milk Wood

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"
December 2020

Upper School Jazz Band: "Ain't Misbehavin'"
October 2020

Summit Singers: "Let the Mystery Be"
September 2020

Academy Symphony: "Hallelujah"
December 2020

Academy Chorale: "Wonderwall"
September 2020

Upper School Orchestras: "Neesun Dorma"
Spring 2020

Summit Singers: "Like A Girl"
October 2020

Academy Chorale: "When the Party's Over"
October 2020