Whether you love to play the cello or flute, deliver comedic monologues or belt out songs on stage, or express yourself with a paintbrush or canvas, you will find a creative outlet in the Middle School. You can choose either a music group or theatrical arts class to fulfill your performing arts requirement, and you will take a studio arts class each year in one of our two dedicated Middle School art studios.
Grade 6 studio art introduces you to a number of genres and teaches the basic techniques of drawing and design. You will experiment with pencil, pen, colored pencil, charcoal and sculpture. Form I (Grade 7) art expands upon the basics learned in Grade 6, teaches the foundations of painting, and introduces color theory when mixing paints. Projects become a bit more complex, with one that is based upon a global style of art such as aboriginal dot painting. Form II (Grade 8) art focuses on mastering the foundations of drawing, painting and design, and usually includes three big multi-step projects that will push you to improve your art skills and your ability to work independently.
Our studio artists often showcase their work on the walls of the Mondzac Performing Arts Center and our Landow Family Gallery, and over the past several years have earned accolades for their paintings and drawings in the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
You can join the Middle School Band, Strings Ensemble (violin, viola, cello and bass), Handbells, Chorus, Choir or Glee Club — and may audition for the Jazz Ensemble, which also includes Upper School students. Those who pursue Strings, Jazz or Band must attend group practices and take individual lessons offered at Landon after school.
Our music groups frequently perform on campus in after-school concerts, at all-school events, and for their Middle School peers during “MAD” (Music-Art-Drama) Day assemblies, held regularly throughout the year to showcase our Bears’ creative talents.
In addition, music groups often perform around the Washington, D.C., area at prominent venues such as the Kennedy Center and D.A.R. Constitution Hall, and score top marks at competitions, such as the Music in the Parks festival in Hershey Park, Pennsylvania.
If you wish to pursue a performing arts track, you may also take our theatrical arts class, open to a limited number of students in Grade 6 and Forms I and II. Taught by a working actor who has appeared on Netflix’s House of Cards, this class teaches on-stage acting, as well as behind-the-scenes skills such as lighting, sound and set design — and students perform for the entire Middle School at various times throughout the year.
Even if you are not enrolled in the theatrical arts class, you can participate in one or both of the Middle School’s annual plays done in conjunction with Holton-Arms School. Recent productions include Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (see video above), the musical Peter Pan Jr. and #SCREEN/PLAY, a trio of short comedic plays about life in the digital age.