12th Grade

Arts

Seniors at Moses Brown have an extensive menu of fine and performing arts opportunities available to them.  On page, stage, and canvas, they are regularly challenged to discern what they think and feel, and to hone their technical ability to realize that inner vision.  Arts classes frequently overlap with other subjects, giving students multiple ways of accessing–and appreciating–their lessons.

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Curriculum

  • Fine Art

    Fine Art

    High schoolers are developing an enduring sense of identity, and the art room is a place where they can discover the tools and techniques of art-making, and use art as a mirror through which to know themselves.

    With beginning and advanced sections of many courses, students at Moses Brown can explore the tools and techniques of art-making, or develop their talents to a professional level.  Students are encouraged to follow their interests and passions, and faculty support them on these journeys.

    Studio Art lets students try paint, charcoal, wood and wire, printmaking, and sculpture.  Ceramics helps students develop their skill with pinch construction, coiling, slabwork, and wheel throwing. More advanced artists may now further explore their craft in AP Studio Art classes.

    Film and digital photography courses teach students the classic techniques of photography and the latest tools for image manipulation.  Textiles and construction help budding fashion designers learn how to design, sew, and exhibit their own collections.

    And the Art of Science challenges students to examine the connections between natural and human systems, drawing inspiration from evolution, bio-mimicry, electrochemistry, kinetics, and thermodynamics, and interpreting these phenomena through sketching, sculpture, photography, textiles, and designing automata.

  • Music

    Music

    Student musicians have a broad range of opportunities to develop their skills, or to discover a talent they didn’t know they had.

    The upper school string orchestra plays everything from Mozart to Lady Gaga, and sometimes mashes them together.  With daily rehearsals, students develop a polished repertoire, though growing and learning musically is always the primary goal.  Jazz band helps musicians hone both their reading and improvising chops.  Whether supporting the ensemble or their section, or taking a solo for the crowd, every rehearsal and performance is a growth opportunity.

    Jazz, wind, and percussion ensembles help students develop their instrumental facility and their ability to blend with a group, follow a conductor, read challenging music, and improvise solos.

    Chorus and the percussion ensemble are open to all upper schoolers, whether or not they have previous musical experience.  These groups offer a great way to explore music for students who are new to it–standards are set high, and these ensembles rapidly turn every member into a competent and confident musician, both as members of the group and as soloists.  Along the way, students develop a deeper understanding of many genres and styles of music, including classical, jazz, pop, and contemporary art music.

    Additionally, the student-led Versatones a cappella group gives enthusiastic singers a chance to select their own repertoire, write arrangements, and perform in formal and informal settings throughout the year with their friends.  Guitar classes let kids find their inner Bob Marley or Van Halen, and composition and digital production courses teach students to write, program, and record their own productions.

  • Theater

    Theater

    Students learn to act by acting, to direct by directing, to dance by dancing.  And they’ll find courses, clubs, and school- and student-led productions in which to sharpen and share their talents.  In acting and directing classes, students learn philosophies of acting, and read about the teachers and practitioners who developed them.  They will fine-tune their abilities to inhabit and represent a character, to evaluate their classmates’ (and their own) performances, and discuss the ways actors engage with texts and characters.

    MBinRep is Moses Brown’s in-house repertory theater company, staging two concurrent performances with the same cast and crew.  This challenges students to play different functions in each production–the lead in one show might be in the chorus of the other, or working sound and lights.  This also sparks conversations about the contrasts of form and content between the two productions.  And it pushes technical theater students to create designs for two separate productions.

    The spring musical is a large-scale production with up to 50 actors and 25 technicians.  Students discover their inner ‘triple threat,’ acting, singing, and dancing in the Woodman Family Community & Performance Center, MB’s 33,000-square-foot performance space.  Additionally, student dancers work with a Choreographer-in-Residence in the winter, and with a visiting expert each spring.

    In the winter, students propose, cast, and rehearse a play, serving as their own directors, designers, and actors.  Directors propose production concepts to the head of the Drama department, assemble a production crew, and establish (and commit to) a production calendar.  These productions always have extra fire in the belly, as students discover the freedom and responsibility of running one’s own show.

Les Misérables

"One Day More" featuring the cast on campus

To promote the spectacular upper school musical production of “Les Miserables” cast members performed this song on campus with choreography and direction by students.

Music Theory and Performance

Studying how humans listen to and enjoy music

How does the human mind experience music, and how does the way you hear it impact your enjoyment and understanding of it? We talked with Abby S. ’17 regarding her recent studies of music cognition, what she has learned both as a performer and a listener, as well as her research of the Woodman Center both as a concept and finished building!

Fashion design

Upper School Fashion Show

Fashion designers from the upper school Textiles class had the opportunity to put their designs on display runway-style in the Woodman Center. The students created the entire project including construction.

Faculty

Dominique Avila ’11

Middle School and Upper School Art

About

Dominique Avila ’11

School of the Museum of Fine Arts – B.F.A.
Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts – M.A.

Anni Barnard

Upper School Ceramics

About

Anni Barnard

Indiana University of Pennsylvania – B.A.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania – M.A.
Rhode Island School of Design – M.F.A.

Steve Kidd

Middle School and Upper School Theater Arts

About

Steve Kidd

Colby College – B.A.
Brown University – M.A.

Hilary Major

Upper School, Middle School and Lower School String Orchestra

About

Hilary Major

Brown University – B.A.
Rhode Island College – M.A.T.

Justin Peters

Middle School Chorus and Upper School Chorus, Performing Arts Department Chair

About

Justin Peters

Wittenberg University – B.M.

Kristin S. Street

Upper School Visual Arts

About

Kristin S. Street

Rhode Island School of Design – B.F.A.
Maryland Institute College of Art – M.F.A.

Bruce Shaw

Performing Arts,Technical Director and Scene Shop Manager

About

Bruce Shaw

Princeton University – B.S.E.

Chris Hoyt

Production Manager, Woodman Center

About

Chris Hoyt

Greensboro College – B.A.
Brooklyn College – M.F.A.

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