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Fine & Performing Arts Curriculum

Arts Education at Cascia Hall

In keeping with the Augustinian philosophy of educating the whole person, Cascia Hall provides a diverse offering of  classes in the fine and performing arts. Our academic advisement staff helps each student choose and develop the arts path that is most compatible with his or her  aptitudes and inclinations ... and that is most likely to provide a lifetime of enjoyment and enrichment. 

Middle School Art, Grades 6 - 8

  • Allows students to explore their unique artistic and creative skills
  • Encourages experimentation with various media and forms: painting, collage, ceramics, sculpture, drawing, oil pastels
  • Involves students in project research, integration of other subjects, partnered work, critical thinking, clean-up, use of technology

Upper School Art

  • Art I — provides a foundation in elements and principles of art through projects, study of art history, aesthetics and art criticism
  • Art II: Color and Design —  deepens understanding of mediums and history; promotes expression of ideas through 2-D and 3-D works
  • Art III: Pre-AP/Studio Art — in-depth study in drawing or painting with individual course study planned by student and instructor
  • Art IV: AP Art — requires students to complete a 30-piece portfolio of original works, including an intensive concentrated area of art expression.

Middle School Music

  • 6th Grade Music — teaches basic guitar skills, basic vocal technique and the use of Orff-Schulwerk (xylophone-type) instruments
  • 8th Grade Music — continues guitar instruction, vocal technique, and introduces handbell playing. Students continue to learn how to sing in harmony (part singing)
  • Brass Instruction (elective) — teaches tone production and note-reading skills on either the trumpet, trombone, or euphonium

Upper School Music

  • Theory I — grounds students in music reading, rhythms, intervals, chords, music writing; ideal college music prep class
  • General Chorus —  emphasizes vocal technique and part-singing; introduces a variety of musical styles from jazz to sacred music  
  • Performance Ensemble — audition-only 16-member ensemble focuses on public performance and vocal training
  • Beginning Guitar - introduces students to basic chord, notes, rhythms, and tablature.
  • Intermediate Guitar — further develops note-reading, pentatonic scales, modes, improvisation; introduces chord theory, jazz chords

Acting and Theater, Grades 9-12

  • Introduction to Theatre (fall semester) - provides an overview of the basic aspects of theatre and production, including script and production analysis, acting, lighting, sound, sets, costumes, theatre personnel, and theatre history.
  • Musical Theatre I  — introduces the acting, technical, and production aspects of staging a musical
  • Competitive Acting — prepares students for participation in interscholastic acting competitions

Photography, Grades 9-12

  • Beginning Photography — teaches students fundamentals of 35mm camera operation with emphasis on focus, lighting and speed settings for proper exposure; students learn techniques in  developing and printing black and white film
  • Advanced Photography —  expands on black and white technique with exploration of alternative processes, the Zone System, archival printing techniques, large format photography, light painting, digital photography, image manipulation, night photography, documentary projects and portfolio development

Speech and Debate

  • 7th Grade Speech — introduces the basics of public communication skills and public speaking
  • Speech I — focuses on the principles of communication through various speeches, including the performance of literature as well as original speeches
  • Speech II — concentrates on speeches written by students with a focus on current events and argumentation
  • Debate — prepares students for interscholastic competition in various forms of debate and speech