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Upper School Fine and Performing Arts

There’s a passion for the arts at Seven Hills that inspires our students to express themselves and fulfill their creative potential.

Expressing Yourself Confidently 

We believe that the arts are an essential part to the development of each student. That’s why they’re part of our core curriculum. In Upper School, students participate in an environment that promotes meaningful collaboration, cultivates leadership skills, and focuses on working both cooperatively and independently. They are encouraged to take risks, discover new things, and challenge themselves to produce new and creative ideas.


This course is designed for students who enjoy ensemble singing and want to broaden their musical skills. Singers learn proper breathing, vocal production, blend and balance, expansion of range, good intonation, ear training, and sight-reading skills. Throughout the year, students perform various styles of choral literature, ranging from classical and world culture to jazz and Broadway.

Designed for experienced musical students in grades 10 through 12, this course helps students further develop their vocal technique and musicianship. They also improve their critical thinking skills by analyzing musical elements such as form, text, and style, as well as different styles of choral literature.

This course offers two programs from which students can choose: Symphonic Ensemble and Contemporary Ensemble. Both groups are multi-grade experiences that focus on basic theory, sight-reading, and ear training, as well as different musical styles, aspects of theory, and unique technical skills.

This one-semester course serves as an introduction to the craft of acting. Students go beyond traditional concepts such as objectives and obstacles, and discover improvisation as an important method to developing their skill. They also have the opportunity to use high-end materials to design and execute scenes and performances.

Theatre 2 shifts the focus from improvisation to performing in different theatrical styles. Students learn to demystify Shakespeare, duel wits with a scene partner, or make outrageous character choices, all while simplifying the craft of acting and improving their own technique.

This course builds on the games and exercises of Theatre 1, introducing students to increasingly complex activities to develop their improvisational technique and delivery. Laughter is a norm in this safe environment, as students are encouraged to take risks and create spontaneously.

Shifting the emphasis from acting work in Theatre 1 and 2, this course focuses on the production of directed pieces. In addition to interpreting material and exploring staging techniques, students learn to realize their vision, creativity, and ingenuity by working with actors, designers, and technicians.

This concept-driven course introduces students to the creative and technical challenges of designing for the stage. They read classic and cutting-edge American plays, hone basic design skills, and explore various fields such as lighting, costume, and sound design.

In this introduction to the Upper School Visual Arts Program, students work on drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, film, and animation, all with an emphasis on basic design principles.

Building on the drawing and painting segments of General Art, this course emphasizes traditional techniques, experimental mixed media, mark making, color mixing, and painting theory.

Beginning with representational creations in clay and transitioning to wax and press molds, students explore assemblage, wire sculpting, metalwork, and other aspects of nonrepresentational sculpture.

This course opens with an introduction to basic construction techniques such as pinch pots, coil building, slab building, molding, and wheel throwing. Students then learn glaze work and kiln use and explore more experimental approaches to construction.

These courses help reinforce and develop students’ skills with 2-D drawing mediums like graphite, charcoal, colored pencil, and drypoint. Students also explore both observational and imaginative drawing practices and concepts, as well as color theory and design principles, all while refining their process in independent sketchbooks.

Students move beyond the fundamental design elements practiced in General Art to create projects that explore visual communication and problem solving. They use both traditional and digital mediums with an emphasis on clarity and craft, tackling increasingly sophisticated problems as the course progresses.

In this course, students use DSLRs (digital single-lens reflex cameras) to capture images, and then edit their work in Photoshop and Lightroom. They also use the computer as an art-making tool to create photo-realistic images and collages. Peer critiques help students evaluate their progress and learn from their classmates’ successes and mistakes.

This course focuses on the production of time-based artwork. Students write, compose, perform, and produce short videos, using the design principles and practices learned in General Art. Along with in-depth technical instruction, students also learn to how to best convey a story in a creative way.