There’s an innate passion for the arts at Seven Hills that inspires our students to express themselves and fulfill their creative potential. In the Upper School, this can take an unimaginable number of forms and all come together to create an environment that celebrates each and every one.
In the fine and performing arts, Upper School students participate in an environment that promotes meaningful collaboration, cultivates leadership skills, and focuses on working cooperatively and independently. They have the space to take risks, define their own goals, and push their craft further than they thought possible. As they gain experience and grow, they are empowered to take the lead and see their artistic vision through. In our state-of-the-art Schiff Center and Donovan Arts Center, they have the space and opportunity to make creative decisions and take control of projects. Because many students’ passions lie in the arts, they are able to take any arts class multiple times throughout their Seven Hills career to help develop and solidify their specific talents. By the time they graduate, students will have experiences adapting and directing one-act plays, designing sets, running lights, writing original music, performing in ensembles, or hosting art exhibitions, depending on their field of study. They experience the perfect platform and time to create a portfolio for pursuing their artistic endeavors beyond Seven Hills.
The Upper School visual arts program begins with a general art prerequisite, after which students can hone their artistic abilities by enrolling in a broad range of courses in drawing, painting, ceramics, graphic design, sculpture, digital imaging, film and animation, and art history. Students can take introductory courses that allow them to explore their curiosities and see what’s out there, or they can embark on more advanced classes that allow them the room and resources they need to grow. Students have access to professional facilities and equipment, including 3-D printers, digital cameras, and advanced software and computers. And with a wealth of extracurricular programs to compliment our robust visual arts program, students of all levels, from dedicated artists to enthusiastic beginners, can find something that meets their needs and enables them to develop their talents.
All Upper School theatre classes take place in The Schiff Center theatre classroom—a large, fully-functional small theatre with full lights and sound as well as large-screen projection. Our Upper School theatre program offers five courses that cover a variety of acting, directing, film studies, technical theater, and stage design skills. Upper theatre students have access to the Schiff’s 500-seat main stage proscenium theatre, the Upper School Small Theatre classroom, and the Blackbox Theatre in the Donovan Arts Center, allowing them the opportunity to create new works and direct them, culminating in a project with student-directed plays. With an opportunity to use high-end materials to design and execute scenes and performances, and access to a black box theater in our Donovan Arts Center, our expert teachers have everything they need to ensure drama students of every level have the tools they need to stretch their talents and interests as actors, script writers, directors, and stage managers.
Building on a strong foundation in musical theory and language, Upper School students have the opportunity in our music curriculum to truly immerse themselves in their craft. With access to electives that include three choral ensembles and two instrumental ensembles, our student musicians can learn even more about music, hone and develop their skills, and show off their talents in performances. Our most dedicated musicians can take high-level courses that allow them to push their talents as far as they desire. With a rich diversity of vocalists and instrumentalists, students can spend time learning from our seasoned faculty and enjoying their time with classmates with similar passions.
The arts are vital to a Seven Hills education, and all our students in our Upper School participate in arts programs as part of the curriculum. Many go beyond the classroom and develop their passions further, taking a particular interest in an instrument, musical theater, chorus, or some aspect of visual arts. Below, our student artists share how the arts have helped shape their Seven Hills’ experience.
Maddy counts chorus among her favorite classes. Not only does she sing classically outside of school, Maddy also participates in the Seven Hills chorus and chamber ensemble. Her teacher, Tina Kuhlman, has served as a teacher and motivator, pushing Maddy to do her best. “Mrs. Kuhlman lent me music books, assisted me with solos, critiqued my performance in order to make me better, and most importantly, has been one of the kindest people. This has helped me develop into the artist I am today.” Maddy is driven and eager to continue to sing at Seven Hills and beyond. “I am so motivated to continue my music career because of the experience I’ve had at Seven Hills.”
Jake can’t imagine his life without music. The sophomore has found his outlet in our chorus and performing arts programs. He remembers tackling a particularly challenging piece of music, Mozart’s Missa longa in C Minor. “The piece was exciting because the chorus broke up into their parts to learn it in a more individual way.”
Yuou, a junior, is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to visual arts. She is not only a painter, photographer, and designer, but she also has an interest in drawing, digital art, and architecture. One of Yuou’s favorite assignments was searching for and taking photos of objects that resembled letters in her name. “I think this project pushed me and other students to be creative and to become keener observers.” She also enjoys using the tools found in the arts classrooms. “In both my digital imaging class and graphic design class, we use computer applications such as Photoshop and Illustrator.”