Exciting new courses are integrated into the curriculum, ranging from Accelerated to Honors to Advanced Placement, there is something for everyone who has either passion for music, aspirations for the stage, or a desire to express themselves through visual art.
“We have an incredibly talented group of teachers in the fine arts department with a lot of expertise,” said Mr. Stephen Dacey ’95, the chair of the department and Xaverian’s Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning. “Next year, we are offering some very interesting classes that have not been available to students previously.” This docket of classes came together thanks to a survey of Xaverian students in fall 2018, with over 700 Hawks offering their input on how to shape the future of the fine arts department.
“One of our goals is to give students a continuous arts experience from grades 7-12,” said Mr. Dacey. “This will likely be most evident through our instrumental program, in which all seventh graders will have the opportunity to select an instrument - including vocals - and be able to study it over the course of their six years here. Ensembles such as the Jazz Band, Chorus, X-Men, and the Pep Band will continue to grow through this program.”
For students who are even more musically oriented, a new lineup of private lessons will be offered for a broad array of instruments. In conjunction with Needham Music, students can participate in a rent-to-own instrument program. Lessons are conveniently available on campus and range from 30 minutes to an hour, depending upon instructor and student availability. Prominent local musicians who teach at prestigious universities and work with some of music’s finest groups will be coming to Xaverian to conduct the lessons.
“These lessons are all about growing, and there are endless areas for growth in music,” Mr. Dacey added. “Whether a student is fostering a skill or passion that he wasn’t aware of, or is already a seasoned musician, we have a place for him to succeed.”
Mr. Dacey offered this advice to students who are “on the fence” about signing up for the new fine arts classes or the instrumental program:
“From a personal standpoint, the arts are a part of our human nature. In order to be a full person, you need to have exposure to and appreciation for visual arts, music, theatre, singing, and dance. I am so proud to see this portrayed all around Xaverian, whether it be our great artwork, our winter concert, our spring musical, or any of the other standout showcases for fine arts. From a practical standpoint, developing and educating students on the fine arts is key. All learning is, in a way, interconnected. The skills a student learns in the fine arts, such as creative and critical thinking, perspective, and problem solving, apply throughout the curriculum and one’s life.”
The following new classes are being offered in addition to the existing courses:
Beginning Guitar and Piano; Audio Production; Music Business and Entrepreneurship; History of Popular Music; Music Theory (Advanced Placement); Writing for the Stage and Screen; Choreography for the Stage; Advanced Acting (Honors); Conceptualizing Theatre (Honors); 3D Sculpture.
The following lessons are available: Brass (Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, and French Horn); Piano and Pipe Organ; Voice (Pop, Musical Theater, Classical, Opera, Liturgical, and Cantor); Guitar, Bass, and Composition; Woodwinds (Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, and Oboe); Drums and Percussion.