Fine Arts Department

The Fine Arts department offers students a chance to learn more about themselves through music (both instrumental and vocal), theater and the visual arts. The Fine Arts curriculum offer the beginner a place to start and the more experienced student a place to continue to grow. Learn to draw, paint, sculpt, design a house, sing, record your own music, play an instrument, or create a character on stage. 

Fine Arts courses are listed below; please download the Academic Guide for a complete list of our course offerings.

Courses

VISUAL ARTS

Director of Visual Arts: Kim Tester
Visual Arts course credits count toward fulfilling the Fine Arts credit.
* Indicates course fee applied.

MAJOR COURSES

INTRODUCTION TO VISUAL ART* (FALL OR SPRING)

This course introduces the studio experience through the exploration of in-depth design concepts, terminology, and various media. Projects include drawing, painting, printmaking, and 2D and 3D Design. The course is strongly suggested as a prerequisite for further work in studio art. For Third Formers.

DRAWING* (FALL OR SPRING)

Students study the expression of visual thought through drawing. Areas covered include contour drawing, still life, portrait, perspective drawing, and experimental techniques. Students use pastels, charcoal, ink, pencils, markers and other medium. Students will be assigned projects that utilize images from everyday surroundings and their imagination to form unique compositions.

CERAMICS* (FALL)

This course investigates various ways to create functional and sculptural objects with clay. Hand building techniques include pinch, slab, and coils. For Fifth and Sixth Formers.

PRINTMAKING* (FALL)

This course provides students with an introduction to various experimental and traditional printing processes and their relationship to composition and color. Among the types of prints that may be covered include the use of digital imagery, monotype, linoleum, woodblock, embossing, and screen print. Assignments may include a t-shirt logo design, postcard project, and a large-scale transportation design using various textures including tires from large machinery. Experimentation is encouraged!

PAINTING* (SPRING)

Through experimentation and related exercises, students learn about painting as a medium of visual expression. Basic studies include drawing, color theory, and composition. Students explore a variety of subject matter from direct observation as well as from their imagination. Materials may include watercolor, acrylic, and collage.

SCULPTURE* (SPRING)

This course explores the processes of modeling, carving, construction, and assemblage in wood, paper, plaster, wire, and found materials. Students begin with projects that help them visualize the transition from two to three-dimensional design. Assignments progress into sculpture-in-the-round or free standing works. 

ARCHITECTURE* (SPRING)

This introductory course concentrates on giving students a broad view of architecture in both the technical and creative sense. Drawing assignments may include freehand drawing, an imaginative proposal project that combines various drawing types, a community park design, and the design and development of a residence. For the final project students design a set of plans (floor, elevation and site plans) and build a scale model. 

ADVANCED PLACEMENT TWO-DIMENSIONAL DESIGN* (OFFERED AS STUDENTS QUALIFY)

This course is for the serious art student whose prior work exhibits advanced technical experience and conceptual thought processes. Students work in drawing, painting, photography, collage and mixed media. Students spend the academic year focusing on a chosen theme or concentration. Explored in-depth, this theme is expressed using various color, design, and compositional techniques. AP Portfolios are submitted in May. For Sixth Formers only.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT THREE-DIMENSIONAL DESIGN* (OFFERED AS STUDENTS QUALIFY)

This course is for the serious art student whose prior work exhibits advanced technical experience and conceptual thought processes. The course focuses specifically on developing advanced spatial design solutions. An understanding of drawing, painting and sculpture is expected. Students spend the academic year focusing on a chosen theme or concentration. Explored in-depth, this theme is expressed using various color, design, and compositional techniques. AP Portfolios are submitted in May. For Sixth Formers only.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT DRAWING* (OFFERED AS STUDENTS QUALIFY)

(OFFERED AS STUDENTS QUALIFY)

This course is for the serious art student whose prior work exhibits advanced technical experience and conceptual thought processes. The course focuses specifically on using a variety of drawing media. Students spend the academic year focusing on a chosen theme or concentration. Explored in-depth, this theme is expressed using various color, design, and compositional techniques. AP Portfolios are submitted in May. For Sixth Formers only.

ADVANCED CERAMICS, ADVANCED ART PORTFOLIO, ADVANCED PAINTING, ADVANCED PRINTMAKING, AND ADVANCED 2-D OR 3-D DESIGN* (OFFERED AS STUDENTS QUALIFY)

These courses build on the same techniques and media learned in the introductory courses. The advanced courses emphasize a more conceptual approach and development of personal style. Students also use these courses to help them prepare a portfolio for college entrance or to enhance their college applications.

MUSIC

Director of Music: David Overthrow
Director of Choral Studies: Sarah Armstrong
Music course credits count toward fulfilling the Fine Arts credit.

MAJOR COURSES

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC BAND

The Contemporary Music Band is a select group of instrumentalists who perform music in many styles of modern jazz including blues, funk, fusion, swing, and Latin. Students learn about playing in a rhythm section, improvising, and interpretation of style. Students of any instrument in Intermediate to Advanced level may audition. This group gives five performances throughout the year. Students have the opportunity to learn jazz improvisation, as well as techniques for playing jazz in a small group setting. By audition.

VARSITY VOICES

Varsity Voices is Canterbury’s high-level vocal acapella ensemble, specializing in contemporary and popular music. Explore tight vocal harmonies, complex rhythms, and advanced vocal techniques in this challenging and fast-paced environment. Varsity Voices is an auditioned ensemble for all voice types and students who have experience in vocal percussion/beat boxing. This ensemble will perform regularly both on and off campus. By audition.

ADVANCED THEORY FOR MODERN MUSIC (OFFERED AS STUDENTS QUALIFY)

This course offers students a new understanding of how music functions. Students are introduced to a systematic approach to the learning of theory and composition in rock, pop, and other modern music idioms. Exploration of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic principles, standard popular music song forms, analysis of published works, and arranging considerations will all be topics covered. Students will also develop ear-training skills through performance and dictation study of melodies, rhythms and harmonic progressions. After completing this course students will be able to write short original musical compositions as well as identify common rhythmic harmonic and melodic musical phrases by ear. Department approval required.

COMPUTER MUSIC 1: USING GARAGEBAND (FALL)

This is a course open to beginners as well as those experienced with GarageBand.  Students learn how to record and edit music, create beats, and mix tracks. After taking this class students will be able to record a project, record a podcast episode and record a movie score.

COMPUTER MUSIC 2: USING PRO-LOGIC (SPRING)

In this class students learn how to create, record, and mix music with Logic Pro X.  This course is open to all students.   Students will learn how to create their own music with Apple Loops, record MIDI with software instruments, learn how to write beats and learn how to record audio. At the end of this class students will be able to create their own beats and songs with the Logic Pro X Software. (Computer Music 1 is not a requirement of Computer Music 2)

MINOR COURSES

CHORALE

Canterbury Chorale is the place where anyone can find their singing voice. This choir emphasizes the healthy habits of ensemble singing through a variety of genres and styles. Canterbury Chorale is open to all students, without audition, and performs at various concerts and special events throughout the school year.

CARILLON GUILD

This course introduces students to the art of playing the carillon. Students will work on the practice clavier, preparing music suitable for the instrument. Canterbury has the unique honor of housing one of Connecticut’s eleven Carillons. Located in the Chapel of Our Lady, Canterbury’s Carillon was installed in 1931, making it one of the oldest in Connecticut, as well as the smallest, with twenty-three bells. When a student has reached an appropriate level of mastery on the practice clavier, they will have the opportunity to perform on the chapel’s Carillon.

JAZZ/ROCK/POP ENSEMBLE

This band is open to all instruments. Students with little experience such as late beginning to intermediate levels are welcome. All that is required is the desire to improve as well as work towards a common goal with others. Students will play music in the style of popular music, rock & roll, and jazz.

ORCHESTRA

The Canterbury Orchestra will perform various selections from an expanded repertoire including styles of music ranging from symphonic to contemporary pop selections. The material will be chosen based on the ability of the group as a whole. Students will be expected to participate in all rehearsals and performances of the Orchestra. Prerequisite: This is not a class in instrumental instruction. Students must have played an orchestral instrument (woodwind, brass, or string) and have the basic knowledge thereof. This instrument must be available to the student for full time use. Private lessons are encouraged but not necessary, as long as the student can perform the music assigned. By audition.

CLASSICAL CHAMBER

Classical Chamber is made up of small groups of two to four players, who rehearse and perform selections from the standard chamber music repertoire and contemporary pop. The material is chosen based on the ability and instrumentation of each group. This is an excellent opportunity for students to be exposed to material that is often not studied on the pre-college level. Each student will be expected to participate in all rehearsals and performances of the ensemble. Prerequisite: These ensembles are for more advanced students, and are not classes in instrumental instruction. Students are expected to have an instrument available for full time use. Private lessons are encouraged but not necessary, as long as the student can perform the music assigned. By audition.

ROCK BAND

Rock Band is a select group of students who will perform music in a variety of subgenres of rock & roll music. Students will learn the stylistic elements of a variety of rock styles and focus on both rhythm section playing and creating solos while performing at several concerts throughout the year. This course is open to guitarists, bassists, drummers, vocalists, keyboard players (pianists), percussionists, saxophone, and trumpet players. If you are interested in rock music this is the group for you. Students must have a background of at least intermediate level on their instrument. By audition.

INTRODUCTION TO GUITAR (FALL)

Students will have the opportunity to explore music through the medium of guitar playing. Students will have hands-on work in every class and may work independently on occasion. Topics include chord shapes, strumming patterns, rhythm guitar playing, playing in a group, and the use of a capo. Students will also learn to read chord charts and tablature. This course is ideal for any student who is interested in learning how to play the guitar. For students who do not own a guitar they can rent one or use guitars in the classrooms for practice.

ACOUSTIC GUITAR (SPRING)

In this course students learn a repertoire of pop and rock songs classic through modern. Students review major and minor chords and learn a variety of techniques used to play popular songs such as flatpicking, finger-picking, as well as strumming and rhythmic patterns. Prerequisite: Intro To Guitar, or students must be familiar with major and minor chords.

PRIVATE LESSONS

Private instruction is offered on guitar, bass, piano, voice, drums, sax, trumpet, clarinet, violin, and cello. All private instructors are experienced musicians in the fields of music education and performance. Private lessons meet once a week and can count towards fulfilling the Fine Arts credit requirement. This is a great opportunity for any student who wishes to learn an instrument or excel on an instrument they have experience in playing. A fee is charged for private instruction.

THEATER

Theater Director: Sarah Armstrong
Technical Theater Director: Lisa Bonelli
Theater course credits count toward fulfilling the Fine Arts credit. 

Courses

THEATER PRODUCTION (FALL)

Student actors, through rehearsal and performance in the fall play, practice techniques unique to theatrical production. Analyzing character, understanding relationships between characters, vocal projection and body expression are all part of the course. Actors are expected to display disciplined work ethic, teamwork and personal responsibility as basic requirements for participation. Two performances on the Canterbury stage for audiences culminate the course. This counts as either minor (.25) or major (.5) credit, depending on time commitment. By audition.

MUSICAL THEATER PRODUCTION (SPRING)

Student actors, through rehearsal and performance in the spring musical, practice performance techniques unique to musical productions. Singing, dancing and the art of performance in this genre are part of the course. Actors are expected to display disciplined work ethic, teamwork, and personal responsibility as basic requirements for participation. Two performances on the Canterbury stage for audiences culminate the course. Counts as either minor (.25) or major (.5) credit, depending on time commitment. By audition.

TECHNICAL THEATER (FALL OR SPRING)

Students will obtain knowledge of the behind-the-scenes collaboration that takes a production from an initial script selection through design and implementation to the final curtain. Students will learn the basics of set building, lighting, and sound design for drama productions and will be well prepared to handle operations on their own at showtime. Students will become familiar with the proper use of tools for set building, gain an understanding of set design as it applies to Canterbury’s theater space and learn the basics of stage maintenance, lighting, and sound needs for the actors. Instruction will emphasize terminology, basic concepts and safety. Two performances on the Canterbury stage for audiences culminate the course. This course counts as either a minor (.25) or major (.5) credit, depending on time commitment. By audition.

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