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Fine Arts News

List of 4 items.

  • Piano Students Display Their Talents in Events and Competitions

    The SJS Piano Program is proud to announce the awards and accomplishments their students have achieved throughout the school year. 
    All SJS piano students participate in rigorous adjudication and testing events each year on campus. In the fall, 54 piano students received medals for earning a score of 90 or above on the Texas Music Teachers Association Theory Test. At the in-house, adjudicated SJS Piano Showcase in November, students received trophies for earning “Excellent” or “Superior” ratings for three or more consecutive years.
    In February, 18 students participated in Forum Festivities, an adjudicated event in recital format.

  • St. John’s Visual Arts Ends the Year with the ISAS Fine Arts Festival, the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition, and Art Junction

    Every year, St. John’s art students participate in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. This year, several students earned either a regional honorable mention, a silver key or a gold key.
    The ISAS Fine Arts Festival returned after the last four years were canceled due to the Covid epidemic. It was held at All Saints’ School in Fort Worth. Visual arts students brought artwork to display in the exhibition space, which included student art from over 40 ISAS schools. Each student received a critique of their artwork from a local professional artist and participated in several art workshops at the festival. Students were also asked to create chalk art at the festival. They also had the opportunity to watch performances by SJS students and other schools in theater, music, film, and dance during the weekend. 
    Art Junction is a student-run organization in collaboration with the St. John’s School Visual Arts and Community Service programs. This year Art Junction was held at A 2nd Cup is a Houston Heights coffee shop. A 2nd Cup was established in 2012 to raise awareness of human trafficking issues in Houston – and develop resources that help create a second chance for survivors. Art Junction presented its sixth annual fundraising high school art exhibition and sale to support a local cause. The exhibition featured artwork by Houston high school and professional artists. All the artwork was created on 5x7 and range from intricate pen drawings, paintings, photos, and mixed media.
  • St. John’s Singers Spring Show

    St. John’s Singers proudly presents this year’s Spring Show, entitled Whether the Weather. Audiences will be taken through a rainy day at St. John’s Lower School. As the sounds of thunder fill the theatre, students will dance in the rain, paint clouds in art class, and undergo extreme winds during PE. Could it be that a hurricane is brewing? Or, perhaps it will be blue skies and sunshine after all! We happily invite you to put on your rain boots, grab your umbrella, and join us for an evening of song filled with pop arrangements, Broadway tunes, and exciting choral music. Inspired by one of St. John’s Singers’ favorite warm-ups, the Spring Show reminds us that we can brave any storm with courage and unity. “Whether the weather be cold, whether the weather be hot, we’ll stick together whatever the weather, whether we like it or not!” Tickets sell for $13.
  • 2023-2024 Fine Arts Placements and Auditions


    US Choir Placement Auditions

    Tuesday, August 8, Wednesday, August 9, and Thursday, August 10, 3:00 - 6:30 p.m. each day

    Choir placement auditions will be held for Upper School students and rising freshmen in mid-August in VST 110 (the choir room in the fine arts building). Time slots are 6 minutes long. Students will receive their assigned date/time slot in late July. These auditions are designed as “vocal interviews,” allowing the choir directors to assess a student’s vocal instrument and musicianship skills. Students will be asked to sing one verse of “My Country Tis of Thee” unaccompanied, vocalize a little, and perform some standard sight-reading exercises. This is not a pass/fail audition. If you have any questions, please email Scott Bonasso or Brendan Emig. 
    Choir Level/Grade:
    ● Les Chanteuses: Class 9 - Class 10 Grade girls. Directed by Brendan Emig. 
    ● Chorale: (Varsity Mixed Choir) Class 11 - Class 12 girls; Class 9 - Class 12 boys. Directed by Scott Bonasso. 
    ● Kantorei: Advanced a cappella chamber choir selected from Chorale members. Directed by Scott Bonasso. 

    US Theater Auditions 

    The Theatre Department plans to produce four Upper School productions during the 2023-2024 school year; the One-Act Festival, Fall Play, Winter Play, Spring Musical, and Spring Play. Students may audition for one or all productions. 
    The auditions for the Fall Play, One Acts, and Winter Play will take place Monday, August 14, and Tuesday, August 15. Additional information and audition requirements will be sent out at the beginning of August. 
    Musical auditions will take place separately in October. Additional information, including the announcement of the musical and audition requirements, will be sent out in September. If you have any questions or concerns regarding Upper School Theatre, please reach out to Mrs. Stires Hardin
    In addition to these performances, we will hold auditions for the Spring Play which will be performed at the ISAS Arts Festival at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin on April 11, 12, and 13. More information will be sent about this production after the beginning of the school year.  
    The Theatre Department also plans to produce three Middle School productions during the 2023-2024 school year: the Fall Musical, Winter Play, and Spring Play. Students may audition for both the musical and a play.
    Information regarding auditions for the MS Musical will be sent out in early July. At that time, we will announce the production and include all the necessary paperwork and audition requirements. MS Musical auditions will be Monday, August 28, and Tuesday, August 29. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Brooke Wilson.
    Auditions for the MS Winter Play and Spring Play will take place in November. More information will be sent out after the start of the fall semester.

    Band Auditions 

    Primary Ensemble (Concert Band or Symphonic Winds): Students are first placed into one of two primary band ensembles by audition, either in Concert Band or Symphonic Winds. By mid-April, Placement Audition information is handed out and emailed to all students enrolled in US Band for the upcoming school year. 
    Each packet will contain music and instructions with deadlines for submission. We ask that student video submissions include an unobstructed view of their face and hand position while playing their instrument. This allows for the most accurate assessment of technique and tone. Primary Ensemble placement results will be finalized in May. 
    Secondary Ensemble (Jazz Ensemble): Please note that members of the Jazz Ensemble who play brass, woodwinds, or drums are required to be members of Symphonic Winds or Concert Band as their primary ensemble first. Jazz Ensemble is considered a secondary ensemble, one that enriches the instrumental music experience offered in our primary ensembles. By mid-April, Jazz Ensemble Audition information is handed out and emailed to all students enrolled in US Jazz Ensemble for the upcoming school year.
    Each packet will contain music and instructions with deadlines for submission. We ask that student video submissions include an unobstructed view of their face and hand position while playing their instrument. This allows for the most accurate assessment of technique and tone. Jazz Ensemble placement results will be finalized in May.
    Students who play guitar, bass, and piano and are interested in performing with the Jazz Ensemble should contact Mr. Thomas before the audition to ensure that the information is provided in advance of the audition. 

    US Orchestra Placement Auditions

    There are two levels of string ensembles at the Upper School level. Both ensembles are open to students who play the violin, viola, cello, bass, or harp. Philharmonia Strings is the less advanced ensemble. String students should have played an instrument for at least two years. The skills that students in Philharmonia should have include playing two-octave scales in the keys of C, G, D, and F Major, shifting into and playing in third position (violin and viola), shifting into and playing in second, third, and fourth positions (cello), and shifting and playing in the first five positions (bass). Chamber Strings is open to more advanced students who may also be interested in auditioning for TMEA and/or TPSMEA All-Region and All-State Orchestra. The skills students in Chamber Strings should have include playing three-octave scales in the keys of C, G, D, F, and Bb Major and corresponding relative minor scales. Shifting skills should include secure and accurate playing in the first five positions. All entering and returning students must submit a video for placement in the ensemble appropriate for their skill level. A second audition round will be required for students wishing to audition for Chamber Strings. This round will consist of the preparation and recording of a short excerpt of music. The excerpt(s) will be made available on a predetermined Friday afternoon, with the video of the student due the following Sunday. The timeline for preparing and submitting videos will be issued with the music for the scales.
    Students currently in the SJS orchestra program will be given music to prepare for the video during their class period. Students new to St. John’s or not currently in an ensemble should contact Ms. Meitz to obtain music and more information on the placement process. 


    SJS Piano Program

    The St. John’s School Fine Arts Department offers students the opportunity to enroll in piano lessons on campus, whether in private, partner, or group settings. The piano program is a thirteen-year preparatory curriculum taught by our outstanding piano faculty, who are trained in Piano Performance and Pedagogy and are experts in their field. We aim to develop overall musicianship in each student through a reading-based curriculum. Individualized lesson plans are rooted in developing each student’s skills, appreciation for all styles of music, and confidence in performance. Private lessons are complemented by small group sessions, which provide opportunities for collaborative learning.
    Students interested in joining the program must schedule an assessment interview with a member of the piano faculty who will evaluate the student’s ability level, previous experience, and aptitude for piano study. Placement within the program is based on student assessment and teacher availability. More information about the SJS piano program curriculum and academic calendar can be found here.

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