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Music & Theater

Our Music & Theatrical Arts Programs

Drawing on the rich contributions the Catholic Church has made throughout history in the areas of music and art, the Pinecrest Academy Music and Theatrical Arts Program is top notch. As an integral part of our curriculum from Pre-K3 through 12th grade, music and theater become a way for students to discover, develop, and share their God-given talents, while advancing in the areas of critical thinking, creative problem solving, and self-confidence.

Beginning in Lower School Music, Pinecrest’s youngest students are introduced to the fundamentals of music, such as melody, rhythm, and harmony.  Students learn from doing, with opportunities to sing, play instruments, and experience a variety of music through listening examples. They showcase their skills through a number of performance opportunities.

Middle School students, through vocal studies and theater training, explore their creativity and learn to enjoy and appreciate the arts, gaining a deeper understanding of key music and theater elements. They learn the basic forms of theatrical presentation, from character development to improvisation, as well as strengthening their vocal talents through choral singing.

In the High School, a student’s performing arts education increases in sophistication. The Theatrical Arts Program is designed to promote creativity and imagination and provide opportunities for growth in a student’s artistic talents. Students refine their acting skills and production talents preparing and presenting staged musicals in which they execute all elements, including sets, costumes, props, lighting, sound, publicity, and front of house. Students also benefit from the opportunity to learn from industry professionals in the area of acting, singing, sound engineering, and more. Through Pinecrest Academy’s Guest Master Class Program, students learn from and work with a variety of professionals in the areas of the arts.

Theatrical Arts hosts six main events a year to showcase the many artistic talents of our students, in addition to numerous smaller performance opportunities. Students have the opportunity to earn a Varsity Letter for their hours of dedication and participation in the Theatrical Arts, as well as the opportunity to be part of the International Thespian Society, a nationally renowned theatre honor society. Additionally, outstanding vocalists and musicians are invited to participate in District and GISA Honor Choirs each year.

The Music and Theatrical Arts Program is proud to present quality performances that showcase the impressive talent development of our students. This program truly allows students the opportunity to build lasting connections with their classmates through hard work and a common goal of artistic excellence in their performances.

Courses

List of 10 items.

  • Lower School General Music

    Lower School General music classes are offered for Pre-K through 5th grade students twice a week. Students learn the fundamentals of beat, rhythm, melody, harmony, form and texture, as well as the expressive elements of music making. Each year builds on previous knowledge and skill, while adding new concepts and skill sets. In Lower School, singing is the foundation of the music curriculum. Young students will practice pitch-matching and the production of a pleasant tone, while singing lots of enjoyable music. As students progress, they will learn to sing with correct vocal technique utilizing breath control, body position, clear diction and physical energy to enhance their performance.

    Music Making:
    Music making is a very active process. The students sing, move, play classroom instruments, listen to quality music, and learn about great composers and their lives. They also learn notation and the process of reading and writing music. As students grow and mature in their skills, they will study choral scores to glean and perform what the composer intends.

    Curriculum:
    A variety of repertoire is used throughout each grade, including folk songs of different cultures, the works of great composers, sacred and secular music, choral pieces, chants, poems and songs with movement. Our music students learn the keys to success in this performing art. They will practice, perform, and evaluate their work. Students who study a musical instrument outside of school have opportunities to perform for their classmates, as do children who love to sing. Lower School Music class is a safe place for children to grow in confidence and nurture their unique musical gifts.

    Performance:
    3’s and 4’s: PreK Students perform “Noah’s Ark” annually in the Spring.
    Kindergarten: Kindergarten students put on an entertaining “Circus” program each year.
    Grades 1-5:
    • Perform in the All-School “A Pinecrest Christmas,” featuring Music, Theatre, Band and Art.
    • Perform in a Lower School “Fine Arts Showcase,” featuring Music, Art and Band.
  • 6th Grade Introduction to Theatrical Arts

    Introduction to the Theatrical Arts is a 9-week elective course for 6th Grade students. This is a sample course that promotes the enjoyment and appreciation of a variety of aspects of theatre and music. The course explores elements of basic acting techniques, improvisation, character development, elements of music, and singing.
  • 7th Grade Theatrical Arts

    Theatrical Arts is a semester-long course that deepens students’ knowledge and experience on stage.  Students develop acting, singing, and dancing skills as they prepare for two performances - the Spring Musical and Annual Piney Awards Show.  This course works on improvisation skills, character development, vocal techniques, and music and theater history. Students also participate in a number of projects and activities which allow them to explore elements of the stage, including stage makeup, stage combat, famous composers, basic video editing, and more.
  • 8th Grade Advanced Theatrical Arts

    Advanced Theatrical Arts is a semester-long, performance based course for 8th Grade students that studies both theatre performance skills and stagecraft. Students work to prepare the Fall 8th Grade Musical production, actively executing all elements of the production, both onstage and backstage. Students deepen their acting, singing, and dancing skills, while also learning about designing and producing props, costumes, sets, publicity and promotion, lights, and sound.
  • Fall & Spring High School Production

    Fall and Spring Production Classes are semester-long, performance based courses in which students produce a full staged musical to showcase their acting, singing, and dancing skills. Students increase their knowledge of the theater and their skills on stage and backstage through this engaging course. This class culminates with a full staged production of the musical each semester, as well as, “A Pinecrest Christmas” event and the Annual Spring Piney Awards.
  • Theatrical Arts I

    Theatrical Arts I is a semester-long, performance based course promoting enjoyment and appreciation of all aspects of theatre and music.  This course focuses on basic acting techniques, understanding roles, character development, introduction to stagecraft, and the history and development of theatre. Additionally, it explores the elements of music, singing, dancing, and stagecraft. Students develop these musical skills through basics of instrument use, with options of voice, guitar, ukulele, and piano. Students will demonstrate their abilities through class exercises, group projects, acting training activities, and performing at various school functions throughout the semester.
  • Theatrical Arts II

    This is the course offering for students who want to continue developing an understanding of the theatrical arts and presentation skills. Students will further develop their acting, singing, and dancing skills while increasing their ability to add depth to the characters they explore within the class. Students interested in backstage, costume design, lighting and sound, set building, and prop design will have opportunities to explore these areas of stagecraft to develop their talents.  Students can deepen their musical skills through continued study of instrument use, with options of voice, guitar, ukulele, and piano. Students will display these skills through integrative performances, group projects, show preparations, and on stage performances.
  • Theatrical Arts III

    This course offers a continuation of an understanding of the theatrical arts and presentation skills while increasing the student’s ability to add depth to the characters they explore within the class, increasing their vocal range and abilities, and improving their stage movement.  Students will also explore additional elements of theater – script writing, acting for film, video editing, the rehearsal process, choreography, vocal techniques, and more. Students interested in stagecraft will learn more about potential careers and stage design, while taking on leadership roles in the theater performances such as Student Director, Crew Captain, Backstage Captain, Lighting Design, and more. Students interested in instrument study can focus their efforts on continued study of instrument use with options of voice, guitar, ukulele, and piano. Students will showcase these skills through integrative performances, group projects, acting training activities, and on stage performances.
  • Theatrical Arts IV

    The course is an advanced performing arts course in which students have the ability to explore their range as a performer, musician, or stagecraftsman.  Students will complete projects and studies that will challenge their abilities, enhance their skills, and continue to deepen their knowledge of the art form.  Students will also explore additional elements of theater and music–taking on leadership roles in the theater and concert productions. Students interested in instrument study will work to master their efforts of instrument use, with options of voice, guitar, ukulele, and piano. Students will showcase these skills through integrative performances, group projects, leadership opportunities, and on stage performances.
  • High School Choir

    The High School Choir is a volunteer group of students that perform a number of times throughout the year.  These students learn the basics of vocal production within a choral ensemble. Students perform in the community, at numerous school Masses, and in a semester Theatrical Arts Department presentation. Students regularly participate in select honor vocal ensembles, including our District Honor Chorus and the GISA Honor Choir.  Choir students also perform the National Anthem at school events, both as solos and as an ensemble.

What parents, students and alumni are saying:

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  • Charlene Dougal, Parent of Middle and High School Students

    Both of my children have always had a love of musical theater.
    The program at Pinecrest Academy, under the direction of Erin McGraw, has inspired, stretched, and strengthened their own talent and love of music and acting. She has a special ability to manage large groups of students at all levels of interest and talent, turning their efforts into an amazing performance for all to experience. After five years of watching my children and others find confidence, courage, friendship, and a love of the stage in this program, I am a forever fan and so grateful for the opportunities it was provided for both of my children.
  • Erin Houlihan, Alumna, Class of 2018

    I became involved in the music department at Pinecrest when I was a sophomore. My older sister introduced me to Ms. McGraw, and I was immediately inspired by her to join the department. I started slowly by singing in the choir and once I became more comfortable, I became more involved and eventually played a lead role in the Spring Musical my Senior year. The biggest lesson that the Theatrical Arts Department taught me was to go out of myself for the benefit of others. Everyone is blessed with God-given talents; you just need to know where and how to use them. So whether I was singing in Adoration or performing on the stage, I would hope that through music someone was being touched. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to be a part of the Theatrical Arts Department during my time at Pinecrest and plan to continue my passion for music in college.
     
  • Estefi Herrera, Alumna, Class of 2016

    My experience with the Theatrical Arts program at Pinecrest really formed me into the independent leader that I am today. It provided me with the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and become someone else on stage, which eventually formed me into the true being of who I am. Because of the Theatrical Arts Program, I felt more confident going into the world after High School.
     
Guest Presenters
  • Brandon Browning, Actor
  • Nathan Fox-Helser, Recording Artist and Songwriter
  • Mary Claire Klooster, Actress and Drama Teacher
  • Christia Nastasi, Nastasi Vocal Studios
  • DJ Patrick, Audio Visual Technician at ASW Soundworks

Student Honor Choir Participation
  • GMEA District 9 Honor Chorus
  • GISA Honor Chorus
  • Archdiocesan Honor Chorus
  • All-State Honor Chorus

Music & Theatrical Arts Faculty

List of 4 items.

  • Erin McGraw

    Ms. Erin McGraw serves as Director of Fine Arts and Theatrical Arts teacher for 7th-12th grades
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  • Mary Stella Aucoin

    Mrs. Mary Stella Aucoin teaches Lower School Music: PreK3 through 5th grades.
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  • Katie Miller

    Ms. Katie Miller primarily teaches 7th Grade Language Arts and Literature, but in Fall 2018, she begins her third year teaching the Introduction to Theatrical Arts for 6th Grade students.  
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  • Jonathan Oshinski

    Mr. Jonathan Oshinski begins his first year working with the Theatrical Arts program in Fall 2018 and is excited about this new endeavor.
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