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Performing Arts

Housed in the historic building fondly known as “The Barn,” the Coville Theater is an intimate space that has always served as a magnet for students. There we perform large and small ensemble concerts and stage dramatic productions that rival those of professional theater companies. Our passionate, accomplished faculty offer courses of study in choral and instrumental music, drama and dance. In fact, MPH has the distinction of being one of the only academic institutions in Central New York to offer a fully integrated dance curriculum.

Every year we send performers into the community as members of All County and All State ensembles, and students have graduated from MPH to attend prestigious performance programs such as Juilliard, Boston Conservatory, NYU Tisch School, Eastman, Purchase College, and the Crane School of Music. Yet whether or not students plan to study Performing Arts beyond MPH, those who take part in our ensembles and programs move forward with fond recollections of their experiences here.

The Performing Arts Department fosters an environment within the MPH community where students express themselves creatively through movement, music and drama. For many, we are a haven from the rigors of everyday life. Though our performing ensembles are accomplished and high caliber, our rehearsal atmosphere is congenial and encouraging. For this reason, more than 50% of all MPH Upper School students regularly take part in a Performing Arts ensemble during their Upper School career.

Courses

Middle School Chorus

Chorus is a vocal performing group made up of Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade students. The students work to develop introductory sight-singing skills and good vocal habits including breath support and intonation. Ease of tone production, discipline, and performance skills are stressed. Students rehearse a variety of music in two or more parts and present two evening concerts each year. Concerts are the culmination of the entire semester’s work and all members are expected to be in attendance for each concert.

Middle School Band and Symphony Strings

Students study a variety of challenging music geared to the performance level of the group. This ensemble will perform a variety of music while studying the art of instrumental balance, intonation, blend and style. Lesson groups will be formed to allow more intensive individual development and to prepare for NYSSMA events and All-County auditions. This ensemble performs at least two major concerts.

Middle School Dance (6th, 7th, and 8th Grade)

This course provides an introduction to dance as an art form, rich in more than five centuries of history. It challenges the entire body, stimulating the mind as well as the muscles. Students develop strength, flexibility, coordination, and confidence while learning fundamental movement skills, spatial and body awareness, dance vocabulary, and the appreciation of dance as a medium of artistic expression. The year culminates in a performance of original choreography and repertory variations. Prior dance experience is not necessary.