From PreK through 12th grade, our students are given the opportunity to explore the world through many mediums and disciplines. PARISHarts classes are a part of the school day for all students, and dedicated and advanced students can find many creative outlets in our after school EXTEND program and enrichment offerings.
Theatre, visual arts, vocal, instrumental, dance and more - wherever you are at Parish, the Arts are in action!
Parish students are immersed in the visual arts starting from the ground up in PreK. Our goal is to have structured fun with a purpose as we maintain the delicate balance between your child’s imagination and formal art lessons. Students learn about the foundational elements of art without memorization of terms, but rather by creating art, "hands on." Our studio art programs encourage students to broaden their skills and perspectives, to identify and develop their own artistic styles and directions, and to challenge themselves to maximize their potential. Courses build upon skills and concepts from one grade level to the next to instill awareness and appreciation of the arts as well as to prepare those who have the interest and motivation for advanced classes in Upper School and beyond.
Field trips and festival attendance provide arenas for our students to learn about art in their world. Opportunities for competition and critique are available both in school and in public venues.
Our art teachers' passion, along with their focus on the importance of art in all peoples’ lives, both motivates and exhilarates young learners.
The photography program in the Upper School at Parish has the primary goal of awakening and deepening students’ appreciation for the visual arts. We teach fundamental techniques and principles of the traditional and digital photographic medium as well as the rich history of this art form in its historical context.
Students are encouraged and challenged to open their minds and think creatively about their assignments, which provide a means of reflection, self-expression and personal growth. Additionally, the program provides guidance and support for students who would like to prepare a portfolio for college and scholarship applications, Advanced Placement credit (AP) and personal fulfillment.
Ceramics courses in our Middle and Upper Schools allow students to experience and learn slab, coil-building, pinch and wheel-throwing techniques. Students use these skills to make functional vessels, decorative pieces and sculptural work. Course work includes project ideation (drawing and planning), project assembly, glazing, vocabulary quizzes, self-evaluations and group critiques.
Theatre classes are an energetic and engaging opportunity for students to focus on the essential skill of communication. Whether board room or Broadway bound, all students can benefit from strengthening their presentation skills and developing confidence in front of a group. Theatre classes are offered in 5th through 12th grade, with film courses added in the Upper School. The theatre program includes courses in all aspects of theatre including design, musical theatre, technical theatre, directing and acting.
The music department at Parish offers instrumental, choral, musical theatre and general music programs. Starting in PreK, the music curriculum is designed to contribute to the intellectual and cultural development of the child and develop every student's musical aptitude and a life-long love and appreciation for music. Students are taught musicianship through the processes of listening, creating and performing music, as well as through expressive movement.
Students interested in singing in choir may do so beginning in the 1st grade, while instrumental instruction is open to students in 5th grade and above, including drumline which performs at various school events such as pep rallies and ball games.
Each year both the Middle and Upper schools present a musical that is a combined effort of the music and theatre departments. Students also have opportunities to perform at concerts, programs and festivals several times throughout the year. Likewise, students in musical ensembles serve the Parish community by offering their gifts of music in daily chapel and at weekly Eucharist.
Dance education at Parish provides students with the opportunity to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of dance as an art form by helping them to gain significant knowledge of dance elements. Each class is given the opportunity to apply this knowledge of learned technique during formal presentations in different venues throughout the academic year. Skills and knowledge of dance help students develop meaningful concepts of self, human relationships and physical environments. In addition, dance strengthens and refines critical thinking skills by examining movement and choreography intent.
The dance department also works closely with the choral and drama departments during plays, concerts and musicals, providing students a well rounded arts experience.
In both Middle School and Upper School, there is a Company class offered for dancers who are ready for the next level. The Parish Junior Dance Company is offered in 7th and 8th grades. Parish Dance Company is audition based and offered to 10th through 12th graders.
As part of Parish's extracurricular activities, for students who possess the passion and dedication there is the opportunity to become a member of the Rosettes, the Parish drill team. The Rosettes perform at sporting events and other activities throughout the year.
In Parish's speech and debate program, also known as forensics, Upper School students develop confidence in front of an audience as well as interpersonal communication that will become beneficial in all aspects of life. In addition to presentation skills, students learn to conduct academic research, think critically through problems, listen analytically to arguments, understand current social and political issues, better appreciate literature and develop writing skills. These skills not only benefit students in academics at Parish, but also provide an advantage when students go beyond the Parish walls and step into their collegiate and professional roles.